Members from Brazil Join in Massive Service Effort

Contributed By Janet Garcia Monteiro, Church News contributor

  • 26 January 2015

Missionaries help assemble donated gas cooking kits designed to improve safety.  Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area.

Article Highlights

  • Members from all over Brazil participated in a joint Helping Hands project.
  • Various service projects were provided in over 220 meetinghouses throughout Brazil.

BRAZIL

Legions of LDS Brazilians recently participated in a nationwide Helping Hands project, delivering needed services to thousands of their fellow Brazilians.

The massive, multi-services humanitarian project stretched across several Saturdays in Church meetinghouses across the country. Volunteers donned yellow Helping Hands vests and went about the business of looking after their neighbors.

The project included a variety of service initiatives and utilized the talents of scores of members and their friends. Over a million Mormons call Brazil their home.

Folks in the city of Piracicaba, for example, learned tips on safely cooking with gas. Officials from the city’s fire department offered Church-sponsored classes on the proper use and handling of cooking gas.

Some 200 needy families participated in the classes and received new cooking gas equipment kits that were donated by a local company, Distributor Liquigas. Full-time missionaries in the area helped assemble the free kits.

Students from a Sao Paulo barber school provide free haircuts as part of a large-scale, national Helping Hands service project in Brazil. Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area.

Bernardo Rocha de Rezende, coach of the Brazilian national volleyball team, delivers a motivational speech as part of a recent nationwide Helping Hands service project that was sponsored by the Church. Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area.

A large sign advertises the massive Helping Hands service project that cared for the needs of thousands of Brazilians. Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area.

The Church’s recent Helping Hands service project in Brazil attracted media attention across the country, including several radio stations. Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area.

Fire officials said that the lessons taught in the cooking classes could help significantly reduce gas-related accidents.

A variety of other services were delivered in more than 220 meetinghouses across Brazil.

In Rio de Janeiro, some 300 people gathered in a Church meetinghouse to enjoy a motivational speech delivered by Berandro Rocha de Rezende, the coach of the Brazilian national volleyball team. The coach taught key lessons about the value of teamwork and cooperation.

“What matters most in life is the concept of community,” he said. The Church-sponsored Helping Hands project, he noted, is made possible through the joint efforts of many people working together as one.

In Sao Paulo, more than a dozen students from the Calazans Hairdressers Technical and Vocational Schools set up shop in a large room in a Church meetinghouse and provided 120 haircuts. The school’s owner, Aparecida Calazans, said the project offered her and her students a priceless opportunity to serve others.

In the cities of Curitiba, Parana, and Recife, attorneys associated with Brigham Young University’s J. Rueben Clark Law Society offered free legal advice to folks from the community. Local Mutual groups scoured their communities prior to the event, letting folks of all backgrounds know about the Helping Hands projects.

Health and dental care, along with job placement services, were also offered in many Brazilian communities.

Brazil’s Helping Hands project attracted extensive news coverage and introduced countless viewers and readers to the mission of the Church.