Mormon Helping Hands Find Joy in Beautifying Brazil
Approximately 120,000 Latter-day Saints, friends and neighbors, dressed in the familiar yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests, gathered across Brazil cleaning, painting, and filling food pantries. The National Day of Voluntary Action—A Solidarity Saturday was held July 30, 2011, throughout the South American country.
Brazilian members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have found joy and satisfaction being on the forefront of this annual service day. For the second consecutive year, volunteers have been involved through Mormon Helping Hands with several community projects throughout 26 state capitals, the Federal District, and 180 cities.
More than 6,000 volunteers were mobilized to fight against dengue fever, a virus-based disease spread by mosquitoes, through a door-to-door education campaign. In Santa Catarina, near the Brazilian coast, volunteers gathered nearly 17 tons of food to be used by institutions for needy families.
Mormon Helping Hands volunteers also facilitated the donation of blood to local blood banks. Other projects included cleaning beaches, marshes, parks, and public squares, and the distribution of newborn kits for hospitals. Newborn kits consist of cloth diapers, baby booties, soap, a nightgown, and a blanket.
The news media provided wide coverage throughout Brazil, with several television stations at many of the project sites to record the efforts. Rede Globo, Brazil’s main TV channel, aired promotional commercials two weeks before the National Day of Voluntary Action. The public service announcements invited every Brazilian to participate in the community cleanup projects and to learn more about Mormon Helping Hands. Over the past 11 years, more than 1.6 million people have provided service for various projects in Brazil. In addition to beautifying the country, the main goal is to improve the country through its number one asset, the Brazilian people.