Church Donates $1.5 Million to the Red Cross

Contributed By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News editor

  • 4 May 2017

Michael Smauldon, executive coordinator of the American Red Cross, talks with media in Salt Lake City during the wake of severe flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Monday, August 15, 2016.  Photo by Weston Kenney, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • The Church donated $1.5 million to the Red Cross.

“The generosity of the Church empowers the Red Cross to give hope to people when they need it most.” —Heidi Ruster, Red Cross CEO, Utah and Nevada region

The American Red Cross says a $1.5 million donation from the Church will enable the organization to be ready to respond to future disasters in the United States.

This “particular gift comes at a good time” because of the many needs, said Rich Woodruff, communications director for the Utah and Nevada region of the American Red Cross.

The gift—$1 million, along with an in-kind donation of $500,000—“creates the reliable funding needed to deliver swift relief, enabling the Red Cross to respond at a moment’s notice with trained volunteers, supplies from their stocked warehouses, emergency response vehicles, and resources to transform community sites into shelters,” according to a statement from the Red Cross.

“The in-kind donations of goods and services empower Red Cross workers to quickly manage and distribute sorely needed relief items and save the organization money by freeing up funds for other critical necessities.”

With the donation, the Church “joins a group of elite corporations and organizations” as a member of the Annual Disaster Giving Program, according to the statement. Members of the program help the Red Cross to immediately respond to the needs of families impacted by disasters throughout the country.

Woodruff said the Church “has been a wonderful partner” to the American Red Cross.

“The generosity of the Church empowers the Red Cross to give hope to people when they need it most. They are truly national leaders in disaster response,” said Heidi Ruster, CEO of the Utah and Nevada region.

“We have had a great partnership with the American Red Cross for many years, and we respect what they do,” said Bruce Muir, director of LDS Charities. “The bottom line is if there’s a fire, they’re there. If there’s a disaster, they’re there. This donation will support their efforts to extend relief to many families and individuals in need.”

Over the past three decades, the Church and the American Red Cross have partnered on more than 220 projects across the United States, benefiting approximately 200,000 people following emergencies. The Church has also contributed nearly $10 million in the United States for Red Cross humanitarian projects.

In 2015, the Church donated $1.8 million—the net proceeds from its film Meet the Mormons—to the organization. (See related story.)