Confession: On occasion, I have let a sign-up clipboard pass me by and not volunteered because I was too busy to serve that week. I still don't know how to knit hats to donate to hospitals. I've never taken my children to volunteer in a soup kitchen. But wait, what about the mothering I do—the feeding, diaper changing, nurturing, nose wiping, driving, and game playing—isn’t that service? Indeed, we are told that motherhood is “the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind." Still, sometimes I would enjoy serving in ways that reach beyond the walls of my home and life.
The Church’s new service tool, Helping in the Vineyard (vineyard.lds.org), provides meaningful service opportunities that are simple, flexible, and can be completed regardless of where I am or how much time I have (or don’t have) available. In my first visit to the site, it took just minutes to sign up and complete my first task. In under an hour, I had completed 40 tasks!
There are various tasks, based on your skills and preferences, to choose from. The current opportunities include:
- Church Publications: Prepare Church content to share with the world by checking, comparing and matching text, or identifying page breaks on existing publications (helping confirm that text files are properly matched with their converted originals).
- Church Multimedia: Contribute your own photos for Church use, slice and tag video clips, spot-check video quality, or tag images or videos with keywords.
- Translation: Help provide translations for Church publications that are distributed online and around the world.
- Family History: Assist in genealogical work that helps people identify their ancestors; transcribe historical records to make them available online in a searchable format.
My personal favorites are tagging images and videos and transcribing historical records. I also love the idea that members can submit their own images to help supplement the Church’s media library. I have a lot of friends who will be thrilled with the opportunity to assist in the translation work. All of us working together—even for just a few minutes at a time—results in an immense amount of work.So, yes, motherhood is the primary form of service that I am committed to at this time in my life. But when I have a few minutes to kill, and I want to reach out and be reminded that I am still part of the world that exists outside of my home, I can spend some time browsing blogs and status updates. But first, I think I’ll spend a few minutes Helping in the Vineyard.