FORT WALTON BEACH — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently had a Day of Service at three locations throughout the Fort Walton Beach Stake. Its 10 congregations, including a brand new Spanish branch, Women of Crestview, Niceville and Fort Walton Beach chapels filled the needs of many in the community.

The men and boys and some of the ladies worked on the grounds of Children in Crisis, spreading pine straw, mowing, trimming and weeding.

Relief Society ladies created lap blankets for nursing home residents. In the Crestview Chapel alone, they created more than 50.

Girls representing "Activity Day" members put together potted blooms for the sick, the needy and new mothers in the congregations. Their Niceville counterparts earned money, chose supplies, bought and assembled them into gift bags for birthdays. They then delivered them to Sharing and Caring.

Participants sewed and decorated sturdy cloth bags for foster children, who often must throw their belongings into plastic garbage bags for a quick move.

Some groups decorated placemats to take to nursing homes and assembled hygiene kits for the homeless. The kits had toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, lip balm; crackers, nutrition bars, bottled water, Band-Aids, Q-tips and encouraging notes.

Participants also created teddy bears to take to the Pensacola Oncology Neonatal unit at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, and 24 volunteers donated pints of blood to the blood bank at the Niceville Chapel.

Jessica Boden, 18, said, "It is so cool to produce things and use our talents to serve others. And what a good feeling it produced in all of us to be part of such a vast project!"

Christine Cross said, "I am so impressed with the love, companionship and the sense of accomplishment we all feel as we create such varied items for the needy in our community."

President Tammy Jones and her counselors, Sally Reynolds, Katrina Dilmore and secretary Marcia Fleming, directed the event.