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Major Service Day Planned in Brazil

On October 12, Mormons in Brazil will celebrate 10 years of the Mormon Helping Hands program in their country by participating in massive, country-wide service projects. It's expected that over 100,000 Mormons and their friends will work side by side during the National Volunteer Action Day.


The Mormon Helping Hands program
took root in South America and has since been adopted worldwide. Dressed in their trademark yellow T-shirts, the volunteers can be found giving needed service in countries throughout the world. Projects range from painting public buildings to assembling hygiene kits to cleaning up after natural disasters. One of the keys to the success of the program is that it gives those with a strong desire to serve in the community an organized opportunity to do so. (A Mormon Helping Hands Newsroom story posted last year links to various examples of projects in several countries.)

A few Helping Hands projects in Brazil have already taken place in advance of the October 12 volunteer day.

One hundred and twenty volunteers in Sorocaba cleaned a city park while, in another area of the city, another 100 volunteers worked on other projects. Other volunteers labored in Jundiaí, assembling donated material for newborn baby kits.

In 2002, the Mormon Helping Hands program was named one of the most important volunteer organizations in Brazil. In 2007, the Brazilian senate held a special session to honor the 80-year presence of the Church in Brazil. During the session, Senator Ãlvaro Dias acknowledged the humanitarian efforts of the Church and specifically mentioned the program: "The meritorious social work carried out by this body, under a voluntary work program known as 'Helping Hands,' includes a September 2007 project where 284 public schools throughout the country were refurbished by more than 60,000 volunteers," he said. "Additional volunteers in 190 Brazilian cities made clothing items for 290 public hospitals. The Mormon Church in Brazil carries out social responsibility in its true fulness."

Mormon Helping Hands page on Church's Brazilian Web site (Portuguese)

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