SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing immediate emergency aid to victims of the California firestorms.

Six semi-trucks have been dispatched to various evacuee shelters carrying a total of more than 28,000 blankets, 26,000 hygiene kits, processed foods, cots and other supplies. In addition to the relief supplies, 13 large church meetinghouses have been designated as shelters for evacuees.

White-shirted missionaries join the California relief efforts by unloading emergency supplies at Qualcomm Stadium. © 2007 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

The first of two semi-trucks loaded with emergency relief supplies and processed food from local Church storehouses in Southern California was delivered to Qualcomm Stadium on Tuesday night. Mormon volunteer missionaries helped unload and distribute the emergency goods to thousands of fire evacuees who have taken shelter at the stadium.

The second truck was forced to turn around because of given road closures. It was detoured to Escondido and was scheduled to arrive on Wednesday afternoon.

“We are overwhelmingly grateful for the show of support from the LDS Church,” said Jenny Worth, director of Corporate Partnership Programs for the City of San Diego located in the mayor’s office. Worth said that the Church’s speed of response had made a difference.

Another two semi-trucks loaded with relief supplies, one from a local storehouse in California and one from Salt Lake City, are expected to arrive at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Wednesday afternoon.

“In addition to providing emergency relief and volunteers, we have opened 13 of our larger Church meetinghouses for both our members and their neighbors who are seeking shelter and food,” said Donald P. Tenney, a regional Church leader in Southern California. “If you are in need of shelter and food, contact your Mormon neighbors; we are trying to keep them informed on where they can come to find shelter.”

Emergency relief is also being made available at command posts near Lake Arrowhead, in San Bernardino, Canyon Country and various other fire sites.

Welfare Services Emergency Response of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is coordinating with local government agencies and other community service organizations to provide emergency relief to victims.

This article was prepared by the LDS Newsroom at