News Release

Mormon Helping Hands Delivering Food

By Mark McNamee

160 food hampers for the underprivileged and needy was the final result stemming from an initial 'Dinner for 10' with community leaders, hosted by the Ipswich Australia Stake. Select community leaders were invited to attend the dinner to discuss how the Church could become more involved in serving the broader community. The evening included a brief DVD presentation followed by a discussion on the Church's welfare program. In attendance that night was Louise Robertson, Community Development Officer for the Red Cross. Subsequent discussions between the Red Cross and the Stake Leadership identified the Red Cross 'Food Hamper' program as an ideal project for the upcoming Stake 'Mormon Helping Hands' service day.

Stake leaders invited the membership to bring along to the upcoming Stake Conference items suitable for inclusion in hampers. The response was overwhelming with more than 1300 items being donated including tinned food, toiletries and other household items.

Prior to the Sunday session of Stake Conference, Ipswich Stake President, Garth Pitman presented to Leisa Bourne, Red Cross Regional Manager Southern Queensland, a symbolic 'can of food', a cheque for $250 and a 'Certificate of Recognition' symbolising the cooperation between the two organisations. During the presentation, President Pitman explained the principle of fast offering and how the donations made during this service project were in addition to that programme. In response, Leisa briefly outlined a 'typical' client who would be the recipients of the hampers, and offered her great thanks on behalf of those recipients to the Church.

On the morning of November 30th, Ipswich Australia Stake YSA and other church members worked alongside local Red Cross members at the LDS Raceview chapel assembling the hampers during 'Mormon Helping Hands' day. It was expected that 100 hampers would be packed, but by the end of the morning more than 160 hampers were packed, put into members' cars and moved to the Red Cross offices in preparation for distribution to the regional cities of Ipswich, Toowoomba, Dalby, Warwick and Stanthorpe. Afterwards the Red Cross provided a BBQ lunch at which members of both organisations were able to mix socially.

President Tuddenham of the Stake Presidency thanked those attending followed by Louise Robertson of the Red Cross who commented how she admired the generous capacity of the Church members while she attended the Stake Conference. Members of the Red Cross group were then invited to participate in a chapel tour where some of the LDS principles and programs were explained and testimonies shared. The Church now has a few more friends in Ipswich and the poor and needy were a little less hungry this Christmas season.

Pictures courtesy of Mark McNamee and used with permission


Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.