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Recent Stories Re: Church's Humanitarian Efforts


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For the Teancum Memorial "Relieving Human Suffering is Pretty Low on {the Church's} List" and/or Analytics Memorial "The Church's Leaders are Bunch of 'Miserly' 'Ebenezer Scrooge' Clones and the Church is 'Primarily a Giant Hedge Fund that Happens to also have a Religious Operation'" files:

Help rolls in: Church donates 900 wheelchairs

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The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints has blessed the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness with nearly 1 000 wheelchairs.

The department will over a period of 12 months receive 900 wheelchairs, 2260 mobility aids ranging from walkers and crutches and 196 hearing aids.

 

The R12 million donation comes from members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the globe and forms part of the church’s humanitarian aims to improve mobility, health, and educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints Launch Light the World Giving Machines

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is spreading Christmas joy in the Philippines through its Light The World Giving Machines. These unique vending machines, situated in Ayala Malls TriNoma in Quezon City and Ayala Center Cebu, offer a meaningful way for people to celebrate the holiday season while extending a helping hand to those in need.

Launching on November 9, 2023, and available until January 1, 2024, these Giving Machines allow the public to participate in acts of service by dispensing valuable and affordable product cards. These cards represent various items such as food packs, hygiene kits, educational materials, student financial aid, and more, all aimed at assisting fellow Filipinos in need.

LDS church doubles its Christmas season ‘Light the World’ giving machines

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The giving machines program run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of its “Light the World” initiative is expanding this year, as the machines spread to twice as many cities as the previous Christmas season.

The church announced on Friday the machines, which mimic vending machines but allow people to buy items for others, will be located in 61 cities, including at the City Creek Mall in Salt Lake City and the University Place Mall in Orem, beginning Nov. 20.

Almost one-third of the machines will be located internationally in Mexico, Guatemala, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines.

Chickens bring transformation

Mary Concepter Obiero, the director of relief development and protection for Church World Service Africa, said at a press conference on Friday that she represents about 20,000 communities that have benefited from the giving machines.

“The impact that this project has had is huge,” she said, emphasizing the outcomes are fast.

Obiero spoke about one community in Tanzania where 90 women were given three chicks each. One year later, the women had 5,000 chickens, helping children go to school and be fed.

Mormon Church delivers 40,000 pounds of food to SLO County

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered 40,000 pounds of food to San Luis Obispo County on Thursday morning, just in time for Thanksgiving.

About 30 volunteers gathered at the church’s Paso Robles meeting house to unload 24 pallets of dry and canned food, according to a news release.

The food was delivered by the Mormon Church’s Salt Lake City, Utah headquarters, the news release said.

At least nine organizations received the food: the El Camino Homeless Organization, the Cal Poly Food Pantry, the Paso Robles Unified School District, Resilient Souls, Lumina Alliance, People’s Self-Help Housing, the Salvation Army, Mission San Miguel and the Paso Robles Housing Authority, the news release said.

The Mormon Church also donated separately to the SLO Food Bank, as well as the communities of Moorpark and Santa Maria.

This isn’t the first time the Mormon Church made a large local donation. Last year, the church donated 7.2 million pounds of food to the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles, the news release said.

Trees, water, equipment and other humanitarian aid throughout Africa

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In October and November, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint donated fruit trees, new homes, water boreholes, child nutrition services, equipment and more in several countries throughout Africa. Below are some of the examples of humanitarian aid.

Child nutrition in West Africa

As part of the effort spearheaded by the Relief Society to improve child nutrition worldwide, the Church has initiated a pilot program in the Africa West Area for children ages 0 to 5 years. 

Leaders and families gathered at three stake centers in Ghana and one in Sierra Leone in October and November 2023. 

At each of the stake centers, between 300 to 400 children were screened for malnutrition, and their parents were given literature and instruction on proper nutrition for their children, reported the Church’s Africa Newsroom.

Charles Kwablah Akorligleh, a manager in the Church’s Welfare and Self Reliance Department in West Africa, noted that the program provides Church leaders with the opportunity to reach out to those they serve.

