Latter-day Saints believe that giving service to others is a lifestyle based on the teachings of Jesus Christ who “went about doing good.” The desire to serve others crosses cultural boundaries and has been manifested in recent months with stories featured on International Church Web sites. From Brazil and El Salvador to Samoa and Guatemala, members of the Church are reaching out around the world to help those in need. Below are some examples:
The Mormon Helping Hands program, commemorating its first decade in Brazil, has served the needs of thousands while providing many more thousands the opportunity to serve. On 12 October, National Volunteer Day in Brazil, tens of thousands of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers completed service projects throughout the South American country.
“When I think of how many of these people have left home on this holiday just to be of service to others,” said Senator Alvaro Dias, “I am certain that this group has something special.” A similar continent-wide project took place in Africa earlier this year.
In El Salvador, hundreds gathered at 17 donor stations as part of a national day to replenish the country’s blood supply. More than 900 units were collected.
“The need to supply blood banks is compelling, as there is a deficit of more than 30,000 units of blood each year,” said Ana Vilma Aguilar, national coordinator. “Aid from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is invaluable and it enables us to significantly reduce the gap in our inventory.”
In Samoa volunteers helped restore both a grandmother’s home and her hope at a time of significant human loss following the recent deadly tsunami in the South Pacific.
“I brought two pounds of rice for my little friends who are without food,” said an eight-year-old girl who worked side by side with her father for two hours preparing rations.
The Church joined hands with numerous charitable and municipal organizations in collecting more than 300 tons of food.
Following September’s tropical storm, members in the Philippines continue an ongoing effort to provide food, water, clothes and other relief supplies.
In the Dominican Republic, members say they were following the admonition of their Savior when they donated 500 much-needed wheelchairs.
And on a smaller scale, women in England donated a portable machine that helps hospice patients breathe easier by clearing airways.