From helping refugees to clean-water projects, self-reliance courses and disaster relief, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members took part in 3,909 humanitarian projects in 188 countries in 2021, an increase from the previous year.
This outreach included $906 million from the Church and 6.8 million hours of volunteer work by everyday Latter-day Saints, according to the 2021 annual report of caring released on ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
“As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we commit to living the two great commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37–39),” the First Presidency wrote in the introduction to the report.
“As a Church, we are blessed to have the ability, global connections and resources to follow His admonition. … We are grateful for the selfless and faithful offerings of Church members and friends who make this possible. We invite all to join in being ‘anxiously engaged in a good cause’ as we continue to strengthen one another through service (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27).”
In 2020, the Church and its members participated in more than 3,600 projects in 160 counties, according to the 2020 annual report.
Following is a breakdown of the 2021 efforts in global humanitarian initiatives, emergency response, missionary and member volunteers, and JustServe.
Global humanitarian initiatives
- 1.74 million people helped through clean-water and sanitation projects.
- Over 600,000 students served through education initiatives.
- 135 mobility projects in 57 countries and territories.
- 104 food-security projects worldwide.
The Church worked with many organizations to support those in need, including Catholic Relief Services, Concern Worldwide, Helen Keller International, Jesuit Refugee Service, Jusoor, ShelterBox, UNHCR, UNICEF USA, USCRI, Water For People, WaterAid, CharityVision and Lions Club International Foundation.
The initiatives improved clean-water and sanitation systems, food security and educational resources for thousands of people. They also enabled better access to vision care, immunizations, wheelchair and mobility assistance, and maternal and newborn care.
The Church also provided gateways to quality education through the Perpetual Education Fund, Benson Scholarship program, BYU–Pathway Worldwide, EnglishConnect and programs designed for refugees and displaced persons around the world.
- 1 billion vaccine doses distributed.
- 80 million pounds of food donated.
- Over 105,000 individual donors at Church-sponsored blood drives.
- 199 emergency response projects in 61 countries and territories.
- 585 COVID-19 projects in 76 countries and territories.
Latter-day Saints responded in huge numbers to help communities after natural disasters in 2021, including tornadoes in the midwest and southern U.S., wildfires in California, Oregon and Australia, and flooding in Europe and the Philippines. The Church sent food and supplies around the country and the world to help refugees and displaced persons.
Church members donated blood in large numbers in 2021, from a multistake blood drive in Florida to blood donations in El Salvador and Colombia. Those who could not donate also helped with scheduling and promoting drives, helping people sign up, or volunteering on the day of a drive.
Examples of COVID-19 projects included a donation worth $4.15 million in May 2021 in a partnership with fellow humanitarian organizations to help send COVID-19 relief to India. And the Church sent cold chain equipment to Panama in November 2021 to help the country preserve COVID-19 vaccines.
Missionaries and member volunteers
- 58,981,916 pounds of goods recycled by Deseret Industries.
- 137,458 participants in self-reliance groups.
- 11,329 welfare and self-reliance missionaries and long-term volunteers.
- 9,054 Deseret Industries associates served.
- 2,800 addiction recovery program meetings per week in 30 countries and in 17 languages.
Welfare programs and services include the Church’s Employment Services program, which helps job seekers find employment; the Humanitarian Center and Deseret Manufacturing; and bishops storehouses. The Church’s emotional resilience program also expanded to 15 languages.
- 62,000 new local community volunteers registered through JustServe.
- 21,500 new JustServe volunteer projects created.
- 2,500 new organizations registered on JustServe.
In addition to the Church’s organized humanitarian efforts, Latter-day Saints spent countless hours ministering in their own communities, engaging in community service and using JustServe.org to do projects large and small.
Some of those projects covered by the Church News for 2021 included connecting with Syrian refugees, collecting stuffed animals for charity, organizing birthday supplies for foster children, buying new toys for kids in need, gathering winter clothing for homeless families, making Christmas ornaments for flood victims, cleaning up around communities, assembling meals, delivering valentines, tying quilts and a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The 2021 report concludes: “We express our heartfelt gratitude to all those who have generously donated or volunteered their time and efforts to these humanitarian causes. Your service has not gone unnoticed.”
“Many have given of their means through Church Philanthropies, and even more have given online or through their bishops. Because of your contributions of time, resources, energy and compassion, we are able to make a difference in the lives of thousands around the world and learn from those who have been served.”
See the full report for more details.