Church's humanitarian efforts provide relief around the world

A relief effort to Rwanda by the Church initiated several weeks ago and announced by the First Presidency July 28 is part of the Church's overall humanitarian service program. (Please see July 30 Church News.)

In recent weeks, Church personnel and financial and other resources have been made available to a variety of organizations and projects in more than 50 countries and many states in the United States, according to the announcement by the Church.The $760,000 Rwanda relief package is an example of these efforts in which the Church is trying to be responsive, said Isaac Ferguson, director of Program Development and Humanitarian Service of the Welfare Services Department. The Church works closely with relief agencies that are involved on a day-to-day basis.

Typically, he said, the Church provides immediate assistance in extreme emergencies, and often continues to assist during the rehabilitation phase following a catastrophe.

An example of this is the assistance that has been provided to victims of the Croatia-Bosnia conflict and the conflict in Somalia. In Somalia, the Church is providing long-term assistance of food, as well as rehabilitation to help the people back to their homes and farms.

Typically, Church efforts consist of shipping a combination of food and clothing, coupled with appropriate donations of cash to offset expenses of delivering the goods and services to the people, said Brother Ferguson.

A number of Church members have asked how to donate to such relief efforts. Those desiring to contribute directly to these services can write "Humanitarian Service" on the `Other" line of the standard donation slip, enter in the desired amount, and give the contribution to their bishop or branch president, who will immediately forward it to the Church.

The contributor can also choose to send the contribution directly to Humanitarian Services at Church headquarters.

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