The following is excerpted from the Church News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

Ask most teenagers how they would feel about getting up early on a Saturday, leaving the house, spending four hours cleaning and collecting trash and not getting paid to do it — the word “happy” would likely not be among their first impressions and expressions.

But for the several thousand youth, young single adults and leaders from southwestern Utah participating in the May 8 “Youth Day of Service: A Gift to the Community,” the word “happy” proved to be a common refrain.

“Honestly, I’d probably still be asleep or watching TV,” said 13-year-old Michael Callahan of St. George, Utah, pausing from picking up trash with his 18-year-old brother Jacob and a small group at mile marker 11 on Utah’s Highway 18.

But realizing the importance and impact of the massive service project in and around St. George, he quickly joined in, making the Saturday sacrifice. “I’m happy,” he said, “And I’m feeling good, knowing it will look good afterward.”

More than 2,400 local youth, young adults and their leaders spread throughout Utah’s Washington County, assisting with three-dozen projects including clean-up efforts along state highways, state parks, community recreation areas, trailheads, empty lots, entrances to dumps and sections of industrial areas.

And when the late-surging supply of volunteers exceeded the demand of scheduled service projects, leaders purchased 2,000 artificial roses and other flowers, with youth prepping and placing them along headstones of deceased women in local cemeteries as an appreciation for Mother’s Day, celebrated in the United States the next day.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.