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Volunteers Work Together to Better Temecula

TEMECULA, CA—Hidden underneath a baseball cap, mask, and hearing protection and surrounded by a cloud of dust, Chaparral High School’s principal, Gil Compton, swung the arm of a powerful blower back and forth. Working all around him were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, community members, and students. With the blower still strapped to his back, Principal Compton expressed his thanks for the 169 volunteers that spent a few hours this morning doing a wide variety of work around Chaparral’s campus.

Speaking on the need for service, Principal Compton said, “Over the last few years with the budget cuts, we’ve cut our grounds team by 33%, and our custodial team by 33% and at Chap we have lost 18 teachers, but we have stayed roughly the same in the size of student body.” In appreciation for the work done by volunteers today, he also said, “I’ve been here 4 years and this campus has never looked better.”

Just miles away, in the heart of Temecula’s Rancho Estates, volunteers had the privilege to experience the kindness, compassion, and hope that is in abundance among the founders and supporters of Jacob’s House. This unique facility, founded by Shawn Nelson, former Temecula City Manager, is dedicated to the memory of his son, Jacob Andrew Nelson, who was killed in an automobile accident in 2006. In his welcome to volunteers, Shawn said, “We’ve been able to get to this day, six and a half years later, because of the support we have had from our family, our faith, and of course, an amazing community and all of you.”

A total of 155 volunteers, including LDS Church members, painted, weeded, pruned, cleaned and organized Jacob’s House in preparation for their upcoming Open House on June 15.Mormon Helping Hands volunteers joined the ranks of other supporters of Jacob’s House including: Excel Landscaping, Ponte’ Winery, Temecula Pool Supply, AB Windows, CRR and several other local businesses and individuals.

Shawn Nelson, concluded his remarks saying, “The work you do here today is going to be remembered for years to come because I believe we change the world one life at a time, one family at a time and that hope lives where visions connect into one goal of helping families in crisis.”

The “City of Temecula-Old Traditions/New Opportunities” Entry Monument is positioned just west of the I-15 freeway. In 1989, when the city incorporated, residents of the valley overwhelmingly chose the name “Temecula” over the proposed “Rancho California” and our current entry monument was created.

Last Saturday morning, this area was abuzz with activity as well. One hundred forty-eight volunteers in yellow vests, worked together to put a fresh coat of paint on the monument. Workers also cleaned up the surrounding area by gathering debris, trimming trees and painting the wall that surrounds the area. 

The monument, bearing the seal of the City of Temecula, was meticulously painted under the supervision of Jacob Anthony Martinez, Lead Maintenance Supervisor for Temecula Public Works. Volunteers were also assisted by professional painters from South Bay Coatings.

The owner of South Bay Coatings, Steven Anthony, remarked that, “Everyone’s doing really well and we’re making quick work of it. The more people you get involved, the easier the project. When you have plenty of volunteers you can get it done!” For years to come, volunteers will remember their part in preserving this important “Welcome Mat” to our wonderful city.

Mormon Helping Hands has been contributing to communities world wide since 1998. They are most widely known for their relief efforts during several major natural disasters. However, each spring, local Mormon Helping Hands coordinators search for meaningful service projects that can be done by local church members, along with neighbors and friends and community partners. For more information on how you can participate in Mormon Helping Hands, to find projects, or to submit project ideas for April 2014 visit

—News release submitted by Cathy Dunford for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Temecula

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