News Release

Latter-day Saints Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites, May 3, 2021

Featuring news from Canada, Russia, the United States, Peru and Mexico.

Newsroom features stories from its dozens of websites around the world to show what members and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are doing to serve their communities. Today we feature news from Canada, Russia, the United States, Peru and Mexico.

Canada: Over 100 Air Conditioners Help Quarantined Seniors Fight Heat Wave

A heat wave in Quebec, Canada, in early July 2020 left many seniors without adequate air conditioning in their residences. The problem was compounded by the quarantine due to COVID-19, which forced residents to remain home.

To alleviate suffering, Pierre Anthian, an assistant communication director for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Montreal area, invited people to donate air conditioners that were not being used. “The response was not only overwhelming but beyond my expectations,” said Anthian. “One hundred and forty-three families came forward and as many air conditioners were installed in the following days in four long-term care facilities where vulnerable, sick and lonely seniors were able to receive some comfort and coolness to better cope with the double ordeal.”

The Quebec Newsroom reports that various other projects such as outdoor concerts and visits have been launched in the area to help the seniors overcome the isolation. “We can’t change the current situation, but we can make a difference in a person’s life by following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ and reaching out – safely – to those in need,” said Adriana Robledo, communication director for the Montreal Quebec Stake.

Russia: Young Adults Build Bridges with Peers of Other Faiths

To strengthen friendly ties and understanding between different religious organizations, the first Moscow Interfaith Young Adult Forum was held on April 7, 2021, at the Moscow Cathedral Mosque. Faithful members of the Muslim community, the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints participated in organizing and speaking at the event. Government officials, researchers of religion and students also attended.

In an interview with Russia Newsroom, Ilgizar Davletshin, secretary of the Forum Organizing Committee and representative of the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims of the Russian Federation, said, “It was important for us to hear the voice of young people, to find out how they see interreligious and, more broadly, intercultural interaction … I believe that dividing people by race, skin color, religious beliefs are relics that need to be eradicated, and this is the mission of the youth.”

USA: Church Donates 60 New Beds to Women’s Shelter in Spokane, Washington

The Volunteers of America’s (VOA) new four-story shelter, Hope House, received 60 new twin beds from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Wednesday, April 21. About 30 members and 20 missionaries from the Spokane Washington Stake (a group of congregations) met at the new shelter located in downtown Spokane on Saturday, April 24, to help unpack boxes and assemble furniture for the shelter, as the beds had been distributed to the rooms the day before.

During a tour of the facilities, Fawn Schott, CEO, said the building is a “dream come true” for her team. In addition to the 60 apartments, there are 80 emergency shelter beds and 20 respite beds for women who are recovering from injury or illness. Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, a commercial kitchen will allow volunteers, including youth and leaders of the Spokane area congregations, to help prepare and serve meals for the women staying in the emergency shelter.

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Peru: Food Donation Supports 2,000 Families Affected by Pandemic

Common Pots, a community charity in the Torre Blanca and El Progreso sectors of Lima, Peru, received over 11 tons of food items from the Church to help residents affected by the pandemic. On Friday, April 23, the donation delivery was coordinated by Jorge Ramos León from the Department of Welfare and Self-Reliance Services of the Church. Peru Newsroom estimates that the rice, vegetable oil, beans, fish, salt and spaghetti noodles that were offered will help support approximately 2,000 families.

Nancy Córdova Morales, coordinator of the District Network of Common Pots of Carabayllo said, “Thank you for joining us and giving us your solidarity in times of great need. We are grateful for this gesture of kindness.”

Mexico: Migrant Shelter Receives Donation of Clothing

Members of the Church in Reynosa, Mexico, donated 2,000 pounds of clothing to La Casa del Migrante Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe on April 19. It was the result of a two-day clothing drive conducted by over 100 sisters from the Reynosa and Reynosa East stakes.

According to Mexico Newsroom, the border city hosts 3,000 migrants (including 240 children) waiting for the United States to grant them asylum. Catalina Carmona Librado, director of the shelter, said, “[We always receive] people who need at least a change of clothes because they only come with what they are wearing, so they need to change clothes to have a decent [experience] at the shelter … I feel a lot of satisfaction seeing that they are served with dignity … They arrive at a safe space where they are given services and are cared for. Helping them gratifies me, gives me hope and peace.”

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USA: Interfaith and Government Collaboration Leads to New Furniture for the Homeless in Milwaukee

On April 7, a donation of new furniture worth $50,000 to Clare Hall, a homeless shelter, was made possible through an interfaith partnership between Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church; the Catholic Church; and city officials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In an interview with the Catholic Herald, Lydia LoCoco, director of community relations for the office of Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, called the project “a real model of collaboration between government and religious nonprofit.”

Having been built in 1955, Clare Hall has filled several roles in the community, including as a Catholic seminary and a retirement home. In early 2020, the building was leased to the city of Milwaukee to provide a haven for homeless individuals seeking a safe place to recover from COVID-19 or who simply needed shelter during the pandemic.

While the new furniture adds dignity and comfort to life at the shelter, LoCoco said, “the vision is for residents to be able to transition into permanent housing after they leave Clare Hall. Now, thanks to the Latter-day Saints, they can do so equipped with furniture to make their new life comfortable.”

The collaboration between the Catholic Church and the Church of Jesus Christ came about through the friendship of Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki and Elder Thomas Priday, an area Church leader. Earlier in the year, the two discussed ways to meet various community needs during the pandemic. “The Catholic Church is always looking to join with others in serving the needs of our community,” Archbishop Listecki said. “This is another way the Church defends life and lives out its Gospel call to love one another. We welcome working with Latter-day Saint Charities in this corporal work of mercy to the benefit of those most in need.”

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