News Release

Wonthaggi Latter-day Saints Provide Support to Local Communities

Members of the Wonthaggi Branch (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in a number of projects recently, focussing on helping those around them in their local community. Projects included creating knitted trauma teddy bears, collecting food for farmers in need, and gathering plastic bottle tops to help Amputees. The service projects were a blessing and a comfort to all.


Knitting Trauma Bears
Relief Society sisters donated 65 knitted trauma teddy bears to the Wonthaggi Hospital. Local leader Joan Alger delivered the bears and was met by very grateful and excited representatives from the hospital. 

While visiting a family member at the hospital, one of the branch members, Rebecca Gilmore saw firsthand the outcome of the Relief Society sisters’ hard work and donation.

"At the hospital, I was able to see two knitted teddy bears that were given out to some patients. One was given to a small child who had just come into the emergency department, and the other, to an elderly woman struggling with memory issues. The receiving of the gift helped both recipients feel at peace, as they snuggled and cuddled their bears. It was wonderful to see the impact that our bears had on these two patients."

Gippsland Farmers
Wonthaggi Branch members have also been collecting food to help the Gippsland farmers who have been struggling through the drought.

Members have been making monthly donations to the farmers, which assists them in feeding their families. This project started last Christmas when a member brought it to the attention of the Relief Society.

“Many of the farmers didn’t have enough money to purchase special Christmas food items for their Christmas meals. It’s a choice of feeding the cattle or providing a special Christmas meal for their families," Jennifer Fleming observed.

Having observed the impact that the donation made to farmers last Christmas, branch members felt the overwhelming desire to continue that support throughout the year by way of donations to Gippsland Farmer Relief Inc. 

Through the example of Wonthaggi Branch, the Gippsland Stake (diocese) Presidency has now encouraged other local congregations in the region to participate in food donations as part of the global Church initiative "Light the World - One by One" in 2019 (see video below).

Bottle Tops for Amputees

In conjunction with the Bass Coast Shire Council and the Wonthaggi Rotary Club, members joined together to collect plastic bottle tops to assist amputees. Bottle tops are collected, processed into plastic beads, and made into 3D artificial limbs for children and adult amputees throughout he world. Working with Envision, these colourful prosthetic limbs make children feel like super heroes, giving them an increas of self-worth.

"Our branch members have assisted the community in collecting over 5 million bottle tops for the project in the last 6 months," said Relief Society President Jennifer Scott.

Overwhelmed with the support of community members, the project organisers have had to 'put a cap' on the bottle top collection as they process the five million caps they have already received. "Who knew that the top of your milk bottle could go to help someone in need!", exclaimed Jennifer.

For ideas this Christmas on how you can "Light the World - One by One", click on this link to receive daily suggestions.


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