Jesus Christ is the perfect example of caring for those in need. As His followers, we seek to love God and our neighbors throughout the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is eager to bless others and to help those in need. We are blessed to have the ability, resources, and trusted global connections to carry out this sacred responsibility, which we consider a joyful privilege.
When we love God with all our hearts, He turns our hearts to the well-being of others in a beautiful, virtuous cycle. Our world is filled with challenges of conflict, hunger, disease, disaster, poverty, pandemics, and gaps in basic human needs. Whatever may come, we have faith and confidence in the goodness of people.
We are pleased to share this annual report on our work to care for God’s children. We gratefully acknowledge the selfless service and donation of time, funds, and other resources by Church members and friends as we collectively care for others.
As we continue to love and strengthen one another through service, we invite all to join us in this important work.
“The two great commandments can guide us: first, to love God and, second, to love our neighbor. We show our love by serving.”
—President Russell M. Nelson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
$1.02 billion was expended to help those in need across the world.
174 refugee response projects and 11,030 welfare and self-reliance missionaries.
520 food security projects, 54 mobility projects, 156 clean water projects, 42 vision care projects, 45 maternal care projects, and 483 emergency response projects.
Volunteers contributed more than 6.3 million hours of service.
69,115 new JustServe users registered, and 16,285 new JustServe projects created.
439 education projects, 106,261 self-reliance course participants, 525 addiction recovery meetings per week, and 9,186 Deseret Industries associates served.
humanitarian projects in 2022
countries and territories served
Caring for Those in Need
“Around the world, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find joy in giving our time, talents, and resources to help those in need—especially when it is not convenient or comfortable to do so. We are grateful for opportunities to become better disciples of Jesus Christ as we live His second great commandment.”
—Sister J. Anette Dennis, First Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency
Our Commitment to Give
Service Within The Church
As part of our covenant to love God and love our neighbors, Church members fast for one day each month and generously donate the value of the meals missed to benefit other members in need.
In addition, Church members offer their time, talents, compassion, materials, and financial resources. These contributions are part of the “Lord’s storehouse” of resources to help His children.
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, showing love to others through sharing resources and giving service is a fundamental part of our beliefs—and has been since the early days of the Church.
The Relief Society is a women’s organization charged with caring for individuals and families experiencing need. Established in 1842, the organization has guided generations of Church members as they have worked to minister to anyone in need of help. In 2022, this dedication to charity was honored through a day of service projects completed around the world, celebrating the Relief Society’s 180th anniversary.
For members of the Church, this service is natural and done without expectation of recognition or reward. Kym, a Church member in Germany, summed up the willingness of members to serve, saying, “The Lord’s storehouse is people who willingly devote their time, talents, skills, or material means to help others … regardless of race, religion, or situation. It is humbling to be part of the Lord’s storehouse.”
Service to All
Last year, Church congregations in Colombia organized and collected donations for the Casa Hermana Helena Foundation. These donations allowed young girls who had been abandoned to feel safe and loved as they adjusted to their new lives.
In the Pacific Area, Latter-day Saints came together to support their neighbors after Tonga was impacted by an earthquake, a nearby volcanic eruption, and a tsunami. Congregations throughout the area worked together with their community to donate and collect food, clothing, water, hygiene products, and equipment to help the people in Tonga. This included 300 tons of supplies from Tahiti alone.
When a severe snowstorm stranded dozens of adults and children in Idaho in the United States, the local Church congregation opened their meetinghouse. Together with their community, they provided hot meals to the travelers and collected donations of toys, infant formula, and other necessities to help until the storm passed and the roads reopened.
In 2022, Church members’ donations of blood to the American Red Cross surpassed one million units, reaching an estimated three million people. Similar blood drives are organized by congregations in areas all over the world.
Missionaries Serving Church Members and the Community
Hundreds of missionaries across the world devote several months of their lives to help carry out the work of caring for those in need.
Some, like the Thomases, work in operations such as Employment Services that help Church members build self-reliance. They provide interview coaching, resume writing help, and networking opportunities to those looking for a job. Others serve the community at large by identifying and administering humanitarian projects in their assigned areas. Elder Christensen, for example, coordinates the Church’s collaboration with Colori Vivi, a company in Italy that provides tailoring jobs and training for mothers who have been displaced from their homes.
Missionaries are often called upon to offer their assistance in emergencies and other disasters. In Poland, the Footes (a humanitarian service missionary couple) helped to lighten the burdens of others when they noticed that many displaced persons arriving at the train station were hauling loads of belongings in heavy shopping bags or rucksacks. To help, the Footes began handing out donated rolling suitcases to anyone who needed them. At one point, as many as 60 suitcases were handed out in a single day.
Missionaries drove up to six hours from Canada to a small town in Minnesota in the United States to coordinate relief efforts following several floods. Over the span of a month, missionaries and other volunteers from the region worked 12- to 14-hour days placing sandbags around homes and businesses throughout the impacted areas.
These examples of service are only a few of many performed by missionaries each year. Such small acts accumulate to relieve burdens and restore hope.
“This work is exhausting, physically and emotionally,” said Sister Foote. “But you can see the light come into their eyes with renewed hope. We can see we have lightened someone else’s burden. It is all so worthwhile.”
