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Relief Society women around the world meet together, perform service throughout March and April


Women around the world have been collecting items for refugees and disaster victims, helping the homeless, painting schools, weeding and planting, and doing many other service projects large and small in their communities. 

They have also gathered with their wards and stakes, with young women and other women to celebrate the anniversary of the Relief Society. The organization has been recognized worldwide for its efforts to strengthen women and families, increase faith and offer relief under the motto “Charity Never Faileth.”

Read more: ‘Everyone belongs and we are all different’ — Relief Society celebrates 180th anniversary of women ministering, serving

This year marked 180 years since the Relief Society was officially established, and to celebrate, the General Relief Society presidency invited the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to look for ways to do Christlike service.

Women have followed the invitation, some before the anniversary date of March 17, and others since then. Following are some examples from Relief Society members around the world meeting and serving together in March and April.

Australia

Volunteers in Melbourne, Australia, pack food packs for people in need in their community, as part of a Relief Society service project in March 2022.

Volunteers in Melbourne, Australia, pack food packs for people in need in their community, as part of a Relief Society service project in March 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Volunteers from Mount Ridley and surrounding suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, organized a food drive recently to help those in need in their community.

The Church members worked with a local charity, The Humble Mission, to assemble more than 100 food packs and hygiene kits, according to the Church’s Australia Newsroom. The women also helped deliver the donations.

Mt. Ridley Ward Relief Society President Tobey Sapolu said, “What a weekend. My heart is full of thanks to all the Relief Society sisters for continuing to provide relief where needed, and for always answering the clarion call to serve.”

In Ipswich, Australia, Relief Society sisters first prayed to know who to help, and then gathered and donated essential items for families affected by the recent Queensland floods. 

The Ipswich Relief Society invited the ward to assist with gathering food, water, blankets and other essential items for these people in need, reported Australia Newsroom. They worked with a charity called Goodna Street Life to identify who needed more help.

The Relief Society women also helped the charity by unloading vans of supplies from other branches and organizing their shelves.

Ecuador

Members of the Puerto Bolívar Ecuador Stake gather together on March 19, 2022, in an activity commemorating the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society.

Members of the Puerto Bolívar Ecuador Stake gather together on March 19, 2022, in an activity commemorating the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Primary children, young women and invited friends from the community joined Relief Society sisters in the Machala Ecuador Puerto Bolívar Stake for their anniversary celebration on March 19.

Organizers said they wanted to focus on integration of new women who come into Relief Society and those who are part of the neighborhood and work in different organizations.

Attendees shared testimonies, displayed handmade crafts, shared friendships and shared a meal together, reported the Church’s Ecuador Newsroom.

One of the participants, Dolores Salinas, said: “This organization is wonderful, I am very happy to belong to it and I testify that the Relief Society really allows us to unite more as daughters of God. I thank Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for having instituted this divine organization on earth.”

Read more: Relief Society women answer the invitation to serve before organization’s 180th anniversary

Another woman there, Aurora Amagua de Reyna, said: “We all have special talents and abilities that our Heavenly Father gave us. It is very gratifying to know how my talents have helped me through difficult times in my life. I am willing to share my skills with other sisters so that they too can develop their talents.”

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, the Relief Society focused on spiritual and physical self-reliance in their meeting. They learned more about saving and cooking techniques and shared testimonies of how Relief Society has blessed them.

The Manta Ecuador Stake had a special conference for the Relief Society, and heard from pioneers of the Church in their own area. The speakers shared how they learned about the Church and testified of their conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

The six wards in the stake then held a cultural event, showing historical photos, food, clothing, and folk dances from the Church’s pioneer era.

El Salvador

A choir and regional orchestra perform at a special women’s meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador, for the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

A choir and regional orchestra perform at a special women’s meeting in San Salvador, El Salvador, for the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A special women’s conference was held in El Salvador on Saturday, March 12, with the San Salvador El Salvador Los Heroes and La Libertad stakes.

Relief Society leaders shared messages encouraging and inviting Latter-day Saint women to strengthen their testimonies and faith in Jesus Christ, reported the Church’s El Salvador Newsroom.

Area Organization Advisor Indira de Marves said: “We are daughters of a Heavenly Father who knows our weaknesses and strengths, and you have many strengths; as women we have special characteristics that allow us to have the capacity to be better disciples of Jesus Christ, better wives and mothers, better daughters and leaders.”

Germany

Missionaries join Relief Society sisters in a service project at the St. Anna Caritas Center for the Elderly in Gelsenkirchen-Bulmke-Hüllen, Germany, in March 2022.

