2018 LDS Charities Annual Report Shows the “Brotherly Kindness” of Tens of Thousands

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 4 March 2019

LDS Charities helps prevent avoidable blindness and provides services for the visually impaired by partnering with global professionals. LDS Charities just released its annual report for 2018.

Article Highlights

  • LDS Charities released its 2018 annual report.
  • All donations to the humanitarian fund go directly to helping the poor and needy.

“We often sing the words ‘Because I have been given much, I too must give.’ I feel like it is this giving spirit that shows through in this annual report. Without the generosity of those who donate to the humanitarian aid fund, none of this would be possible.” —Robert Hokanson, an LDS Charities director

Assisted by 1,900 partners, LDS Charities participated in 2,885 projects in 141 countries last year, according to the organization’s 2018 annual report.

Since 1985 LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, has provided over $2.2 billion in assistance—including cash, commodities, and in-kind donations in 197 countries and territories, according to the report, which was released February 19.

“We feel great gratitude and kinship with every single person who contributed to the success of the humanitarian work in 2018,” said Sister Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities and First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency. “This annual report represents the brotherly kindness of tens of thousands of people.”

Volunteer hours and donations “make a big impact out of smaller offerings,” said Sister Eubank.

“It’s always amazing to see how members and friends of the Church are reaching out to help others—wherever they may be,” said Robert Hokanson, a director with LDS Charities. “We often sing the words ‘Because I have been given much, I too must give.’ I feel like it is this giving spirit that shows through in this annual report. Without the generosity of those who donate to the humanitarian aid fund, none of this would be possible.”

Although the Church has been dedicated to helping the poor and needy since the time of Joseph Smith, a 1985 fast to help starving Ethiopians and others in need accelerated the work.

Today, members provide support for humanitarian work in numerous ways, including donating on Church donation slips or online, volunteering at some of the hundreds of established Church welfare facilities located around the world, and serving missions.

The Church guarantees that every penny donated to the humanitarian fund is used for the care of the poor and the needy.

To expedite its humanitarian endeavors, the Church began to form relationships with humanitarian organizations to help those in need. LDS Charities benefits as the organization partners with other humanitarian organizations that have years of experience in their various spheres of work. In addition, partners work with community members to help implement and maintain projects and have local employees who can evaluate and monitor projects.

Among the 2,885 projects that received LDS Charities assistance in 2018 is relief sent to Japan, which was hit by earthquakes, typhoons, and flooding last year. In April and June, two 6.1-magnitude earthquakes in the Shimane and Osaka regions affected thousands of people. In late June and early July, torrential rain and flooding affected southwestern Japan—the worst the country had seen in decades. More than 200 people died and more than 1 million people were forced to evacuate their homes. LDS Charities worked with many national and local relief organizations in the disaster response and cleanup.

In 2018, LDS Charities also responded to international disasters in Saipan and Guatemala. In the United States and the territory of Puerto Rico, relief supplies were provided to survivors of two large hurricanes and the most devastating wildfire in California’s history.

“Most of [the contributors] donated a small amount of money to the humanitarian aid fund, at some personal sacrifice, because they couldn’t read the news and not do something,” Sister Eubank added. “It also represents countless man-hours given by volunteers—again at some personal sacrifice—in order to show up and help someone else facing one of their worst moments.”

The Church also worked with refugee agencies like the International Rescue Committee to help refugees obtain beds, clothing, and food, as well as employment opportunities and language skills. Last year, there were 371 projects with resettlement agencies in 56 countries.

“There is much more to do,” said Sister Eubank. “Other emergencies and needs will arise, and we are grateful for the resources to continue to help.”

Read the full LDS Charities report at ldscharities.org.

Highlights of LDS Charities annual report:

EMERGENCY RESPONSE

When disasters occur, LDS Charities provides volunteer labor, food, clothing, medical supplies, and other emergency assistance to relieve the suffering of those in urgent need.

  • 175 countries and territories since 1985
  • 155 projects in 50 countries during 2018

FOOD SECURITY

Sponsored by the Benson Food Institute, LDS Charities works with trusted partners to improve the health and well-being of families and communities using local solutions and resources.

  • 41 countries and territories since 2006
  • 311,700 people in 16 countries during 2018
  • 51 scholarships awarded to scholars in 11 countries

VISION

LDS Charities helps prevent avoidable blindness and provides services for the visually impaired by partnering with global professionals.

  • 74 countries and territories since 2003
  • 309,800 people helped in 35 countries during 2018

MATERNAL AND NEWBORN CARE

LDS Charities provides training and equipment for attendants to support the care and resuscitation of newborns at birth in addition to improving maternal survival following births.

  • 93 countries and territories since 2003
  • 53,800 trained caregivers in 39 countries during 2018

CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION

LDS Charities works with local partners to build water and sanitation systems and teach communities about system maintenance, empowering them to meet their long-term water needs.

  • 76 countries and territories since 2002
  • 657,500 people in 28 countries during 2018

IMMUNIZATIONS

LDS Charities works with global immunization partners to increase routine vaccinations and reduce the number of lives lost to preventable diseases.

  • 46 countries and territories since 2002
  • 7 campaigns benefiting 7 countries during 2018

WHEELCHAIRS

LDS Charities works with local organizations to improve services for the physically disabled and to provide wheelchairs and walking aids that are suited to individual needs.

  • 134 countries and territories since 2001
  • 53,800 people helped in 40 countries during 2018

REFUGEE RESPONSE

LDS Charities supports refugees by providing both immediate relief and long-term support and by working with resettlement agencies.

  • 122 countries and territories since 1985
  • 371 projects in 56 countries during 2018

U.S. AND CANADA COMMUNITY PROJECTS

LDS Charities works with community partners and organizations in the United States and Canada to address issues such as homelessness, immigrant and refugee resettlement, and other community projects.

  • 43 states and provinces during 2018

LDS Charities works with local partners to build water and sanitation systems and teach communities about system maintenance, empowering them to meet their long-term water needs.

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A young man in Ghana, Leitangi Solomon, smiles after being fitted with a wheelchair with help from an LDS Charities technician.

A nurse in Banyumas, Indonesia, stands next to a new mother. In 2018, nurses in this birthing center completed a Helping Babies Breathe course run by LDS Charities facilitators.