Missionaries are encouraged to spend 4–40 hours per week providing community service. For instance, missionaries in Ecuador volunteered their time and efforts to clear debris from an abandoned lot so they could then help build a Catholic chapel. Once it is finished, missionaries plan to offer free English classes there every week for the local community.
IN 2022, the world saw a dramatic rise in the numbers of people displaced from their homes by natural disasters and armed conflict. In addition to significant financial donations to refugee assistance programs, Church members worked within their communities to support those who were displaced. “The love and desire to help is overwhelming to see,” said Julia, a member of the Church in Austria. “People’s hearts are drawn toward each other.”
Around the world, Latter-day Saints volunteered at local shelters and worked with others in their communities to donate, collect, sort, package, and deliver much-needed food, clothing, hygiene items, medical supplies, and other essentials. These donations helped people who were displaced following conflict in Europe and Africa, earthquakes and tropical storms in the Caribbean and Pacific, flooding in Asia and the Middle East, and more. In Canada, Church members hosted a traditional Ukrainian dinner for the community, raising funds for refugee relief efforts.
Emotional aid, also known as psychological first aid, is a critical support for people who have experienced a crisis. In 2022, Antonio, a Church member in Portugal, was serving at his local refugee reception center. As part of his service, Antonio received training in psychological first aid. That training taught Antonio how to show compassion and connect with the individuals he served. As he listened to others express their feelings, he felt prepared to empathize, offer hope, and suggest coping strategies.
Following the outbreak of armed conflict in Ukraine, European Church members showed their commitment to serving others. They organized thousands of beds—many within their own homes—for those displaced by the conflict. The Church worked closely with refugee assistance organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Jesuit Refugee Services to connect displaced individuals with services to meet their immediate needs. In Europe, newly arrived Ukrainians were able to connect with local government agencies for help, thanks to Church members who could speak their language.
Missionaries also participated in providing relief to displaced individuals throughout the world. Missionaries volunteered at reception centers in Poland, Hungary, and Romania, offering language assistance, cleaning the facilities, serving food, and sorting donations. In Germany, missionaries were deployed to train stations, where they carried signs showing the languages they spoke and the help they could provide.
“This is natural,” said Sylwia, a Church member in Poland. “When you see people who need help, you help. … It doesn’t matter whether you are a member of the Church or not. [Heavenly Father] loves all people.”
Children and Youth in Action
In 2022, the young people of the Church around the world organized and participated in many projects to help their fellow men and women.
In Ethopia, 70 young men and women spent six weeks planting fruit trees to feed people in need within their community. Hana, one of the young women who helped on the project, said, “It was about God, serving, and loving one another. I will never forget this experience.”
In Italy, youth ages 14 through 30 traveled around the city of Milan, distributing lists of materials needed to help Ukrainian refugees. This led to the donation of enough items from the community to fill 551 boxes, which were then packed and prepared by the youth.
In the United States, young children and their families gathered to clean cemeteries around Massachusetts. Three of these children cleaned graves alongside their grandfather, who shared that the experience helped him deepen his relationship with them as they worked and talked about their ancestors.
In Fiji, 60 young men and women of the Church served their local community by repainting the Josaia Methodist Church in the village of Lomanikoro. They spent six hours cleaning and painting the walls of the building, which serves as a sanctuary for over 200 individuals.
“JustServe is more than a program or a website, it is a movement and a way that we can live our covenants. Many members want to serve in their communities, but they may not know how they can get started. Using JustServe they can find service opportunities that match their interests and availability. JustServe offers people direction and helps them connect to service projects that will bless and strengthen their community.”
—Bishop Gerald Causse, Presiding Bishop
JustServe Where You Are
JustServe is available in 14 countries
69,115 new registered users in 2022
14,061 total organizations represented
In addition to the service they give to one another, Church members strive to participate and involve others in service across their communities. They join with people of all backgrounds to solve local problems and extend a hand of friendship.
To help achieve this goal, the Church operates JustServe as an online community service platform, where individuals can connect with local projects in their area. Through JustServe, volunteers can find both in-person and remote service opportunities, and organizations can obtain the help they need to accomplish their service goals.
JustServe encourages collaboration and community involvement on local projects. Individuals of all congregations—or no congregation—work together, rely on one another, and, most importantly, develop love for one another as they serve.
During 2022, 16,285 projects were added to the platform, and many people teamed up to accomplish great work in their communities. Through JustServe, James received crucial items needed for the New Kiskeya Christian School in Haiti, where he serves as superintendent. A group of volunteers in San Bernadino, California, used JustServe to collect donations of books, microscopes, models of the human skeleton and the solar system, and more. James felt that this was an answer to prayer, as he had no idea how he would procure the needed items for his students until he received a call from the JustServe volunteers.
Susan coordinated a JustServe project in her community of Idaho Falls, where volunteers (including many children) wrote valentines for residents of the local senior living center. As Susan delivered these 5,050 valentines, she developed a friendship with Bonny, who was moved to tears when she was handed a valentine and a pink rose.
