The Pacific Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is urging members who want to aid those in Tonga affected by recent natural disasters to donate to the Church’s humanitarian fund.
“The worldwide outpouring of love for the people of Tonga since the Jan. 15 volcanic eruption and tsunami has been deeply appreciated,” Elder K. Brett Nattress of the Pacific Area Presidency said in a press release. Many people who have family in Tonga or those who wish to help have been sending care packages, supplies and more to Tonga.
Elder Nattress said if members of the Church wish to help the people of Tonga, he recommends they donate to the Church’s humanitarian fund or another humanitarian charity of their choice. A post on the Church’s Pacific newsroom Facebook page said by donating to the Church’s humanitarian fund, “local leaders can provide the exact resources needed” to best help the Tongan people.
“Prayers and posted messages of love and support are also very much appreciated,” Elder Nattress said in the Pacific Newsroom press release.
A little over a week after the volcanic eruption and aftermath hit Tonga, children from a stake in Auckland, New Zealand sent handwritten notes and drawings expressing their loves and prayers. Other stakes and members around the world have followed their lead in sending messages of love.
Countless more messages of support for the Tongans were also shared on the Church’s Pacific Inspiration Facebook group.
The First Presidency released a letter on Jan. 21 saying “We will stand with you over the coming months to assist you as you recover and rebuild with your usual faith in Christ, warm smiles and neighborly love.”
The Church has since donated water, face masks, satellite phones and other emergency items to Tonga.