LDS Charities Remains Committed to Lifting Burdens, Providing Hope
Contributed By Jason Swensen, Church News staff writer
It’s been 21 years since the Church formalized its relief efforts by creating LDS Charities to carry out its vast, global humanitarian work. Since then, it has served in 189 countries and partnered with key relief organizations such as the International Red Cross and Catholic Relief Services.
LDS Charities’ newly released 2016 annual report demonstrates the Church’s ongoing mission to follow the Savior’s example of relieving suffering, lifting burdens, and providing hope.
In 2016, the organization:
- Completed 119 emergency response projects in 49 countries.
- Served 116,000 people in 12 countries through the Benson Food Initiative.
- Provided vision care for 90,000 people in 37 countries.
- Trained 33,000 caregivers in maternal and newborn care in 37 countries.
- Provided clean water to 380,000 people in 19 countries.
- Provided wheelchairs for 55,500 people in 48 countries.
- Sponsored 1,848 community projects in 107 countries.
- Supported 488 refugee projects in 54 countries.
Delivering relief to victims of natural disasters and civil unrest remains an essential priority.
In 2016, LDS Charities aided victims of earthquakes in Ecuador, Japan, and Italy, as well as those affected by hurricanes and flooding throughout the Caribbean and southern United States, according to the annual report.
The organization also coordinated relief efforts in the Philippines following a devastating typhoon and provided food and water to drought-weary areas in central and southern Africa.
The funds that support LDS Charities are donated by members across the world—along with contributions raised by LDS Philanthropies, the organization in charge of fundraising for institutions and programs for the Church. All funds donated to LDS Charities go to humanitarian projects and programs throughout the world and wherever needs exist.
LDS Charities remains anchored to three guiding principles:
- To care for those in greatest need.
- To promote volunteerism.
- To inspire self-reliance.
Such faith-based principles, according to the report, “empower those in need, without coercion and regardless of individuals’ race, religion, or nationality.”
Additional information is found at LDSCharities.org.