In Germany, local Church members in Frankfurt and Friedrichsdorf organized a project for displaced Ukrainians in the area. Twenty women came together to paint furniture for the Caritas Homeless Shelter in Frankfurt, which was hosting several families fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. They decided to paint the furniture in lighter colors to help brighten up the shelter and lift the spirits of the families going through a difficult time. The project allowed the women to form friendships with the families and bring them some hope during the crisis.
554 projects with interfaith organizations in the US/Canada
225 projects with interfaith organizations internationally
JustServe provides the opportunity for communities of diverse people to come together and serve one another. Members of any faith tradition have the opportunity to use the platform to participate in or organize projects.
In Oregon, for example, JustServe connected the local Latter-day Saint congregation with several faith groups in the area—including the Bilal Masjid Mosque. These groups united to organize a trash cleanup day, helping to beautify the city after several instances of vandalism. Individuals across all congregations were able to serve together and form new friendships that will lead to future collaborations.
In California, six different faiths and a local nonprofit, James Storehouse, joined with Latter-day Saints to collect over 200 dresses, along with shoes, sweaters, skirts, business jackets, and makeup—not to mention hundreds of handwritten notes of encouragement. These items were donated to benefit young women in foster care, ensuring they had clothing for upcoming school dances and job interviews. Volunteers hosted a “Beautiful You” event where the young women could practice interview skills and make connections with members of the community.
And in Utah, women from the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, St. Olaf Catholic Church, Bountiful Community Church, and the local congregation of Latter-day Saints came together to participate in their yearly Women of Faith Service Project. Within 45 minutes, the volunteers filled an entire truck with craft kits, blankets, hygiene kits, and other items for members of the community.
“CARE’s invaluable collaboration with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has ensured we are able to continue filling critical gaps and meeting the needs of vulnerable communities in what has been another very difficult year. We are grateful for the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who give very generously to bring help and hope to others in this world.”
—Michelle Nuinn, Care USA President and CEO
Projects completed in 157 countries and territories worldwide
Collaborated with 2,629 organizations in 2022
46 childhood nutrition projects funded
Funded 6 major immunization projects globally
We believe that everyone should have access to nutritious food, clean water, quality education, and healthcare. Many solutions to these issues are addressed by initiatives that are designed and managed by the Church’s various administrative areas across the world. In addition, the Church also carries out selected global initiatives each year. Working with other organizations in 2022, we focused on addressing challenging issues such as chronic diseases, barriers to education, needs of displaced people, and many others. These initiatives focus on building sustainable solutions that promote self-reliance and dignity for all.
One such focus in 2022 was on child nutrition. To address this critical need, the Church provided a $32 million donation—its largest one-time contribution to a humanitarian organization—to the United Nations World Food Programme. Additionally, a $5 million donation was provided to United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to support its “No Time to Waste” global nutrition campaign. These combined contributions will help nearly two million individuals across dozens of countries. We continue to collaborate with other organizations to provide education and funding to help parents recognize the signs of malnutrition and gain access to needed healthcare.
“The Church’s historic $32 million grant this year to World Food Program USA … exemplifies how the Church and its members live their faith daily and uphold the highest commitment to service. The Church’s generous philanthropy enables us to assist millions of families, providing them with stability and hope for a better future.”
—Barron Segar, World Food Program USA President and CEO
Church members in the Philippines, Guatemala, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Mozambique have joined forces with community health workers and civic organizations to screen children for signs of malnutrition. They have also worked with families to develop solutions for the many causes of malnutrition. These include awareness campaigns, cooking classes, access to nutrient-rich foods, and clinical services like vaccination and deworming.
In 2022, the Church completed the sixth year of its holiday initiative, Light the World. In 23 cities across the United States, community residents brightened the lives of those in need around the world by donating to the Church’s giving machines. Because the Church covered the operational expenses of the machines, charitable organizations were able to receive every penny donated toward their humanitarian efforts.
This year, the donations of Church members and friends to Light the World provided meals, clothing for children, polio vaccines, chickens to help struggling families, feminine hygiene kits, and more. People from around the world contributed, with total donations exceeding millions.
Another focus in 2022 was improving healthcare worldwide. The American Red Cross was able to acquire new machines for the collection and maintenance of blood platelets through a $5.1 million donation by the Church. Sickle cell disease research is vital to helping alleviate this condition, which disproportionately impacts community members of African descent. This project is aimed at reaching more members of the Black community by inviting them to participate as blood donors in the ongoing studies to eradicate this disease.
Africa and the Middle East
94 food security projects
Clean water provided for 626,475 people
4,785 wheelchairs donated
Encompassing millions of square miles, Africa and the Middle East are beautiful and culturally vibrant. However, in certain regions, civil conflict is leading to high levels of displacement.
Many in Africa and the Middle East struggle to find meaningful employment—often due to lack of access to jobs, education, and training. Some struggle to find employment due to their status as displaced persons. In some areas, unemployment is as high as 60%, which leads to increased levels of poverty and hunger. These factors have been exacerbated by high transmission rates of COVID-19, lockdown measures, and supply shortages.
In 2022, we worked to address these issues with solutions that focus on long-term sustainability. Notable contributions include a donation to the Rural Entrepreneur Access Project, helping over 7,000 women and children in Kenya enjoy greater food security and safety. And with the Church’s donation to the World Food Programme, nutritional and food assistance has been provided to 1.6 million people in nine countries, including Ethiopia, northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen.
