Working Locally Is Best Way to Respond to Disaster

Contributed By Statement issued by the Church’s Welfare Services Department

  • 25 November 2013

The Church’s Welfare Services Department has found that the best way to respond to disasters is to work locally. Church members across the world can still assist typhoon victims by praying for them and by offering fast offerings and humanitarian aid donations.  Photo by Ravell Call, Deseret News.

Article Highlights

  • Members are encouraged to pray for those in the Philippines and may consider increasing fast offerings or donating to the Church’s humanitarian fund.

Many members who have seen the devastation caused by the recent earthquake and typhoon in the Philippines have contacted the Church wanting to know how they can help.

Some have inquired about whether the Church could ship goods that they have collected or purchased. Others want to travel to the affected areas and offer their services to help those affected. While these desires are commendable and demonstrate the willingness of people to sacrifice to help others, the Church has learned from experience that the best way to respond to disasters is to work locally, purchasing needed supplies in country as near to the disaster as possible.

This not only ensures that the goods are appropriate for the area but also helps build up impaired local economies. By working with and supporting local reliable relief agencies, the Church can build bridges, create friendships, and establish relationships that can extend far beyond the immediate crisis.

The Church expresses sincere gratitude for the uncounted acts of kindness and sacrifice that members of the Church and others have extended to those in need. In particular, it acknowledge the generous donations so many have made to fast offerings and to the LDS humanitarian fund. These funds make it possible for the Church to immediately reach out to those in need whether at home or around the world.

During times of calamity, a flood of outside volunteers can put a strain on local resources and siphon away needed food, water, and shelter that are in short supply for victims of the disaster. The Church has a vast local volunteer force among the members in the Philippines, and they are now and will continue to be engaged in the critical work of rescue, cleanup, and reconstruction.

Church welfare officials encourage members to pray for those affected by this disaster. They may also consider increasing their fast offering donations and donating to the Church’s humanitarian fund (give.lds.org/lds-aid). In addition, Church members could seek out and support other reputable agencies that are actively engaged in helping those who have been so deeply affected by this calamity.