News Release

Latter-day Saints Around the World: Country Newsroom Websites, March 26, 2021

This edition features news from the Pacific, the United States, Nigeria, Chile, Australia, Ecuador and the Philippines

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. 

Pacific: Latter-day Saints in French Polynesia Show Appreciation for Community Workers During Pandemic

Church leaders in the Pacific encouraged members to “come and help” their communities. Pacific Newsroom (English) reported that, in response, Primary children on Bora Bora “paid tribute to and thanked” garbage collectors, mechanics, medical personnel and other first responders by delivering “traditional ‘uto’ cakes made with coconut.”

During the visit to the fire station, Hinano Mai, a firefighter, said, “We feel humbled at the beauty of your gesture and were not prepared for the emotional impact you made on us.”

Latter-day Saint youth and young adults from the Faanui Ward (congregation) on Bora Bora also participated by clearing property, planting crops, and “organizing a free carwash at the chapel.” Other projects took place on the island of Tahiti.

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United States: Survivors of Historic Flooding in Kentucky Receive Outpouring of Love and Supplies

In early March, Church volunteers delivered over 2,600 gallons of water and 100 cleaning kits to Partnership Housing, Inc. where they were distributed to residents of Booneville, Kentucky, an area not only struggling with high unemployment rates but also recently flooded with historic rainfall.

The sole grocery store and many homes in the community were destroyed, leaving many without access to resources. “Sadly, this has been devastating and has left many of our residents with nothing — no belongings, no home to return to,” said Cassie Hudson, executive director of Partnership Housing. “To see the outpouring of flood relief efforts and donations in our community has been nothing short of amazing.”

Lexi North, a local communications representative for the Church, said, “This [donation was] the first in a series of efforts by the Church to provide assistance to Owsley County. … Volunteers [planned] to continue flood relief efforts … [with] thousands of pounds of food and additional water, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene supplies slated for delivery in Owsley, Estill, Powell and Lee Counties.”

On March 20 and 21, 300 church volunteers assisted with several of these additional deliveries. They included three truckloads of 4,300 pounds of food each, four trucks with 16 pallets of water each, 600 cleaning kits, 1,000 hygiene kits and 50 tarps. Over 980 Owsley County families received food from the donation.

“We are pleased to be able to be of assistance to our fellow Kentuckians and to provide some relief and peace of mind,” said Rex Holt, president of the Lexington Kentucky North Stake. “We have been touched as we see those who have lost so much, and it is a privilege and blessing to help.”

Nigeria: Hospital Receives Its Largest Donation of Supplies from Latter-day Saint Charities

Latter-day Saint Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, donated 210,000 disposable face masks and 28,000 gowns to the National Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria. The contributions were made in partnership with Project Hope.

An article on Nigeria Newsroom (English) noted that Dr. Tayo Haastrup, director of communication at the National Hospital, received the donation on behalf of the hospital on February 19. “Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, we have received assistance from several organizations. This is the largest donation we have received from a single organization,” he said.

Chile: Vaccines Administered in Houses of Worship

Given the opportunity of administering COVID-19 vaccines to local citizens as quickly as possible, health centers in Santiago, Chile, have turned to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for help. According to Chile Newsroom (Spanish), the Church has opened several of its meetinghouses on weekdays as temporary vaccination sites. One of the areas benefiting the most from this partnership is Region V, where eight chapels were being used as of mid-March.

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Australia: Church Members Clear and Repair Fairgrounds After Flood

One hundred and thirty members of the Gold Coast Australia Stake (group of congregations) of the Church made light work of a community service project at the Mudgeeraba Showgrounds after flooding damaged the area. According to the Australia Newsroom (English), Church volunteers and others from the community responded to a call for assistance, removing piles of debris and painting and repairing structures. “We are grateful to have The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of our community,” said Ella Parsons, the Mudgeeraba Show president. “It’s been years since we have been able to get this much work done.”

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Ecuador: Rural Community Near the Andes Mountains Receives Enough Food for 4,000 People

Near the Andes Mountains and the active stratovolcano of Cotopaxi, residents of the rural sector of Latacunga received sugar, rice, grains and other nonperishable items for children, pregnant women, the disabled and other citizens in crisis. Ecuador Newsroom (Spanish) states that the donation is large enough to feed 4,000 people for 15 days. Vinicio Vásquez, welfare manager for the Church, delivered the items on March 12 to Byron Cárdenas, the mayor of Latacunga. “Thank you for arriving precisely at the time of need,” he said.

Philippines: Biosecurity and Hygiene Kits Delivered to Citizens Serving Time

On March 15, inmates of the Metro Bacolod District Jails (MBDJ), Talisay City Jail and Silay City Jail became the beneficiaries of 1,973 hygiene kits distributed by Latter-day Saint Charities. Jail Superintendent Marie Rose Laguyo expressed gratitude for the assistance during this unprecedented time. To learn more about this donation, read the full article from the Philippines Newsroom (English).

Ecuador: Church Donates Food and Biosecurity Kits to Vulnerable Citizens

On March 13, 380 food kits and 380 biosecurity kits were delivered by Church representatives to the San Jacinto de Colimes Parish GAD in Ecuador. The Ecuador Newsroom (Spanish) reports that the kits will be distributed to the most vulnerable citizens.

“This [act] of love has shown us that they have not left us abandoned,” said Silvira Saavedra, a recipient. “My husband is a day laborer and we eat with what he earns every day. I am truly very grateful to God … and to you for the help provided.”

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.