We have also prioritized clean water and sanitation projects, working with WaterAid, Water for People, and other reputable organizations to restore water systems, dig boreholes, and build and deepen wells in drought-affected areas. Through these efforts, over 626,475 people throughout Africa and the Middle East were able to access clean water and sanitation in 2022.
“Our partnership with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints goes back many years and has been foundational to the work we are doing here in Malawi. Many communities now benefit from sustainable access to clean water and have safe options for sanitation from this impactful partnership. The children in these villages will never know a time when their family didn’t have clean water.”
—Ulemu Chiluzi, Water for People Malawi Country Director
Another priority of the Church in the Middle East and Africa is medical care. In 2022, 4,785 people in these areas received a new wheelchair, while another 11,586 people received mobility aids, and an additional 182,917 people received vision screenings in 2022. Plus, tools and training programs for local doctors and physiotherapists, as well as facilities like wheelchair repair shops for rural areas, were made available through Church funds.
With regard to educational initiatives, the Church helped dozens of schools by constructing classrooms, donating computers and other supplies, and building latrines. These donations provided hundreds of students with improved access to education.
With collaboration from other organizations, the Church responded to multiple emergencies throughout the region. For instance, building materials, food, and other necessities were donated to help thousands of people who had been impacted by flooding in South Africa. And thousands of displaced Syrians enjoyed safer access to clean drinking water and sanitation, thanks to a joint effort with CARE to repair water and sewage systems in their camps.
Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands
51 emergency relief projects
156,182 students served
In Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Islands, the kindness of the people is matched only by the beauty of the landscape. However, many children and adults in these areas struggle from nutrition-related health concerns. Natural disasters left thousands in need of basic care during the past year.
In 2022, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints collaborated with groups like Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand, and Church World Service to provide solutions that helped individuals become self-reliant and better prepared for the future. In addition, many residents received critical aid following natural disasters, such as the large volcanic eruption and tsunami in Tonga.
The Church also focused on healthcare, prioritizing areas that were heavily affected by COVID-19. In Mongolia, for instance, we worked with the Ministry of Health and several other organizations to provide blankets, clothing, bedding, oxygen supplies, and medications for hospital patients. Humanitarian missionaries provided ongoing support for these efforts.
“That is at the core of the mission of our collaboration [with the Church]: having an impact and a wider reach for children around the world— particularly children who are in the most vulnerable and challenged places.”
—Rachel Steinberg, UNICEF USA Managing Director for Global Cause Partnerships
In response to a fifth wave of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, the Foodlink Foundation worked with local Church members and missionaries to deliver 2.5 tons of donated food to those in need. In Fiji, 1,000 families received food rations and financial assistance for local farms, allowing them to support their children and better maintain their livelihoods. We continue to work with local aid organizations to promote sustainable farming and other food aid.
In addition, we have emphasized the need for education to combat poverty in rural areas. Several schools in these areas were furnished with stationery, books, uniforms, washrooms, and more. For example, Chuuk High School students in the Federated States of Micronesia benefited from donated laptops, sewing machines, and sports equipment to enhance their education. Trop Secondary School students in Cambodia received a new school building.
Clean water initiatives are another important humanitarian focus in this region. In Pakistan, 50,000 people in 15 communities received water filtration systems following record-breaking floods. In Pakistan’s Khanewal province, 45 government schools were provided 147 washrooms and new installations of sanitation facilities. Donations were accompanied by training, to ensure beneficiaries would be equipped with the skills to maintain their new systems and facilities for years to come.
Commodities provided for displaced persons in 50 cities
42 food security projects
Collaborated with 294 organizations
In 2022, armed conflict disrupted the daily lives of many throughout Europe. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responded with funding and supplies, and members of the Church across Europe rallied to give of their time and means.
In 2022, the Church expended upwards of $16.8 million in aid in response to the Ukrainian and Russian crisis.
Working with key organizations, such as Jesuit Refugee Service, Project HOPE, and others, Church leaders and humanitarian missionaries distributed thousands of emergency shelter items, blankets, solar lanterns, phone cards, diapers, clothing, and other vital relief items in Europe.
In addition, local leaders opened meetinghouses in Ukraine, creating way stations where displaced individuals could receive shelter, food, and showers. Those fleeing the conflict were able to access a shuttle service, which transported them to welcome centers in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and other areas. At these welcome centers, missionary and member volunteers helped displaced individuals connect with local aid agencies and find housing (often with Church members in the community).
“Jesus has a tender heart for children. He weeps to see them starve. And He rejoices at even the smallest effort to help them. A huge thanks to the World Food Programme and to all who contribute in any way to this cause.”
—President Camille N. Johnson, President of the Relief Society General Presidency
The Church worked with other organizations to transport and house displaced persons. Non-governmental organizations, such as Save the Children, along with local Romanian organizations, worked with missionaries to relocate and house thousands of Ukrainians, including many orphaned children. Collaboration with French relief agency Terre des Hommes resulted in 4,800 phrasebooks provided for displaced children and parents in Italy to help them integrate into their new communities.
In coordination with the Ukrainian government’s transport network, 900 tons of food and other essential goods were donated to assist communities with the greatest hunger needs. This was in addition to funding provided early in the conflict to the World Food Programme to supply four months of rations to 11,000 people, both in and outside of Ukraine.
