'Menifee Better Together' Provides Community Service

Members of the Mapleton Ward of the Mormon church unload dirt at horse stables at a home in Menifee....

Members of the Mapleton Ward of the Mormon church unload dirt at horse stables at a home in Menifee.
Community service and unity took on new meanings today in Menifee, where for the first time, the City of Menifee partnered with a council of church organizations in a clean-up project through Habitat for Humanity.

About 300 adults and children from local churches, plus other community volunteers, spread out throughout town, performing various service projects. Cleaning up yards and making home repairs, volunteers worked in groups at 15 houses of Menifee seniors and others in need. Other volunteers performed street clean-up in Quail Valley, while still others collected trash and recyclables at Kabian Park.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the past in "Mormon Helping Hands" service projects. This year Lesa Sobek, an LDS church member and city Planning Commissioner, worked with Interim City Manager Rob Johnson and Menifee LDS Stake President Robert Wilson (pictured at left) along with her officials to bring the city and many other churches into the project.

Sobek is also chair of the Menifee Interfaith and Community Service Council, which unites local churches in acts of service. In addition to many wards in the LDS Menifee Stake, churches represented Saturday included Elevation Church, Faith Lutheran Church, New Hope Church, Menifee United Methodist Church and St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church. Other groups were represented, including the Rotary Club, Auto Air Pro and Evans Brown Mortuary.

In addition, Target donated items for the event and Verizon presented a check for $7,500 to Craig Evans, president of Inland Valley Habitat for Humanity.

"You are helping the community selflessly," said city council member Greg August, who addressed the volunteers along with councilman John Denver. "This sends a positive and invigorating message. There is nothing more important in our community than a project like this."

In Quail Valley, residents lined up in their vehicles outside Kabian Park to dump trash and unwanted items in containers maintained by awaiting volunteers.

"We capitalized on this, compared to going to the city dump and paying per pound," said Brent Leander, who drove in from Chino Hills to join his brothers in helping dispose item