News Release

Volunteers Drive Church’s Welfare and Humanitarian Efforts

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide gave 777,381 days of voluntary service in welfare facilities in 2010 according to a new report issued by the Church.

The 2010 Welfare Services Fact Sheet, available at, also reports that 168,713 individuals were placed in jobs or training programs through Latter-day Saint employment centres in the same period.

Over 63,000 tons of food and 14,000 tons of medical supplies were shipped from Church storehouses to communities in need last year. More than 93,000 tons of clothing was distributed to families and communities.

11.1 million hygiene, newborn and education kits were distributed in 2010. In most cases, kits were assembled and distributed by volunteers.

Since 1985 the Church has instigated 201 major disaster relief efforts. Total humanitarian aid from the Church in that period has been valued at over 1.3 billion (US) dollars.

"Our work in this part of the world has focussed on bringing clean water, wheelchairs, educational and medical supplies to communities," according to Steve Stebbings, the Church's Welfare Services Manager for the Pacific Area. "If we can help people help themselves, then we are doing our part."

"We have also reached out to communities hit hard by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Christchurch, Cholera outbreak in Papua New Guinea and the Australian floods," he said.

The 2010 Welfare Services report includes an explanation of principles guiding Latter-day Saints and their efforts in assisting those affected by disasters and others in need of temporal support.

Excerpts from the report follow:

As disciples of Jesus Christ, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strive to follow the Saviour's admonition to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked, and visit the sick and those in prison (see Matthew 25:35–36).

The responsibility for each person's spiritual and temporal well-being rests first upon himself, second upon his family, and third upon the Church.

When members and their families are doing all they can to provide for themselves and still cannot meet their basic needs, they may turn to their bishop for temporary assistance.

The bishop, as a local minister, is in the best position to determine the nature and quantity of help required to meet the individual's or family's specific needs.

Once a month, members of the Church go without food and drink for two consecutive meals and contribute a fast offering at least equal to the value of the two meals. Bishops then use the fast offerings to care for those in need.

To assist bishops in helping members become more self-reliant, the Church has established storehouses, production projects, thrift stores, employment centres, and family services offices in many locations. Church members volunteer their time, talents, and skills to do much of the work in these facilities.

The purpose of Church welfare assistance is to help people to help themselves. Recipients of these resources are given the opportunity to work, to the extent of their ability, for the assistance they receive.

The Church also sponsors humanitarian relief and development projects around the world that benefit those of other faiths. These projects include emergency relief assistance in times of disaster and programs that strengthen the self-reliance of individuals, families, and communities.

Hundreds of full-time volunteers with skills and experience in education, agriculture, social work, business, and medicine serve throughout the world as part of these humanitarian projects.


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