Through efforts focused on healthcare, hospitals and paramedics in Ukraine received thousands of first aid kits, medications, and other vital medical supplies and equipment. This work was accomplished thanks to collaboration with organizations such as the Red Cross, the International Medical Corps, and others. Humanitarian facilitators from the Church worked with the Association of Neonatologists of Ukraine to provide antibiotics for infants who were suffering from fungal lung disease after being born in hospital basements during the conflict.
We also worked to improve access to education in southeastern Europe. A rural school in Montenegro (where children did not have home internet access) received a projector, screen, and printer for a new computer lab. And in Bosnia and Herzegovina, students with disabilities received a neurotherapy system and other pieces of critical equipment.
880 projects to help people experiencing homelessness
57,299,342 pounds of food and other goods donated
21 healthcare initiatives in 2022
While living in North America generally comes with access to life-sustaining resources, many within the region still struggle to meet their basic needs. In 2022, inflation, economic instability, and rising real estate prices forced many people below the poverty line. This has led to a surge of individuals and families that have been forced into homelessness. There has also been an upswing in the number of displaced individuals seeking refuge in North America as a result of armed conflicts and emergencies worldwide.
The efforts of Catholic Community Services, the Greek Orthodox Church, and other organizations were helped by the Church’s contribution of $5 million in funds and commodities to provide safe, temporary housing for displaced persons in North America. Church members also operate welcome centers in several North American cities, including Las Vegas and Mesa in the United States, and Calgary in Canada. At the welcome centers, newly arrived individuals obtain help learning English, finding jobs, connecting with legal aid, and more.
With food insecurity on the rise in North America, meeting people’s immediate basic needs has been an important priority. In 2022, thousands of pounds of commodities were shipped to food banks across the United States and Canada each week. In areas where goods could not be shipped, Church humanitarian missionaries coordinated and funded food drives to provide for those in need.
To assist the growing population of individuals and families experiencing homelessness, Nevada Homeless Alliance helped those in need transition into safe, stable housing with the Church’s large donation of commodities. We also contributed to the rehabilitation of the Ella J. Baker House in Boston, Massachusetts, a youth center that helps many young people experiencing homelessness. In Canada, we worked with organizations such as the Red Cedar Shelter and the H.O.P.E. Society of LaSalle to give shelter and housing to vulnerable populations.
“For over 100 years, there’s been a connection between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Utah Food Bank. … Both work collaboratively to help those in need and particularly those who are faced with food insecurity.”
—Ginette Bott, President and CEO of Utah Food Bank
Some communities in the United States still lack access to clean water, electricity, and other basics. Working with organizations such as DigDeep, we were able to provide clean water to underserved communities, like the Navajo Nation. Local leaders worked with these communities to connect them to their local electrical and sewer grids. Through this work, hundreds of lives were blessed.
Increased access to healthcare has been a focus of the Church in the region. Among other notable projects, 1,670 people with disabilities received wheelchairs in Mexico. In Canada, the Weeneebayko Foundation and other organizations helped make healthcare available to indigenous communities. In the United States, local leaders and humanitarian missionaries coordinated with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to convert a building in Memphis, Tennessee, into a maternal and newborn care facility. At the new facility, mothers could enjoy a hot meal, receive instruction on how to care for their children, and leave feeling renewed and supported.
In collaboration with volunteers and other organizations, such as the Canadian Red Cross, the Church responded to several natural disasters and other emergencies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico in 2022, including Hurricane Ian in Florida and devastating floods in Sonora, Kentucky, and Alaska. Following these disasters, Church volunteers distributed thousands of donated meals, cleaning kits, sleeping mats, and clothing items to those affected. Clean drinking water and other essential items were also provided, to support several communities when their municipal water systems failed.
South America, Central America, and the Caribbean
10,733 vision screenings offered
Emergency relief provided in 22 countries
Food assistance provided for 151,389 households
While the needs of the people of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean are diverse, recent economic instability in the region has impacted multiple countries. In rural communities, unemployment is high. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare facilities find themselves in need of equipment and supplies. And in some areas, natural disasters caused damage and uprooted thousands from their homes.
In 2022, we focused on helping several communities in South America improve their healthcare infrastructure. Through donations to local hospitals, individuals throughout South America have access to humidifiers, oxygen masks, personal protective equipment, gynecological equipment, and other needed medical supplies.
Of particular note, a significant donation by the Church helped the General Hospital of the Barrio Obrero in Asunción, Paraguay, build an oxygen-generating plant, improving its ability to care for patients suffering from COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. The plant will help outpatients and healthcare facilities in rural areas meet their oxygen needs, and its state-of-the-art design makes it easier to operate and maintain.
With Church donations, hundreds of individuals with disabilities received wheelchairs, and hundreds of low-income individuals experiencing vision problems will receive care at the Vision Honduras Eye Clinic. The mayor of Jutiapa, Oscar Ayala, thanked the Church for its collaboration with their community and added, “I have the privilege of receiving this aid, which will do so much good for our municipality of Jutiapa.”
