By Ashley Chase
Editor’s Note: This story was part Universe Live’s October magazine show for The Daily Universe Magazine.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are strengthening, helping and still giving aid across the globe. Throughout the pandemic the Church has stepped up to give humanitarian aid to those in need.
The aid started in January 2020 when Church officials announced a shipment of protective gear to China. The Church worked together with the Hope Charity Organization to send more than 200,000 respiratory masks.
The package also included almost 870 pairs of protective goggles and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls. The materials spanned 68 pallets that were delivered to the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai.
And the shipments didn’t stop there.
“That’s what sustains life. It gives hope, it gives a tool and it also gives prosperity,” Navajo Project Coordinator Rebecca Benally said.
Only a few months later Latter-day Saints delivered two trucks full of supplies to Navajo families in need. The trucks sent more than 250 live sheep to Navajo Mountain and the Monument Valley.
They also sent 10,000 pounds of processed flour and thousands of pounds of frozen lamb meat the next month.
The community’s nearest grocery store is 100 miles away, so the food was appreciated.
At the same time, Sister Wendy Nelson encouraged faith which inspired a service project that thousands of members participated in.
Sister Nelson wrote a letter to the wives of leaders of the Church at the beginning of April. She compared the COVID-19 pandemic to some of the trials of the early pioneers. She promised that if members prayed, that miracles would happen. Sister Nelson’s letter motivated members to put their faith into action.
“It seems like it’s unleashing this great, compassionate heart that people have,” Sister Nelson said.
Church leader Jean B. Bingham encouraged members to join Utah’s Project-Protect to make 5 million medical masks for healthcare workers.
The results paid off and were even better than expected. The project collected nearly 6 million masks sewn by over 57,000 volunteers around Utah. People gave almost 800,000 hours of service with one mother alone making almost 2,000 masks.
Utahns could use pick up and drop off points as close as their own porches allowing them to work at any time of the day. Thanks to this service the project exceeded expectations.
The Church continues to encourage members to offer service to those suffering in the pandemic. If you are curious about what else Latter-day Saints are doing to offer help with COVID-19, you can visit the Church newsroom.