As concerns regarding the respiratory illness coronavirus continue to rise, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, inquired of his longtime friends in China as to what might be needed.
Through these efforts, the Church learned of a need for protective equipment at the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai, where supplies have been depleted because of the outbreak in Wuhan. In partnering with Project HOPE, plans are being made to distribute the needed supplies.
Working with Project HOPE, a plane from Salt Lake City is being chartered to transport supplies from the Church’s Bishops’ Central Storehouse in Salt Lake City. A second shipment will be sent from the Church’s storehouse in Atlanta. In all there will be 220,000 respirator masks, 870 pairs of protective goggles and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls sent on 79 pallets of protective medical equipment…
Coronavirus was first identified in the Hubei Province of China, where the number of infections has reached nearly 6,000, with dozens more confirmed cases outside of mainland China. Governments and citizens around the world are stepping up precautions to contain the spread of the virus.
“These are our dear brothers and sisters,” said President Nelson. “We feel privileged to be able to offer some small measure of help. We pray for them, and know God will bless them.”
In Shanghai, Latter-day Saint volunteers hope to assist in the receipt and distribution of the supplies to those in need.
Meanwhile, the Church is working with other agencies in China to see if additional help may be given.
Why the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has given more than $2 billion to humanitarian aid worldwide
In his travels and many interactions with presidents, prime ministers and ambassadors, President Russell M. Nelson said he has heard a consistent message.
These leaders want to thank The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for its generous humanitarian aid and the strength of its members as loyal, contributing citizens in their respective countries. Other world leaders have visited the First Presidency asking for the church to be established in their countries.
“Why? Because they know Latter-day Saints will help to build strong families and communities, making life better for others wherever they live,” President Nelson said. “Regardless of where we call home, members of the church feel passionately about the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Thus, our greatest joy comes as we help our brothers and sisters, no matter where we live in this wonderful world.”…
The church’s humanitarian outreach started in 1984 when a church-wide fast raised $6.4 million for people suffering from a drought in Ethiopia. Since then, Latter-day Saint Charities has contributed more than $2 billion to humanitarian aid. The motivation to help others stems from the Savior’s second commandment to love your neighbor, and resources are drawn from members who fast and contribute fast offerings, President Nelson said.
“This assistance is offered to recipients regardless of their church affiliation, nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender or political persuasion,” he said.
Among the assistance offered:
- Fighting hunger: To help combat hunger among Latter-day Saints, the church operates 124 bishops’ storehouses throughout the world that process approximately 400,000 food orders each year for those in need…
- Clean water: There has been a special effort to assist communities without clean water in more than 75 countries….
- Refugees: The church has assisted refugees to find relief from civil strife, the ravages of nature and religious persecution. In 2018, the church provided emergency supplies to refugees in 56 countries.
- Clothing the poor: Millions of pounds of clothing collected through Deseret Industries are being distributed by bishops to members of their local congregations and other charitable organizations worldwide…
- Vision care: Last year the church facilitated vision care for more than 300,000 people in 35 countries, newborn care for thousands of mothers and infants in 39 countries, and wheelchairs for more than 50,000 people living in dozens of countries…
- Disaster relief: The church, with its members wearing yellow vests, has been recognized for being among the first responders in reacting to natural disasters, delivering relief supplies and offering volunteer assistance…