Missionaries join Relief Society sisters in a service project at the St. Anna Caritas Center for the Elderly in Gelsenkirchen-Bulmke-Hüllen, Germany, in March 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Women and young women from the Herne Ward met at the St. Anna Caritas Center for the elderly in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, to perform a day of service.

The Church’s Germany Newsroom reported that the women between the ages of 15 and 81 planted flower tubs and raised beds for the summer, cleared the terraces of weeds and cleaned the pavilion in the garden.

The day had bright sunshine and a lot of good humor, according to the report. The women also participated in talks, walks and games with the center’s residents, and ate a meal with them.

Hungary

A member of the Relief Society in Pécs, Hungary, shows donated items collected in March 2022 for a service project commemorating the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society.

A member of the Relief Society in Pécs, Hungary, shows donated items collected in March 2022 for a service project commemorating the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Sisters in Hungary focused their day of service on March 19 to help and support families of refugees fleeing from Ukraine.

A report from the Church’s Hungary Newsroom explained how Relief Society members have sorted and grouped clothing collected for those in need in Ukraine. They also inspected, grouped, boxed and labeled food and hygiene products before the items were packed in a truck for transport.

The Relief Society organizations around Hungary worked with charitable partners and non-governmental organizations to get the donations to an orphanage in Ukraine, a nursing home, farm and a refugee camp in Kunbaracs, Hungary.

Read more: What the Church is doing to help in Eastern Europe

Tünde Kutasiné Pető said some of the sisters who came to serve together had not been at Church events or gatherings for a long time: “We worked together in the vineyard of the Lord as if it had not been several years since they left. And those who could not personally participate in the program also sent a donation with some kind lines. Our hearts were filled with a sense of gratitude for these sisters,” she said.

In Budapest, Relief Society sisters and missionaries put together toiletries for the Hungarian Maltese Charity. Women living in Kecskemét took part in a large tree planting service, and some of them also made donations to those in need. 

In Szeged, a beautiful tablecloth was sewn, on which everyone could embroider their favorite scripture. Young single adults and their friends also participated in collecting and packing donations for those in need.

Mexico

Women from the Cancun, Mexico, area attend the Mérida Mexico Temple together to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society in March 2022.

Women from the Cancun, Mexico, area attend the Mérida Mexico Temple together to commemorate the 180th anniversary of the Relief Society in March 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Relief Society sisters in Mexico commemorated the 180th anniversary with dances, skits, service activities, classes, festivities and temple visits, reported the Church’s Mexico Newsroom.

Many participated in service at the stake, district, ward and branch levels from Tijuana to Cancun. They also shared photos on their social media accounts of the activities and events.

For example, sisters from the Reynosa Mexico East Stake and the Acapulco Stake brought food to hospitals for family members of patients. In the Oaxaca Mexico Amapolas Stake, the sisters planned three days of activities in order to meet as sisters, share their experiences and strengthen their faith in Jesus Christ.

Similar events happened around the country, making the month of March a special month, said the Newsroom report.

Nicaragua

Women in Managua, Nicaragua, prepare food to serve at Bertha Calderón Hospital on March 9, 2022, for a Relief Society service activity.

Women in Managua, Nicaragua, prepare food to serve at Bertha Calderón Hospital on March 9, 2022, for a Relief Society service activity.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Women served at Bertha Calderon Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua, on March 9 as part of the Relief Society anniversary celebration and International Women’s Day.

The hospital is a women’s hospital. Relief Society sisters from the Managua Nicaragua Bello Horizonte Stake and others served more than 100 plates of food to patients and relatives who had traveled to the capital to receive treatment.

Mayra Azucena Rosa de López told the Church’s Nicaragua Newsroom about her feelings after leaving the service project: “I felt with great joy to serve other women unknown to me, but equally loved by the Lord. The peace and joy I felt I cannot describe in words, but I thought how much Father loves us no matter what condition we are in. Coming out of the hospital I had a brainstorm of ideas to serve,” she said.

La Rotonda Ward Relief Society president Karola Loaisiga Ortega said, “Without a doubt it was a wonderful experience that allows us to give a little of what we receive.”

Peru

Relief Society members in the Magdalena Peru Stake deliver clothing, cleaning supplies and hygiene items to residents of Jicamarca in Huarochirí, Peru.

