Continuing to address needs during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is partnering with other organizations around the world for relief projects, the First Presidency announced in a letter on Tuesday, April 14.
More than 110 relief projects in 57 countries have been approved by Church leaders as of April 14, according to the letter. Church members are invited to participate in these and other relief projects in their communities.
“Most of these are done with trusted partners from humanitarian agencies, health ministries and hospitals, which allows us to use our resources — including food, hygiene products, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, cash and other commodities — in places where they can do the most good,” the First Presidency wrote.
For example, Beehive Clothing facilities in Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, the Philippines and Utah are temporarily shifting their operations from the manufacture of religious clothing to the sewing of masks and gowns needed by local health care professionals and communities.
In Utah, the Relief Society is leading participation in a partnership between Latter-day Saint Charities, Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health to provide much-needed personal protective equipment. Church members, in their homes, will help sew 5 million clinical face masks, which will be donated to healthcare workers.
Commenting on the Relief Society’s efforts in this cause, President Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president, told the Church News, “We’re very happy to have the opportunity to volunteer and be of service at this critical time.”
As a global organization, the Relief Society and its members are always looking for ways to lift and support their local communities, President Bingham said. “We really appreciate the First Presidency’s encouragement to participate in this effort.”
Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities and a member of the Relief Society general presidency, told Newsroom, “We’re trying to work with governments [and] community leaders and find out what they need and then respond.”
“Latter-day Saint Charities is very lucky because we have partnerships, whether it’s a pandemic or not,” Sister Eubank added. “We’ve had trusted relationships over time. So when there is a pandemic, we don’t have to start from scratch. We know exactly how to help each other.”
She continued, “As a member of the governing board of Latter-day Saint Charites, I’m personally very grateful for the more than 100 COVID-19 projects to which we have been able to contribute thus far.”
The First Presidency gratefully acknowledged those who have joined in prayer and fasting. “We know God will hear and answer our prayers. We have been taught to be ‘anxiously engaged’ in relieving suffering and caring for those in need (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:27).”
“We invite our members to participate in these and other relief projects in their areas and communities as opportunities arise and as local government directives and personal circumstances allow,” the First Presidency wrote. “May we be blessed in our efforts to care for others and provide hope and help to our Heavenly Father’s children everywhere.”