With a population of just over 30,000, service opportunities can be still a little hard to find for both locals and BYU-Idaho students in the growing city of Rexburg.
Matthew Hale, a sophomore studying mechanical engineering, woke up one day with an idea that would help provide more opportunities to serve in the Rexburg community.
Hale’s idea, Chores for Charity, became Facebook official on April 23, and, since then, it has been inviting the community to join the Facebook group to give service in exchange for donations to local charities.
Hale said if donations cannot be made by the patron, Chores for Charity is glad to do service anyway in hope of finding more service opportunities.
Hale, along with his co-founder Tanya Enlow, a junior studying animal science, run the service group to help anyone that will let them.
“A lot of people turn down service because they think they really don’t need it, and they feel uncomfortable accepting it,” Hale said.
While serving in the Arkansas Little Rock Mission, Hale said he and his companion needed to do more service, but were often rejected.
“I saw a lady raking her leaves and we stopped to help but she said no,” Hale said. “I took the rake from her and later she told us she actually prayed for someone to come and help her.”
Blessings came from service on Hale’s mission, and he said he decided to magnify those blessings even more with Chores for Charity.
“There are thousands of students here at Rexburg that want to do service but none of us know the locals, and Chores for Charity can connect BYU-I students with locals to do service,” Hale said.
Chores for Charity currently has 40 volunteers from Hale’s married ward who contacted Hale through Facebook.
Enlow became involved after she sent the first message Hale got through the group’s Facebook page. Now Enlow organizes the projects with Hale.
It has been only two weeks since Chores for Charity was established, and Hale and Enlow have already managed one project and have three scheduled for the upcoming week.
“Sharon contacted us to do some yard work for her since her grandsons are on missions and her husband has some heart problems, and she ended up donating to a local charity,” Hale said.
He said Chores for Charity is not just about the service being rendered, but about ministering to people in the Rexburg area.
“The new ministering program was an inspiration for this project because we want to get to know these people, and I’ve seen this part help people more than the actual service,” Hale said. “It’s not doing service for strangers, it’s helping out your friends.”
Hale and Enlow will manage Chores for Charity this semester and hope to keep it going next year if they cannot find someone who will keep it running during the summer.
“I could see this becoming a chapter in every major city, but that’s probably just a dream,” Hale said.
Hale said he believes the world can change for the better through service, just as Christ changed the world through His ministry here on earth.
Students can get involved with Chores for Charity by visiting the Facebook page and contacting Hale through Messenger.
Hale said he could use more team leaders to organize volunteer groups and is willing to provide opportunities to anyone willing to help with Chores for Charity.
Wherever Hale end ups, he said Chores for Charity will remain a part of his life.