Jose Perez, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, contracted polio at only eight months old. He has not been able to walk since age 11 and depends solely on a wheelchair to go the eight kilometers to work each day. Without the humanitarian efforts of the Latter-Day Saint Charities, he would never have had access to a stable and working wheelchair. He thus would never have been able to get to work and provide for his family.
Latter-Day Saint Charities was established by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1996. The organization is inspired by the Bible and the acts of Jesus Christ, who selflessly gave himself to the betterment of other people. Despite being a Christian religion, the LDS Charities is a non-biased organization, and has helped people from 179 countries around the globe.
The current bishop, Gary E. Stevenson, reiterates on the LDS philanthropy website the organization’s motto, which states that donations are truly “changing and saving lives.” He is very proud of the work done and the humanitarian aid that has been donated. The charity reminds us that every single dollar donated goes directly to help the poor and needy.
According to the charity’s website, members state, “We provide emergency relief assistance in times of natural disasters. In addition, our primary community development programs include clean water, neonatal resuscitation training, vision care, wheelchairs, immunizations, food production and other health programs.”
According to the charity’s 2013 Annual Report, the charity made significant headway in dealing with these various issues. In 2013 alone, LDS provided over 66,000 people around the world with wheelchairs. They built water and sanitation systems in 36 countries and taught people valuable lessons about hygiene. In addition, Latter-Day Saint Charities worked alongside doctors around the world to aid in correcting vision issues and providing medical supplies. The facts go on and on.
There are three primary ways we, as people outside of the organization, can help. First, we can donate either online or by sending a check to the LDS office in Salt Lake City, Utah. Secondly, LDS suggests people can volunteer within their own churches, whether it be through media production or tracking records. Lastly, we can become full-time volunteers and missionaries around the world.
Whatever charity you choose, it’s important that as members of the same world, we do what we can to take care of each other.
– Kathleen Lee