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Humanitarian Services

"For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger and ye took me in:
Naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me; I was in prison, and ye came unto me...
Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as Ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."  
~(Matt 25: 35-36,40)

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What can We do? Sort Center Comments? 
Bishops Storehouse Church News Article Deseret Industries

Giving to Charity
(For I was an hungered...)

I have a pretty purple dress
it's my favorite one of all,
I tried it on and much to my despair
it had grown a bit too small.

It is difficult to put away
the things that brought us joy.
To fold it up, send it away
like another worn out toy.

Perhaps there is someplace
that could bring fresh new life
to my cherished dress, my teddy bear
my extra kitchen knife.

To feed the hungry is our charge
to cloth the naked too
visit the sick, comfort the blind
the charges aren't a few.

I've felt the guilt of neglecting
the words the teachings tell.
Yet if I offer my purple dress
could that count as well?

I'll fold it neatly and tuck it in
a singular box to give away.
I'll send it on a journey
to another who can not pay.

She'll see my dress and smile
I can see it as I think.
My dress will serve another
my hands will form the link.

I've then clothed the naked
my heart is opened wide.
I'll offer her what brings me joy
and be comforted inside

---<--{© Marsha Steed -
( ~ Permission granted for, non-profit personal and church use of this poem.
~ Please reference the author and this web page, thank you. )

What is the Welfare Services?
Information taken from a pamphlet put out by the Deseret Industries Public Relations Dept. in Sacramento Ca. 1999

What can We do?
Church News Article
Joseph Smith taught that a true Latter-day Saint 'is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them. ( Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1842, 732 ) 

We would do well to follow the example of the Saints in Alma's day who "did not send away any who were naked, or tat were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick... therefore they were liberal to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, whether out of the church or in the church, having no respect to persons as to those who stood in need" 
( Alma 1:30).

Many people see suffering in the world and want to do something to help, but they don't know how.  President Thomas S. Monson suggested that "opportunities are everywhere, Needed are eyes to see the pitiable plight and ears to hear the silent pleadings of a broken heart" ( Never Alone, "Ensign, May 1991, 61 ) .  Perhaps the first thing we should ask ourselves is, "How can we help those in our own families?  in our own neighborhood?  in our own city?"

You might consider following practical opportunities.

    • Pay funds to fast offering
    • Give generously to the Humanitarian Aid Fund. All money donated to this and goes to help the poor and needy of the world without regard to race, religion, or nationality.  There are no administrative costs.
    • Donate usable items, including clothing, to Deseret Industries.  Not only will this benefit the needy within your community, but surplus items are sent to the Latter-day Humanitarian Center for future relief efforts.
    • Volunteer to work at bishops' storehouses, canneries, and welfare farms.  Some of the commodities produced at these facilities are used to provide humanitarian aid. 
    • Ask your bishop or Relief Society president what specific help is needed in the ward.
    • Volunteer at an agency that assists people in your community.  Established community organizations offer many opportunities to serve - providing meals to the homeless, teaching adults to read, mentioning at-risk youth.  Such service not only blesses those in need, but fosters unity between Church members and the community. 
    • Volunteer to serve a humanitarian mission. opportunities are listed in a bulletin sent monthly to bishops. 
Along with Donations of time, local humanitarian organizations may need material resources.  For example, hygiene kits might be assembled and given to residents of a local homeless shelter, newborn kits could be given to a hospital, sewing kits donated to a women's shelter, and quilts made for refugees who are new to our country.'

Sort Center 
The following guidelines are used to produce items shipped from the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center to needy people throughout the world.  The guidelines help to ensure the usefulness and durability of materials. 

Completed items may be shipped or delivered in person to 

Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Center
1665 Bennett Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Telephone: (801) 240-6060
Hours: 7 am - 4:30 pm M - F

By Gerry Avant ( Associate Editor)
The Church strives to help people help themselves.  But there are times when people cannot help themselves, when they have no means with which to provide food, clothing, shelter or obtain medical care or other essential items.  War and natural disasters sometimes strip people of everything they own.  In such cases, the Church moves quickly to help the helpless, providing that which is essential for survival or to ring to the suffering added degrees of comfort.  Recognizing needs beyond essentials, humanitarian relief cargo often includes toys, books, paper, pencils, crayons and other items to comfort, console and cheer children. 

Because of the advance preparations made through the humanitarian center and central storehouse, the Church, in most cases, is able to respond to an emergency or disaster within hours.  CLothing, earlier sorted and baled, is ready for shipment to climates from the subtropics to the ARctic.  Food has been processed, much in dry pack, and prepared for use in areas where for one reason or another, clinics and hospitals - if they exist - might not have even the basics o care for the sick or injured. 

