News Story

Australian Mormon Helping Hands Reach the Philippines

A few weeks before Christmas, Melbourne Mormons joined together with friends of other faiths for a Helping Hands rescue effort to support people in two devastated areas of the Philippines. Many hands and hearts contributed their time in boxing up essential donated items, including hygiene and personal items, clothing, bedding and many other vital things.  

The first items were sent to Tacloban, where the greatest damage occurred in the wake of super Typhoon Haiyan.   The other relief effort was sent to the area in Cagayan de Oro, further South of Tacloban, which was also hit extremely hard. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organises regular projects under the international banner of “Mormon Helping Hands”, a humanitarian relief and service program designed to provide community service and disaster relief to those in need.  This aid is often given locally and, in many cases, Church members in one part of the world will work together to provide assistance in an entirely different nation.

 The donations for the victims in Tacloban were provided by local members and will be delivered through international shipping company LBC, who were collecting goods to send to Red Cross Philippines for distribution to affected victims of the typhoon. 

Members of the Church started bringing donations from early morning, with local congregations (called ‘wards’) collecting goods at local levels throughout the week. From 8:00am to 1:30pm, over 100 volunteers attended in different shifts to organise and pack the donations into boxes.

Among the volunteers were members of the Muslim community, friends of the Church through the Casey Multi Faith Network, who heard about the project and wanted to be involved. 

At the end of the day the project surpassed all expectations. Local Church leader, President Lindsay Sanders, described the efforts as outstanding! 

The final donations were 700 kilos of non-perishable food items, along with nearly 500 cubic feet of women’s, men’s and children’s clothing.   Toys, a wide variety of books, cooking and kitchen utensils, hygiene and personal kits, bedding, linens, and hospital blankets, were gladly donated. 

When members of the Mormon faith provide service to their local communities they try to follow a commitment to “bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light … and mourn with those that mourn … and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9), a quote from the Book of Mormon, a companion to the Bible and second witness of Jesus Christ.

Members also believe that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).


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