“In each ward or branch, this program provides the Relief Society and Primary leaders the opportunity to reach out to those that they minister to and provide this wonderful opportunity for them to bless the lives of their children,” said Akorligleh.

Boreholes, homes, hospital rooms and police equipment in Ghana

On Oct. 3, the Church presented a donation of two boreholes and two water storage tanks to the Saint Francis Senior Technical High School in Akim Oda, Ghana. 

Water had always been a challenge at the school, and students had to spend a significant amount of time bringing water from off campus to meet their basic needs.

“Our prayers have been answered,” said Parent Teacher Association President Clement Owusu Sekyere. “The Church has brought us water.” 

In his remarks to the students, Asamankese Ghana Stake President Solomon A. Tenadu said the Church funds used to pay for the boreholes and tanks are sacred, because people followed the Savior’s counsel to show love for their fellow man.

“What has happened today is because someone chose to obey the Savior’s council. We urge you to do the same,” he said. “Care for each other, look after the needs of your fellow students. If you do that you will honor those who donated.”

In another part of Ghana, the Church built 20 new homes for residents of the Simiw Village who had lost their homes in a flood.

A donation ceremony was held on Oct. 6, where the keys to the new homes were presented to the recipients. Church leaders, traditional leaders, and village residents then toured the newly built homes.
...
 

Children’s home renovation and new buildings in Liberia

At the beginning of October, the Church held a donation ceremony at the Gloria Children Home in Tiene, Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. The Gloria Children Home provides schooling, food, shelter and care for about 30 orphans and abandoned children.

The Church funded a renovation for the facility — rewiring and updating electricity, fixing the roof and ceilings tiles — and constructed a new latrine and kitchen with a storage area and new drainage system.

“The Church has been with us from the very beginning,” said Kula Dennis, the home’s director. “After the Civil War and through the Ebola crises, the Church was there for these children. I am so grateful that we have maintained this relationship throughout the years.”
...
 

Water supply, toilets and lightning protection in Uganda

Working with WaterAid Uganda, Kamuli district government officials and school administrators, the Church helped construct a new solar-powered pipe water supply system that will serve more than 9,500 residents of three villages.

In addition, two ventilated improved modern toilet facilities have been constructed at Yana Community High School and Orion Primary School to improve sanitation and hygienic practices among the female students.
...
 

Planting fruit trees in Kenya

The Church continued its humanitarian initiative in Kenya called Trees for Food by planting 37,000 fruit trees in the town of Ngong in Kajiado County, on Nov. 2.

This is the third round of Trees for Food, with 400,000 fruit tree seedlings planted in the first two rounds in Kenya. Over the next few weeks, 200,000 orange, banana, mango and avocado trees will be planted throughout six counties in the country.

The trees should begin yielding fruit 18 months to two years after planting. The project allows individuals and families to have food, helps build self-reliance and contributes to protecting the environment.

Thanks,

-Smac

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

What is the total dollar amount of non fast offering humanitarian work done last year?

 

Edited to add - I applaud the church for doing each and every one of these projects. I think they are amazing and great. But this post shows how little you understand the criticism being raised. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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6 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Is there? I feel like there is no good way to quantify this. 

1 billion the last year, compared to 40 million a year. So quite significant, or I'm misunderstanding your point. :) https://www.deseret.com/2016/7/12/20591934/lds-church-welfare-humanitarian-efforts-average-40-million-per-year-apostle-says

Edited by Tacenda
Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

1 billion the last year, compared to 40 million a year. So quite significant, or I'm misunderstanding your point. :) https://www.deseret.com/2016/7/12/20591934/lds-church-welfare-humanitarian-efforts-average-40-million-per-year-apostle-says

The comparison is impossible. 1 billion accounts for things that were not included in the 40 million.  Things like fast offerings for one. 