Many who work and serve with humanitarian relief projects emphasize that timeliness is of the essence.  "When a disaster occurs, the time for preparation is past, " said A. Terry Oakes, chairman of the emergency response committee of the Church's Welfare Services Department. 

Garry R. Flake, director of Humanitarian Service of Church Welfare Services, said, "As members contribute to humanitarian assistance, they help the Church prepare ahead so that when the moment of crisis comes, the emergency response team can move into action immediately."

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve and chairman of the Church's humanitarian committee said, "The Church does not limit its relief efforts to its members but follows the admonition of the Prophet Joseph Smith when he said, ' A man filled with the Love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranger through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.'" (History of the Church 4:227)

While plans, ships and trucks deliver supplies to scenes of wars, storms, earthquakes, famine, poverty and many other crises throughout the world, the element that drives the church's humanitarian relief efforts is the individual whose contributions make possible those charitable acts.  The individual might voluntarily contribute financially, donate items of clothing or other goods, or volunteer time and talent to create, assemble, sort , package or prepare items for distribution to those in need.

    School Kit
    • 1 blackboard - 9 x 12 (Masonite )
    • 1 eraser
    • 1 box of 12 chalk
    • 3 pencils
    • 1 pencil sharpener
    • 1 sm. pkg. of notebook paper (250 sheets)
    • 1 pair blunt nosed scissors
    • 1 durable cloth bag with drawstring or velcro closure
  • Sand the edges and corners of blackboard
  • paint blackboard with two coats of blackboard paint
  • size the blackboard by coloring it with chalk all over using long side of chalk first with horz. strokes then with vert strokes
  • drill a hole in one corner of the blackboard and attach the eraser with a 22" cord
  • You may make the eraser by stuffing a soft cloth rectangle with batting
  • Make the bag of heavy fabric.
Hygiene Kit
  • 2 unbreakable combs
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • 1 tube of toothpaste
  • 1 regular size bar of soap
  • 4 travel-sized shampoo - Put in sealable bag
  • 1 travel sewing kit
  • 1 hand towel
  • Put items in a heavy-duty, two-gallon sealable bag; remove air
    Newborn Kit
  • 1 receiving blanket
  • 4 cloth diapers ( Not disposable ) 
  • 4 diaper safety pins
  • 2 regular -sized bars of soap (Ivory or non allergenic)
  • 1 newborn layette gown
  • 1 pair booties
  • (see newborn guidelines)
  • Put items in a heavy-duty, two gallon sealable bag; remove air
  • Quilts
  • Sizes: Crib, Single, Double
  • Use pre-shrunk, durable fabrics.
  • Use acrylic yarn, #10 Knit crosheen crochet or similar thread
  • All stitches acceptable
  • Please leave the following first aid items in original packaging:
    • Ace bandages
    • Adhesive bandages, 1" wide
    • Adhesive tape, 1" wide
    • Arm splints
    • Cotton balls, sterile and non sterile
    • Cotton swabs, sterile and non sterile
    • Gauze Pads, all sizes
    • Gauze rolls, all sizes
    • Paper tape, 1" side
    • Plaster of Paris
    • Tongue depressors
    Sewn Items
  • Keep items basic and simple
  • Use durable washable fabric
  • Pre-shrink all fabric before cutting
  • Clothing closures should be sewn securely
  • Catch stitch or safety pin together all items that belong together
  • Children's Clothes
  • Suggested items: Infant undershirts, pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, blouses, pajamas, dresses, underclothing.
  • Size: 2 - 14 years
  • Fabrics :Durable and washable
  • Simple basic patterns
  • Double stitch crotch seams, armhole seams, pockets and button holes.
  • Heavy polyester is excellent for children's pants
  • Girls in many countries wear only dresses. Simple colorful dresses are easy to sew.  The quantity of girls' dresses received from Deseret Industries does not meet the need
  • Receiving Blanket
    • Size 30x30, double thick 
    • Fabrics; Winter or summer flannel, cotton poly knits, thermal knits.
    • Cut two pieces of fabric the same size.  With right sides together, sew 1/4" seam around the edges. 
    • Leave 6" opening
    • Turn inside out and press
    • Baste opening edges and topstitch around entire blanket for durability.
    • Sew a 10" square in the center to keep the fabric from shifting. 
    • A narrow crocheted edge or piping border is acceptable.
    • Layette Gown
    • Size: Newborn to 6 months
    • Fabrics : Cotton , Cotton/poy, flannel, knits, plisse
    • Use Kwik Sew 2027 or similar pattern
    • Hand Towels
    • Fabrics: Purchased or nearly new bath towels or bold terry cloth
    • Cut towel into thirds. One yard terry cloth makes three 15 . 25" hand towels.
    • Sew edges securely to prevent fraying.
    • Other Needed Items
    • Infant Undershirts
    • Children's pajamas
    •  Knitted and crocheted children's clothing
    • Cloth wall hangings, 18" x 18" to 45" . 45" 

