How the LDS Church, and other groups, are Able to Respond to Disasters

photo Scot Facer Proctor

As we’ve read about the earthquake in Haiti, the storms in the east, and the other tragedies around the world, this past decade has been a wake-up call. I know some of you are concerned, but I also know that even though bad things happen to good people, these are signs of the times. Challenges and turmoil have been foretold in the scriptures in the last days. Our faith must be strong; our spiritual roots deep to face what will come.

I know many of my readers are not members of my church. I know you have great faith because you come here to learn about food storage from a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Someone who is not an expert, but someone who likes to share.

Members of the Mormon church do not stock-pile, but prepare for a rainy day. The purpose of food storage for us is NOT to prepare for the end of the world. But to help us through difficult times during THIS life such as job loss, illness, natural disasters, and other calamities that will come our way. And to share with others in need. Preparation is thinking ahead, but not stressing over it every second. We have to get up each day and live in this beautiful world.

On a larger scale, the LDS Church Humanitarian Services (our organization for helping those in need) puts aside food, clothing, medical and other emergency supplies so they can respond to disasters around the world. And do it quickly. Within hours of the earthquake in Haiti, emergency response teams were being put together.
“Advance planning, extensive storage of essential items, and an extensive worldwide network of volunteers, allow a swift response when disaster strikes. These volunteers, working cooperatively with other relief agencies, help ensure that 100 percent of all donations are distributed directly to those in need.”

Another non-profit organization, Healing Hands for Haiti, was launched in 1998 by LDS physician and returned missionary from Haiti, Jeff Randle. They were able to quickly send doctors, nurses, and other volunteers to Haiti. Some were also former missionaries. Seventy of them were French/Creole speakers. Can you imagine how that would have helped?

Here are some stories about LDS church volunteers and how they have served in Haiti. Please go to Meridian Magazine. You will be amazed at how the call for action was answered. The stories of volunteer doctors and nurses from groups like Healing Hands are truly a testimony to me that God loves his children. And that we are the tools needed to help our brothers and sisters when the call comes. There are plenty of pictures, and I promise you will cry.
Read how the LDS Church is helping launch an aggressive program to help build as many as 600 urgently needed temporary houses for Haitians with kits that include lumber and roofs, before the rainy season in April. “The principle of welfare should take place, where we help the people help themselves,” said Berthony Theodore, a senior Haitian Church leader.

I hope by reading you will be motivated to continue to give, to share, to love, to pray. Even when our newspapers stop printing the stories, the needs will go on. For years to come.

Thank you to volunteers who serve our brothers and sisters everywhere.

Ways to help:

For information about donating emergency items call:
Humanitarian Center 800-453-3860 ext. 26060

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