Link to comment
16 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

All good things. Why is it that there is much more spending now? Bottom up or outside voices, just wish this had been done before the whistle blower. But understand I should not be complaining whatsoever! Except, are the wheelchairs motorized? J/K'g! ;)

I don't think there is (maybe?)...I think there's more publication on how they're spending money and types of projects they work in likely for the criticisms that are often brought up about how we do so. Or more awareness and seeking info about it. It's hard to measure what came first. But I remember a presentation in a class I had at BYU that described what would make them decide to publicize about projects and it was usually when the publications would allow for more partnering and access for service. Considering the open criticism, I could imagine them trying to openly share more info as a means to reduce impact of services they can render due to increased skepticism. But that's me guessing. 

The church has been part of large humanitarian projects for several decades at the very least. They do so via partnering with other reliable groups and some that they do as well as local ward/stake forms of volunteering or community outreach. 

 

Also I know it was a joke, but it's actually a smarter idea that they not be motorized. Usually motorized parts need specialized maintenance unavailable in many places in the world and may not be as mobile in areas that don't have paved even streets. You'd want durable wheelchairs with minimal easy-to-fix parts for best impact in the lives of others. 

 

With luv,

BD 

Link to comment
2 hours ago, smac97 said:

Mormon Church delivers 40,000 pounds of food to SLO County

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered 40,000 pounds of food to San Luis Obispo County on Thursday morning, just in time for Thanksgiving.

About 30 volunteers gathered at the church’s Paso Robles meeting house to unload 24 pallets of dry and canned food, according to a news release.

The food was delivered by the Mormon Church’s Salt Lake City, Utah headquarters, the news release said.

At least nine organizations received the food: the El Camino Homeless Organization, the Cal Poly Food Pantry, the Paso Robles Unified School District, Resilient Souls, Lumina Alliance, People’s Self-Help Housing, the Salvation Army, Mission San Miguel and the Paso Robles Housing Authority, the news release said.

The Mormon Church also donated separately to the SLO Food Bank, as well as the communities of Moorpark and Santa Maria.

This isn’t the first time the Mormon Church made a large local donation. Last year, the church donated 7.2 million pounds of food to the counties of San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles, the news release said.

This is a fraction of what the church does for food banks across the country every week.

Link to comment
11 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Not to pry (too much!), but why not? Food donations are now included in the church humanitarian number if I understand correctly. Not sure if they were in the old 40 million number. 

The information I have is the property of mine as well as a national organization we belong to.  Not to take a cop out, but I'm not authorized to speak for either of them.

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, Rain said:

I love so much of what the church does in charity. Please don't taint it with digs at other board members. 

I appreciate the feedback, but I respectfully disagree with it.

Teancum, Analytics, and a fair number of other (notably anonymous) critics constantly disparage and impugn the basic decency of the Church and its leaders, and often even go further than that and attribute to it malignant motives and actions that are unfair, inaccurate, and so on.  I don't think it is a "dig" to quote, verbatim, a few instances of such disparagements, particularly when they can be so readily rebutted (here, regarding the Church's humanitarian efforts).  As ksfisher noted, the Church's efforts in the news items I referenced "{are not} a fraction of what the church does for food banks across the country every week."

Teancum and Analytics both post anonymously, so their incessant denigrations against a religious minority pose little to no risk to their personal reputations, livelihoods, relationships, etc.  I am not doxxing these folks when I quote them, either.  So we're on a level playing field (kinda, as unlike them, I do post under my IRL name).

In the end, I hope folks like Teancum and Analytics are not incorrigible in their overwhelming and constantly-published-to-the-world contempt for and hostility against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To that end, perhaps there may be some value in occasionally pulling them up short and asking them to consider information and evidence they might otherwise dismiss out-of-hand.  Alternatively, I feel we have an obligation to protect and defend the good name and reputation of the Church, and the mild nose-tweaking of these guys for their over-the-top denigrations is, in my view, a pretty mild manifestation of such a defense.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
29 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I appreciate the feedback, but I respectfully disagree with it.