In 2022, the Church provided boxes of donated food to hungry families in rural areas of Colombia and other countries. In Argentina and Chile, those in need can receive food and other necessities at the nine bishops’ storehouses in operation. The Church also participated in seven clean water and sanitation projects throughout South America, Central America, and the Caribbean—including a project in the Dominican Republic, which provided clean water access to 11,000 people in the small town of Chirino.
The Church invested in multiple projects to improve education for young people in 2022, including a symposium for educating the deaf community in the Dominican Republic. Students in Jamaica also received a donation, enabling them to repair a boundary wall around a school. This gave the students greater peace of mind during their learning experience, as the wall offered protection from the unsafe neighborhood surrounding the school.
In an effort to help individuals and families increase their self-reliance, the Church provided several households with key equipment to start or build their own business. In addition, women’s and children’s shelters were supplied with computers, kitchen supplies (such as a pizza oven, dining tables, a sink basin, and shelving), and other equipment to help them learn skills, create livelihoods, and gain independence.
Finally, the Church provided emergency relief to communities throughout the region. Following Hurricane Fiona, 65,000 families in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic were given funds to restore their homes and communities. The Church also worked alongside the Office of the First Lady of Peru to provide the residents of Jaén, Peru, with more than nine tons of food and water after heavy rains caused severe flooding and landslides in the community.
When flooding forced 140 people to flee their homes in the Municipality of Panzós in Guatemala, those 46 affected families—which included children, youth, and the elderly—received much-needed clothing. And through the Church’s donation to the World Food Programme in 2022, we were able to fund several projects aimed at improving long-term sustainability in the Caribbean, including supply chain improvements and climate adaptation projects—such as an initiative to improve forecasting capabilities in Haiti so the people there are better prepared for extreme rainfall events and hurricanes.
“Being temporally prepared and self-reliant means ‘believing that through the grace, or enabling power, of Jesus Christ and our own effort, we are able to obtain all the spiritual and temporal necessities of life we require for ourselves and our families.’ ”
—Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric
38-million-gallon reduction in yearly water consumption since 2018 at Church headquarters
500+ meetinghouses currently with solar initiatives worldwide
73 million tons of recycled goods processed by Deseret Industries in 2022
During a 2022 conference on the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, Bishop L. Todd Budge said, “If we act as good stewards [of the earth], there are plenty of resources for the needs of our brothers and sisters around the globe.”
Members of the Church believe that caring for the earth is closely tied to caring for those in need. Church humanitarian projects are carefully selected to ensure that sustainable solutions are implemented, using local materials when possible. Church members participate in hundreds of environmental projects each year, planting trees and organizing cleanup in their local communities. We believe these efforts help preserve the earth, provide for future generations, and make the earth’s resources more readily available to those in need.
In his October 2022 general conference address, Bishop Gérald Caussé said, “As God’s children, we have received the charge to be stewards, caretakers, and guardians of His divine creations. The Lord said that He made ‘every man accountable, as a steward over earthly blessings, which I have made and prepared for my creatures.’”
The Church has worked during the years to reduce the environmental impact of its properties and infrastructure. This work has included upgrading existing systems to more environmentally friendly solutions, reducing lawn sizes, and using sustainable building practices. We strive to incorporate local landscaping and construction materials to cut transportation costs, support local economies, and reduce emissions. We have also reduced emissions through higher standards of fuel efficiency in our global vehicle fleet.
The Church further promotes environmental stewardship through sustainable land management practices at its farms, orchards, and ranches. These practices include the use of cover crops, crop rotation, no-till farming, grazing management, and greenhouse gas capture methods. Soil management guidelines help maximize carbon sequestration and utilize existing material as much as possible.
In terms of waste reduction, we aim to reduce use of single-use plastics and increase the amount of material recycled at Church facilities. In 2022, Church facilities recycled over 4,000 tons of paper, metal, cardboard, and plastic (not including the 73 million tons recycled through Deseret Industries).
Finally, we encourage our members to follow President Nelson’s counsel to “care for the earth, be wise stewards over it, preserve it for future generations, and to love and care for one another.” Members engage in environmental stewardship in various ways, including conserving energy, recycling, reducing waste, choosing public or active transportation methods (such as walking and biking), growing food in home and community gardens, and conserving water, especially in drought-affected areas.
342 classrooms built or repaired
Over 2 million students served
42,227 financial aid recipients
We believe that learning is a life-long pursuit—one that brings us closer to God and promotes dignity and self-reliance.
Services for Church Members
Through financial aid programs like the Perpetual Education Fund, 5,757 Church members in 52 countries were able to enroll in vocational training programs that will help them obtain better employment or start their own business over the course of two years. And through the Benson Scholarship program, 443 students in 23 countries received help in obtaining post-secondary education in agriculture-related fields.
The Church also operates BYU–Pathway Worldwide, which works in tandem with Brigham Young University–Idaho and Ensign College to provide greater access to affordable online education. In addition, the EnglishConnect program is available in several countries and regions worldwide. It provides free English instruction to help individuals improve their education and employment opportunities.
Services Offered Generally
The Church undertakes hundreds of humanitarian projects each year to enhance access to education for those in need. For instance, in the Nizhny Novogorod region of Russia, a project with the local Red Cross provided backpacks and school supplies for 200 students from socially vulnerable populations, as well as events to help families prepare for the new school year.