Relief Society members in the Magdalena Peru Stake deliver clothing, cleaning supplies and hygiene items to residents of Jicamarca in Huarochirí, Peru.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Volunteers from the Lima Peru Magdalena Stake Relief Society delivered clothing, cleaning supplies and hygiene items to a group of residents of Jicamarca in Huarochirí on Thursday, April 14. The center includes a dining room or soup kitchen. 

The Church’s Peru Newsroom said the stake’s Relief Society presidency, president Lourdes Tafur Pittman and her counselors Carolina Ortiz Cortez and Silvia Sofía Salas Rojas, went together to make the donations in person. 

The president of the organization, Maribel Rafaele, expressed her gratitude to the Relief Society sisters: “We are very grateful because with your donations you have made an act of love possible.”

Church News podcast, Episode 74: Relief Society President Jean B. Bingham on the 180th anniversary of the worldwide women’s organization

United Kingdom and Ireland

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, poses with with sister missionaries in Belfast, United Kingdom, during a service project there in March 2022.

Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, poses with with sister missionaries in Belfast, United Kingdom, during a service project there in March 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

In Canterbury, England, on March 17, Sister Reyna I. Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, and Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, served with other women in the Canterbury Ward as they built lightweight insulated sleeping pods, according to the Church’s United Kingdom Newsroom

Marisa Rickard, who was the committee lead for the service activity, said: “There is a great ability in women to see a need and to fill it. The seemingly impossible is possible when we use our faith to act. There is no limitation to what Heavenly Father can do with a willing heart.”

In the York England Stake, on Friday, March 18, Sister Aburto and Sister Craig visited women as they sewed quilts, put together personal hygiene products, made heart-shaped pillows for cancer patients, made care packages for two primary schools, sorted clothing for Ukrainian refugees and wrote letters to those who need encouragement.

Sister Aburto and Sister Craig mark Relief Society 180th anniversary serving, ministering in western Europe

Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, joins in fun with the young women in Dublin, Ireland, on March 19, 2022.

Sister Michelle D. Craig, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, joins in fun with the young women in Dublin, Ireland, on March 19, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On March 19th, young women and Relief Society sisters gathered at the Dublin Ireland Stake Center for a day of service, and were joined by Sister Aburto, Sister Craig and Sister Traci De Marco, an area organization adviser. 

The theme for the day was ‘’Serving Women in every Season’’ with projects that serve girls and women in all seasons of their lives. 

“We have chosen projects that were personal and local to each of the branches and wards in the stake and district to help our sisters feel more a part of our Day of Service. Plus, we hope to inspire and motivate them to go out and find causes to help and get involved with,” said Veronica Holton, Dublin stake Relief Society President, in the Church’s Ireland Newsroom report.

Meanwhile, in Belfast, young women and Relief Society sisters participated in the Belfast Northern Ireland Stake Day of Service by helping a variety of local charitable causes. Sisters came prepared with sewing machines, knitting needles and fabric ready to sew, knit, sort and pack for the various causes supported throughout the day, according to another report from the Ireland Newsroom site.

Donated items were sorted into packs to be distributed to those experiencing homelessness or need in the local community. Other packs were sent to support the refugees fleeing Ukraine. Sister Aburto and Sister Craig also visited the service project to hear about the causes the women were working to support.

In Glasgow, Scotland, Relief Society members collected toiletries and bedding to help women and children in their local community. The items included shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, diapers and wipes, as well as quilts and pillows, reported JustServe U.K. on social media

The women packaged the hygiene items into individual packs and donated them to local women’s shelters. JustServe reported that the Scotland efforts were part of the larger day of service around the United Kingdom, and many items were generously donated.

Uruguay

Members of the Montevideo North Stake Relief Society paint playground equipment at a local school in Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 9, 2022.

Members of the Montevideo North Stake Relief Society paint playground equipment at a local school in Montevideo, Uruguay, on April 9, 2022.

Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

On Saturday, April 9, Relief Society members from Montevideo, Uruguay, held a service activity at Public School No. 379.

The women painted the games and benches in the school’s courtyard, earning the thanks of the school’s director, reported the Church’s Uruguay Newsroom.

Afterward, the Montevideo Uruguay North Stake Relief Society presidency met with the director of the school and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and a brochure for the Church’s Children and Youth Program.

The stake Relief Society president, Carmen Ancheta, highlighted the role of the Church and the Relief Society’s purpose of serving others by following the example of Jesus Christ. “We are happy to be able to serve the community, and in this opportunity the children, generating a positive impact on their lives,” she said.

Leaders share love, appreciation and experiences on Relief Society’s 180th anniversary

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