    Quotes and Specific Needs

    Crocheted and Knitted Items
    • Use your own patterns for slippers, booties, scarves, mittens, hats, afghans, toys or other crocheted and knitted items.
    • Items should be practical and durable
    • Catch stitch or pin together each finished pair of mittens, slippers, or booties. 

    • Do not use buttons for eyes on knitted or crocheted toys

      Crocheted or Knitted Tropical Sore Bandages ( leper bandages )

    • Size: 3"x 4' - 7'
    • Material specifications: No 10 knit Cro-sheen 100% cotton in white or cream.  Do not use dye.
    • When completed, roll bandage and secure with a large safety pin.
    • Put in small sealable bag and seal.
  • Knitting
  • Use size 2 knitting needles if you knit average or loosely, size 3 needles if you knit tightly. 
  • Cast on 24-28 so that it measure close to 3" across. Use the knit stitch all the way through (gives bandage the needed stretch)
  • Continue knitting until desired length and bind off.  Secure by sipping thread through last stitch, tying a double knot and weaving end back through stitches. 
  • When using a knitting machine, use only a double knit stitch because single knit bandages curl.
  • Crocheting: 
  • Use size D or #3 crochet hook
  • Chain enough stitches to measure 3" in width.  Single crochet into each chain. Chain one and turn.  Continue to single crochet to end, chain one and turn. 
  • Finish off by pulling thread through last loop and secure with double knot. 
  • Weave end back through stitches.
  • The red Cross in Guatemala has asked the Sort Center for supplies and equipment for a struggling charity hospital in that country.  The maternity section of the hospital lacks receiving blankets and layette.  Newborn babies currently are being wrapped in newspapers.
    A sister missionary working in Madagascar told a friend back home: "You have not the faintest idea of what real poverty is like until you come to a place like this." 
    In a 1993 project in Mozambique operated by Food for the Hungry, the group had received a Sort Center shipment of clothing.  They later wrote that the clothes were the difference between people being dressed and walking around naked. Some of the children had never worn a "new" article of clothing. 
    An LDS doctor on a humanitarian mission in Russia toured a major hospital.  During the tour he asked to see the hospital medical library.  He was shown a room containing three medical books.
    A sort Center shipment for Serbia included a request for some 300 crib quilts.  About that time, a shipment of service project items done by church members in the Snowflake AZ region arrived.  Among other things it included 300 crib quilts.  Service projects are NOT assigned to wards or stakes, but things seem to arrive as needed.
    A woman from Mexico said after a tour of the Sort Center : "My heart is so full. I have walked in a hold place during my visit here."
    The Utah National Guard offered 150 small Army cots to the Sort Center.  Officials weren't sure how they could be used or where they could be stored, ut gratefully accepted the offer.  Within days a call came from the Salt Lake Homeless Shelter asking if the Sort Center had any surplus cots.  When asked how many the shelter needed the answer came back, - 150.
    A small plastic bag was brought into the Sort Center as a service project.  It contained 10 knitted stocking caps for children.  They were done by a 94 year old sister who is legally blind but still seeking to serve. 
    An American woman try to adopt a child from a Romanian orphanage stayed for a month with a Romanian family in Bucharest, the capital city.  The husband of the family had an office job and owned two dress shirts.  While he was at work, his wife would wash and iron the shirt he would wear the next day.  One of the shirts had a button missing.  Each night when he came home from work, his wife would take a button off the shirt he wore that day and sew it on the shirt he was to wear the next day.  The visitor found this intolerable and went shopping for buttons.  But during the entire month of her stay, she was never able to find any. 
    A hospital in Istanbul Turkey is seeking Sort Center support.  The pediatric surgery department lacks technical instruments and the newborn intensive care unit does not even possess incubators.
    President Thomas S. Monson said, "Each time we watch the news on television or pick up a newspaper, we learn of terrible human suffering as a result of tornadoes, floods, fires, drought, hurricanes, earthquakes or conflicts of war.  I ask the question;'Do we have a responsibility to do something about such suffering?' The answer is, "Yes.""  Hunger knows no ecclesiastical boundary."

    Bishops Storehouse
    Deseret Industries


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