Teancum, Analytics, and a fair number of other (notably anonymous) critics constantly disparage and impugn the basic decency of the Church and its leaders, and often even go further than that and attribute to it malignant motives and actions that are unfair, inaccurate, and so on.  I don't think it is a "dig" to quote, verbatim, a few instances of such disparagements, particularly when they can be so readily rebutted (here, regarding the Church's humanitarian efforts).  As ksfisher noted, the Church's efforts in the news items I referenced "{are not} a fraction of what the church does for food banks across the country every week."

Teancum and Analytics both post anonymously, so their incessant denigrations against a religious minority pose little to no risk to their personal reputations, livelihoods, relationships, etc.  I am not doxxing these folks when I quote them, either.  So we're on a level playing field (kinda, as unlike them, I do post under my IRL name).

In the end, I hope folks like Teancum and Analytics are not incorrigible in their overwhelming and constantly-published-to-the-world contempt for and hostility against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  To that end, perhaps there may be some value in occasionally pulling them up short and asking them to consider information and evidence they might otherwise dismiss out-of-hand.  Alternatively, I feel we have an obligation to protect and defend the good name and reputation of the Church, and the mild nose-tweaking of these guys for their over-the-top denigrations is, in my view, a pretty mild manifestation of such a defense.

Thanks,

-Smac

If you make it about them it's going to get the thread shut down when it inevitably becomes a back-and-forth about which group is worse, you or them.

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2 hours ago, Tacenda said:

All good things. Why is it that there is much more spending now?

Relatively speaking, the Church having access to vast resources of wealth is a pretty new thing.  It took from 1997 to 2018 for EPA's reserves to reach $32 billion.

More recently, the valuation of EPA's AUM (assets under management) seem to be around $46 billion (see, e.g., here).  Per Sam Brunson:

epa.jpg

I acknowledge that "Nielsen alleged in his 2019 IRS complaint that Ensign Peak held more than $100 billion in investments for the church."  I don't know if that is accurate.

Bishop Waddell has publicly disputed Nielsen's claims:

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Nielsen resigned in 2019 after a website named Mormon Leaks linked church members to shell companies that held billions of dollars in stocks and bonds, assets that were actually controlled by Ensign Peak.

After his resignation, Nielsen filed a 74-page whistleblower complaint to the IRS that accused Ensign Peak of violating its tax-exempt status by directing money to for-profit businesses.
...

The Mormon church official W Christopher Waddell, who oversees the organization’s financial, real estate, investment and charitable operations as the first counselor in the presiding bishopric, vehemently denied Nielsen’s accusations.

“Flat-out wrong,” said Waddell, who added that Ensign Peak acted as “the church’s treasury” and provided resources for its operation.

I don't know if Nielsen's $100B figure was specifically intended to be a part of Bishop Waddell's vehement denial.

I have seen claims that EPA has $130 billion, $140 Billion$150 billion, even $250 billion (here and here).

Thanks,

-Smac

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25 minutes ago, bluebell said:

If you make it about them it's going to get the thread shut down when it inevitably becomes a back-and-forth about which group is worse, you or them.

Okay.  Let's stick with discussing the news items then.

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
16 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

I don't think there is a problem with posting anonymously.

I do.  The Online Disinhibition Effect is real, and it seems to be getting worse.

16 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is the internet -- it is standard practice.  Almost everyone does it.

That behavior is common does not necessarily mean it is healthy or good.

I am not calling for these guys to be doxxed or prohibited from posting anonymously, or anything like that.  To the contrary, I think their preferences should be preserved.  Nikki Haley recently took a major hit for her proposal "to require that all social media users be verified by their names online" (though, to her credit, she walked it back pretty quick).

Thanks,

-Smac

Link to comment
1 hour ago, smac97 said:

After his resignation, Nielsen filed a 74-page whistleblower complaint to the IRS that accused Ensign Peak of violating its tax-exempt status by directing money to for-profit businesses.

