Following a hurricane and severe flooding in Houston, Texas, USA, an elderly woman saw Latter-day Saints dressed in yellow Helping Hands T-shirts on their way to assist victims of the devastation. “I knew the Mormons would come!” she said.
This event, reported in a Facebook post by the president of the Texas Houston South Mission, Aaron T. Hall, represents how the Church comes to the aid of both members and neighbors during times of trouble. “There is no challenge too great for the members of the Lord’s Church!” President Hall wrote.
When disaster strikes, the Church is often among the first to respond, and in affected areas, Church humanitarian aid often continues during both short-term and long-term recovery, with the goal of establishing self-reliance. Local leaders collaborate with Church headquarters in assessing and providing for needs and in organizing members to assist with distribution of resources, cleanup, restoration, and rebuilding.
Through LDS Charities and partnering with established relief agencies in affected areas, the Church has recently provided aid to victims of flooding in Peru; mudslides in Sierra Leone; wildfires in Montana, USA, and Alberta, Canada; hurricanes in Texas, Florida, and Caribbean islands, including Puerto Rico, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic; and two powerful earthquakes in Mexico.
In September, the Church announced that it will provide U.S. $11 million to support famine relief projects and feed malnourished children in eight countries in Africa and the Middle East. LDS Charities is partnering with 11 organizations on 25 projects to distribute the aid.
LDS Charities has provided nearly $2 billion in assistance to millions of people in 189 countries since 1985, starting with relief provided to victims of famine in Ethiopia.