In the midst of soaring gas prices and a weakening economy the youth of the Payson Utah Stake faced a choice. They had been planning a trek to Martin's Cove, but even after saving for two years the travel expenses alone were far larger than their budget.
Facing that problem, a group of youth leaders assembled and confronted the task of finding a different project. The youth came up with a number of ideas for the conference. But over time, only one seemed to stick – service.
Hearing of similar service projects and wanting to mirror the popular television show, the youth decided on an "extreme makeover" idea. The project theme was then coined – "Service with all your heart, might, mind and strength."
After the long process of planning, the time for service actually came on Thursday, June 18. Not even the 5:30 a.m. alarm could stop the youth from coming out. Walking around Payson, 140 youth in orange and blue shirts were easily spotted at 16 different sites. Groups such as "Ammon's Helping Hands" and "Lehi Landscaping" were found all over Payson re-roofing houses, pouring concrete and landscaping, among other projects.
For the rest of the story and illustrations, see the LDS Church News article.
The "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" TV show has inspired other public service projects:
Rotary Club Transforms Drop-In Center on Molokai
Family Room for Homeless Gets Extreme Makeover (Orange County, FL)
Sigma Pi Fraternity Brightens Up Big Brothers/Big Sisters Office