Above is quoted by Smac, not Smac saying this

Is this accurate?  My memory says the brother of the whistleblower wrote the 74 page report and filed it himself or was there a different many paged report done by him?*** David Nielsen did not want his brother’s document released publicly originally, but maybe David submit it to the IRS himself?  Unless it has happened within the past year, I don’t believe David ever confirmed the report was accurate or not.  (Not my own memory either on this:  https://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/75040-update-on-church-finances/?do=findComment&comment=1210130549 )

Too often it seems like news reports have merged what his brother (Lars iirc) did with what David, the one who worked for EPA did.  Iirc, Lars was a medical consultant and did not have a financial background, which explains to some degree why the document was so poorly written from that angle.  And maybe David agrees now with his brother and so in interviews it sounds more like he did it?

***the story it was David pushing it came from Lars when he shared it with the Washington Post , but iirc David repudiated it to begin with at least

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/mormon-church-has-misled-members-on-100-billion-tax-exempt-investment-fund-whistleblower-alleges/2019/12/16/e3619bd2-2004-11ea-86f3-3b5019d451db_story.html (use reader function if blocked from reading, this works for multiple websites)

Edited by Calm
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3 hours ago, smac97 said:

am not calling for these guys to be doxxed or prohibited from posting anonymously, or anything like that. 

Analytics has been open about who he is in the past, you have been calling him by his name after all. Labeling him as posting anonymously seems at least inaccurate.

When offline names mean nothing to those online, I am not sure having one’s real name out there is much different than being anonymous, especially if a long time user of an alias that everyone online knows you by; that name is how you connect with people online.

I can see it making a difference if one is intentionally setting out to criticize or discredit (possibly because they deserve it, not all criticism is bad) another from the beginning and being anonymous for that reason, but if criticisms come after the fact of establishing that identity, I am not sure it would make that much of a difference because one might have developed a quite strong identity with one’s alias.  Almost everyone I know online called me by Cal until I started making an effort in some private forums to use my real name, Cris (mainly because I prefer that name).  I figure it is just an element of confusion to use Cris publicly by now after 20 years as Cal online….if only I had known, I would have chosen a more fun name instead of just using my maiden name initials because my married ones would be “car” and that just didn’t work for me, lol.  A lot of times now I stop myself from misbehaving (too badly) because that isn’t what “Cal” does, just as I don’t do things because that isn’t what Cris does. (Yes, I have always talked to myself using my name, I have no clue why; apparently it is healthier even according to some psych studies I read ten years or so ago, so I am only mildly embarrassed admitting it; it apparently has a stronger positive impact on your mental state as it seems like it is another person reassuring or comforting while using “I” can increase feeling of shame or inadequacies, our brains are so simple sometimes).

Edited by Calm
Link to comment
2 hours ago, smac97 said:

I do.  The Online Disinhibition Effect is real, and it seems to be getting worse.

That effect is real, and you are contributing to it by participating on line in this forum.  Whether or not someone is anonymous isn’t shown to contribute to, or exacerbate, that effect and using your real name can have other negative consequences:

“Using real names online might seem like a good idea, but in reality, it often serves little purpose other than to expose people to more harassment and discrimination – according to this research at least.”

https://news.sophos.com/en-us/2017/01/05/using-real-names-online-leads-to-discrimination-and-harrassment/amp/

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

When offline names mean nothing to those online, I am not sure having one’s real name out there is much different than being anonymous, especially if a long time user of an alias that everyone online knows you by; that name is how you connect with people online.

Yeah, if all of a sudden Calm disappeared and there was a Cris posting here I'd be lost and confused!

On the other hand, I remember when Calmoriah disappeared and Calm appeared. I seemed to weather that storm decently enough ;) 

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7 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

seemed to weather that storm decently enough ;) 

I am not sure I did, lol.  I was mortified when I came to my senses once the morphine wore off. It comes across as so arrogant to me.  But I kept it to remind myself to not make important decisions when out of it and it has probably saved the board from being subjected to rambling nonsense quite a few times.

I have no excuse for the other times I posted such anyway save it is nice to feel like I am talking with friends even when I am alone and I take advantage of everyone here for that feeling.

Edited by Calm
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