Many Latter-day Saints and others who have seen the devastation in the Philippines have contacted the Church wanting to know how they can help. They are encouraged to pray for those affected by this disaster. They may also consider increasing their fast-offering donations and/or donating to the Church humanitarian aid fund. The Church draws upon these funds to sustain its humanitarian work around the world. There are many opportunities to support other reputable agencies that also respond to disasters.
Millions of people in the world suffer from natural disasters every year. When disasters occur, LDS Charities sends food, clothing, medical supplies, and other emergency relief assistance to bless the lives of those with urgent needs.
Last year, LDS Charities responded to 111 requests in 50 countries. They included response to earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, relief to 55,000 refugees in Libya, and emergency aid to mudslide victims in El Salvador.
One hundred percent of every dollar donated is used to help those in need without regard to race, religion, or ethnic origin.
The Humanitarian Services is a branch of the Church’s Welfare Service department. The organization’s stated mission is to relieve suffering, to foster self-reliance for people of all nationalities and religions, and to provide opportunities for service.
The Church considers humanitarian work to be an essential part of its mission to bless all humanity in emulation of Jesus Christ “who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38). Throughout its history, the Church has always provided for those in need and is perhaps best known for its efforts to take care of its own. In 1842, the Church organized the Women’s Relief Society, with a primary focus to provide “relief” to suffering members and ultimately to all people. During the Great Depression the Church organized a welfare program, now administered the church’s Welfare Services department, to help provide for the needs of its members.
As the program has grown, the church’s welfare efforts have expanded to help people around the world regardless of religion, race, or nationality. The Church’s Humanitarian Services was created to coordinate these efforts in partnership with government and other nonprofit agencies around the world. Key humanitarian initiatives include clean water, vision treatment, wheelchair provision, neonatal resuscitation, and disaster relief. Other initiatives include immunizations, family enrichment programs, and family food production. In 2008, the Church’s Humanitarian Services provided aid to 3.3 million people in 122 countries, and since 1985 help has been given to 23 million people in 163 nations. All of these initiatives, as well as support and advice on personal and community preparation for disasters can be found on the Church’s Provident Living website.
The funding for LDS Humanitarian Services comes from philanthropic support of the church’s members and other donors. Donations to the Humanitarian Fund are collected through local bishops and through donations here.
From 1985 – 2009, $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid was given throughout 178 countries.