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Editor's Note: We are grateful to all those who have generously supported humanitarian relief efforts around the world, and thank you for giving of your time and/or donations. Your help has blessed countless lives.
Salt Lake City — Every year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides emergency assistance to people all over the world affected by natural disasters, war and famine. Within hours of a disaster, the Church works with local government officials to determine what supplies and food are needed. Those suffering from loss are helped regardless of nationality or religion.
During 2012, the Church provided victims of 104 disasters in 52 countries with hundreds of thousands of pounds of food, water, clothing, medical supplies, hygiene kits and other relief items. In addition, local Church leaders organized thousands of member volunteers to distribute aid and assist those affected by these disasters, with over 1.3 million volunteer hours of service donated (worth an estimated $28 million).
“As members of the Church, we follow Jesus Christ and His example by helping anyone in need,” said Steve Peterson, managing director of Church Welfare Services, which includes humanitarian aid and disaster response.
The Church’s largest disaster relief effort in 2012 was its Hurricane Sandy response. Approximately 28,000 Church members donated almost 300,000 hours of service to their communities, working with neighbors to help clean up refuse and debris along the East Coast. Church members also helped to distribute food, water, clothing, cleaning supplies, shovels, generators, water pumps and other items.
“When the Church responds to a disaster, we provide material resources and volunteers, but response efforts are really a partnership between our members, their neighbors and communities,” said Lynn Samsel, director of Church Emergency Response.
In addition to Sandy, the Church’s largest disaster responses in 2012 occurred in Syria (civil unrest), the Philippines (typhoons), the United States (tornadoes) and Japan (continuing 2011 earthquake and tsunami recovery efforts). The Church’s response efforts in these areas are detailed in the "read more" link below, which also lists of all disaster responses by the Church in 2012.
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