In Lebanon, the Church worked with Jusoor to establish preparation classes for the Brevet exam—a mandatory test students must pass to enroll in state-run public schools. This project helped displaced Syrian students overcome barriers to continuing school and dramatically improved the average student performance on the exam.
Food Production and Distribution
57.3 million pounds of food donated
Produced enough food to feed approximately 14.3 million people for 1 day
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practice principles of self-reliance, and we seek to help others do the same. For many struggling with hunger and other urgent temporal needs, however, it is difficult to focus on long-term self-reliance when short-term needs are not being addressed. The Church seeks to help these individuals through a variety of solutions.
Services for Church Members
The Church operates 12 farms, three gardens, three ranches, and four orchards as a way to produce food for those in need, as well as processing facilities such as the Deseret Mill and Pasta plant. These facilities distributed 48.3 million pounds of food to Church members and others in need through bishops’ storehouses in 2022.
Similar to other community efforts, the Church operates 124 bishops’ storehouses, as well as additional locations where local leaders can refer individuals in need to receive food and other items free of charge. Nearly all Church-operated storehouses and home storage centers are managed by service missionaries. Volunteers order products, stock shelves, fill orders, clean the facilities, and assist patrons in a kind and loving way. In locations without access to goods from a bishops’ storehouse, leaders often make arrangements with local grocery stores to meet the needs of Church members.
Services Offered Generally
Developing sustainable food production skills and resources helps both individuals and the community increase self-reliance. As a means to encourage these skills, Church volunteers worked with members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to install a water-wise irrigation system in the Florence Fang Community Farm of San Francisco. This project will support 100 families in an underserved area, and it is one of many such community garden programs supported by the Church in 2022.
Aside from bishops’ storehouse distributions, 57.3 million pounds of food were donated through humanitarian organizations, including local food pantries. For example, the Church donated nearly 40,000 pounds of food support to the food assistance program run by the Christian Cultural Center in New York City. This donation helped provide food to those in need through two locations that help approximately 1,250 people per week receive essential grocery items such as fresh produce and meat.
When a fire burned nearly 50,000 pounds of goods at the Maricopa Food Pantry in Arizona, the local Latter-day Saint community came together to see what could be done. Soon afterward, two semitrucks of Church commodities arrived at the food pantry. In addition to offering food to the local community, the Maricopa Food Pantry plans to rebuild with space for teaching food preparation, food storage, and self-reliance classes.
These efforts to produce and store food allow the Church to maintain a strategic inventory of supplies that can be drawn upon during a crisis. As a result, the Church was prepared to help when natural disasters, conflict, and other emergencies occurred.
The Church works with local aid organizations to source and distribute emergency commodities in the most efficient and effective ways possible. Sometimes that means providing funding to source foods that are available locally, while other times, it means shipping and distributing food that is produced in North America. For example, after Hurricane Ian swept through the Caribbean, the Church sent nine shipping containers of rice, beans, pasta, and other foods, which were then distributed by local aid organizations.
Through these contributions, the Church aims to help individuals and families meet their short-term needs so they can focus their efforts on building long-term self-reliance for the future.
195,491 counseling hours
Services offered in 90 countries and territories
346,664 addiction recovery group participants
Mental and emotional health has become a critical focus for individuals, families, and communities. Family Services is a Church-sponsored organization that helps provide effective care and resources for those with social and emotional needs. We offer counseling to individual Church members, families, couples, single expectant parents, and missionaries serving in the Church. Their needs may range from a temporary trial to an ongoing mental or emotional challenge.
The addiction recovery program is one resource offered through the Church’s Family Services organization. The program provides support for those struggling with compulsive behaviors, as well as their loved ones. The free program is available to all, whether they are Church members or not. It is led throughout the world by volunteer facilitators, many of whom have recovered from their own addiction-related challenges.
Psychological first aid is a critical part of emergency response when helping people facing a crisis, such as a natural disaster or armed conflict. Family Services works to teach and offer psychological first aid skills across the world through trained staff and volunteers. In 2022, the Family Services team published a booklet of resources to train individuals on how to minister to adults, youth, and children during a crisis.
These resources have been particularly helpful to those who have been forced from their homes. Volunteers and service missionaries use their training in psychological first aid to provide emotional support to these individuals in need—support that can be just as crucial as offering physical assistance.
14,186 self-reliance groups
Offered in 88 countries and territories
Self reliance courses help Church members learn principles and skills that will empower them in caring for their own needs. Courses include topics such as how to find a job, how to start a business, how to manage finances, how to build emotional resilience, and more. These classes include weekly reading assignments, discussions, and check-ins with other group members.
In 2022, the Church facilitated 14,186 self-reliance groups in 88 countries worldwide. These groups served over 106,261 individuals, one of whom was Jacquie. Jacquie is an educator who runs a photography business in California. She felt a lot of anxiety and stress as she juggled three jobs, a business, and a family. Jacquie knew she wanted to get better at managing her emotions, so she began attending an emotional resilience course. After completing the course, Jacquie shared that she had found new hope with the help of other participants, and she felt better equipped to face life’s challenges.
