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How Do Church Charities and Humanitarian Efforts Work?

By Comeuntochrist.org


Charities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and humanitarian efforts (which are administered through a nonprofit organization called LDS Charities) are organized to relieve suffering, promote self-reliance, and provide opportunities for people to serve. The assistance provided is not reserved for Church members; Church charitable efforts benefit people around the world, regardless of religion, gender, age, race, or nationality. Donations of money, food, water, goods, and services help provide both emergency assistance and long-term well-being to people in need.


1. Receive funds from people around the world. Donors include Church members as well as other generous people who support humanitarian aid efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

2. Identify needs and develop projects to serve and meet those needs.

3. Find local organizations to partner with and help them successfully complete projects.

4. Engage volunteers to support these partners and projects, and provide a coordinated response to area needs.

Humanitarian efforts of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are based on four principles: self-reliance, personal responsibility, community support, and sustainability. At this time there are nine signature Church humanitarian programs:

1. Benson Food—Supports the health and well-being of families and communities through home food production, healthy eating and nutrition training, and food storage.

2. Clean Water—Helps provide fresh water for communities by creating clean water sources, improving sanitation facilities, and providing training on proper hygiene.

3. Community Projects—Works with local organizations to solve community problems like health care or support institutions like shelters or orphanages.

4. Emergency Response—Sends food, hygiene kits, medical supplies, and volunteers to relieve suffering after natural disasters, famine, and civil unrest.

5. Immunization—Raises public awareness about immunization efforts through monetary support, local volunteers, and social mobilization.

6. Maternal and Newborn Care—Offers training and equipment to doctors, nurses, and midwives to support prenatal education, deliveries, and care for newborns.

7. Refugee Response—Provides immediate aid, such as food and shelter; long-term aid; and resettlement support to help refugees around the world.

8. Vision Care—Supports eye care professionals and vision programs around the world by providing training, equipment, and supplies.

9. Wheelchairs—Provides wheelchairs and walking aids to people who have physical disabilities. Volunteers in the program also demonstrate the proper care of the wheelchairs and train caregivers on how to best support the health of their loved ones.

In 2015, Church charities responded to 132 disasters and had 177 emergency response projects. For the past three decades, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has contributed an average of $40 million per year to worldwide welfare and humanitarian projects.

Church members also generously dedicate their time, money, and personal efforts to serve others. This service is a reflection of the counsel and example of Jesus Christ, “who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38).

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