News Release

Winter Warmth for Adelaide Refugees and Homeless 

Adelaide Latter-day Saints have blanketed refugees with warmth as they settle into their new homes in South Australia.

About 250 blankets and quilts donated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Marion Stake members were delivered on Friday 8 July to the Australian Refugee Association (ARA) to help give a warm welcome to families resettling in Adelaide. 

Just in time for the worst of winter chills, the blankets included quilts and brightly coloured children’s bedding and comforters.

The delivery represents only a portion of Marion Stake’s 2016 Mormon Helping Hands project. Non-perishable and dry foods (recommended by the ARA) such as rice, beans, lentils and chick peas, along with long life milk, sugar and noodles also are being purchased and collected as the venture to assist refugees gears up for a handover to the ARA in October.

The project is in response to the First Presidency‘s call for church members to assist refugees and the General Relief Society launching the relief effort, I Was a Stranger, with a plea for individuals, families and organisations to help refugees in your own communities.

“I can only imagine the struggles, challenges and trials many refugees faced before finally arriving in Adelaide, and that many have come with so very little,” said Marion Stake President Jason Ellis. “The members of our stake rallied to the cause. It is just one way we can show love to our neighbour by partnering with the Australian Refugee Association, which is in the best situation to distribute these resources to those most in need.  And with the weather being so cold now, we didn’t wait until National Helping Hands Week later this year to deliver the blankets.”

Members of Adelaide’s Firle Stake also have been working for two months on a project devised by the Relief Society to aid disadvantaged South Australians. People have been busy collecting food staples and knitting, crocheting and creating beanies, scarves and knee rugs for the Hutt Street Centre, which is a charitable agency supporting homeless and other vulnerable people in the city.

“We have church members who volunteer at Hutt Street,” said Stake Relief Society President Judith Lawry. “And we’re appreciative of all those who have taken part in knitting or donating the items that the centre and its people need. They are truly following the Saviour’s admonition to love one another.”

The project concluded on Saturday 9 July with an activity to make no-sew blankets, and the opportunity to hear from the Hutt Street Centre’s meal manager, Brenda McCulloch, who shared insights into the organisation’s ongoing work.

In receiving the donations at the event, Ms McCulloch thanked everyone for their support. “What inspires me is the support and respect we get from people like you and others in the community,” she said. “When your ladies (Relief Society volunteers) came in to help a few weeks ago, it reaffirmed to the people who come to the centre for a meal and for company that there are people who care about them, who give up their time, who want to help.

“I know today’s gifts will be so well received.  I am really looking forward to giving out these gifts, knowing the difference they will make.”

Matthew 25: 38, 40: When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? … Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

This story was originially published in the LDS Adelaide News.

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