Steve faced similar challenges when he lost his job as he struggled with an addiction to opioids. He had become unable to work, which set him and his family back financially. Once he reentered the workforce, Steve and his wife decided to participate in the personal finance course. The habits they learned in the course helped Steve and his wife reach their goal of becoming debt free. They were even able to save enough to buy a new home and achieve the financial stability they needed to support their family.
Employment Services and Deseret Industries
4,127 recorded job placements
9,186 Deseret Industries associates served
77,330 furniture items manufactured
We believe that helping people become more self-reliant increases their ability to make choices for themselves. Employment Services provides tools and coaching to help Church members find jobs, start businesses, and progress in their careers.
In 2022, thousands of job seekers accessed self-help resources and joined us in groups focused on increasing job-search skills and networking. Through Employment Services, they learned skills such as how to create a resume, interview for a job, and search for work. For example, the Active Job Search program serves as a networking tool for those looking for new or better employment. Those in the program share job leads, receive support, and practice job-search skills.
Deseret Industries (DI) helps Church members and others overcome barriers to employment. These barriers might include physical disabilities, mental health struggles, criminal records, or a history of addiction. DI and Deseret Manufacturing provide a safe space to learn new skills through on-the-job training, allowing associates to learn everything from register operation and inventory display to forklift operation and furniture production.
“Before we can truly love God and our neighbor, we must first feel God’s love for us as His children. When we feel God’s love for us, we desire to love Him in return.”
—Sister Kristin M. Yee, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency
In addition to skills training, associates are supported by development counselors, who help them set goals and develop a plan to reach those goals. DI also provides financial assistance for education and training. DI associates who are ready to search for a new job have access to other aspects of employment support, including a six-week job-search skills workshop and personalized one-on-one coaching.
DI supports the community by providing necessities at an affordable price. Church members in need may also obtain needed items such as shoes, clothes, furniture, and other essentials at no cost, with a referral from their bishop. DI further contributes to local communities through grants that allow approved nonprofit groups to acquire free goods for use in their areas. DI administered 12,954 of these grants in 2022.
DI’s thrift store and community donation model allows us to keep millions of pounds of goods out of landfills each year. Items that cannot be sold are recycled, and in 2022 alone, DI was able to recycle 73,019,376 pounds of donated items rather than sending them to the landfill. Through its thrift stores, manufacturing facilities, and donation centers, DI is—at its core—a job-training program built to empower people and increase their opportunities. The Church currently operates 46 DI thrift stores and donation centers across eight states. During 2022, the newest DI store—located in Saratoga Springs, Utah—was dedicated and opened for operation.
7,464 individuals assisted
Over 31,870 hours of volunteered service
Sometimes people need support as they integrate into their community. This could include people exiting correctional facilities, experiencing homelessness, or recovering from trafficking, as well as veterans or individuals who have recently immigrated or fled their home country. Transitional Services provides support to these individuals—both Church members and those in the community—as they begin a new chapter of their life.
Transitional Services focuses on a holistic approach to self-reliance, and staff members work with their clients to address core issues and provide emotional support. Transitional Services operates seven locations in the United States, offering temporal, mental, and spiritual aid. Clients receive help from a range of Transitional Services employees, service missionaries, and volunteers—including local Church members.
Over time, individuals may be referred to additional support organizations, such as Employment Services or Deseret Industries. They may also be referred to other nonprofit agencies, mental health units, or community organizations that help them on their long-term journey to self-reliance.
Those who are helped are also given the chance to serve others, which increases their sense of well-being as they see the value they add to others’ lives.
What Can I Do?
“When we are engaged in service to others, we think less about ourselves, and the Holy Ghost can more readily come to us and help us in our lifelong quest to have the gift of charity bestowed upon us.”
—President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency
Serving in Your Community
If you are feeling inspired to serve, the following steps can help you make the greatest impact for good.
1. Identify a Need
The best way to get started is to look around you and identify needs that exist in your community.
Prioritize the greatest needs within your scope of influence.
Look for and learn about local organizations and projects.
While service always demonstrates God’s love for others, it shouldn’t be done with the intent to push personal beliefs on others. Let your good deeds do the talking.
2. Listen and Learn
Take some time to listen to the individuals who are most affected by the issue. Listening and seeking to understand the barriers faced by those around us teaches us how to provide meaningful help.
Engage with individuals as a peer and equal. Look people in the eye, call them by their name, offer your hand.
Question your assumptions, set aside prejudices, and seek to truly understand.
Prioritize relationships over any difference in opinion.
3. Make a Plan
The most effective humanitarian assistance involves individuals and communities as you plan solutions that meet immediate needs and provide a path to build self-reliance.
Respect the preferences, beliefs, and customs of those you seek to help.
Invite those you are serving to help develop a plan by asking questions such as these: What have you already tried to address this need? What would you like to try? How, when, and where would you like to receive help?
4. Share Your Experiences
We share our experiences to invite and inspire others to action. Taking opportunities to recognize, share, and celebrate successful acts of service encourages those you help and inspires even more individuals to serve.
Talk to friends and family about your humanitarian work. Invite them to join you.
On your social media pages, share stories about the blessings of service you’ve seen—both in your life and the lives of those you’ve served.
Connect with the social media pages of nonprofit organizations you’ve worked with in your community. Share your positive experiences with them.