In its ongoing mission to give humanitarian aid during the global refugee crisis, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated a total of $2 million to two charitable organizations Monday.
Bishop W. Christopher Waddell, second counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of the Church, presented the donation to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and International Rescue Committee (IRC), two organizations that are helping refugees build new lives in communities across the U.S.
“We are grateful for these ongoing relationships and for the opportunities they provide to assist in one of the fundamental principles of the gospel — caring for those that may feel like strangers among us,” said Bishop Waddell. “This includes those who have been driven from their homes and find themselves in new and unfamiliar circumstances.”
The $1.25 million contribution to the USCCB will help welcome and assist newly arrived refugees in 80 diocesan resettlement offices throughout the country. The $750,000 donation to the IRC will provide similar services for displaced refugee families in their initial months of resettlement in 29 cities across the nation.
“I am extremely grateful to Bishop Waddell and the LDS Church for the support of Migration & Refugee Services,” said Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, auxiliary bishop of Seattle and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration. “Together, as people of faith, we know that refugees desperately need our help — and this generosity allows us to serve many more.”
IRC senior vice president of U.S. programs, Jennifer Sime, said, “We appreciate the long-standing and steadfast support that IRC has received from the LDS community. [It] has been an invaluable partner in assisting the IRC to help newly arriving refugees adjust to life in the U.S. We are incredibly grateful to the LDS Church for their continued support to IRC and the refugees we serve.”
The Church has provided relief to refugees around the world for decades and in recent months has committed $6 million to domestic refugee efforts in the United States.
Last fall, the First Presidency, the Church’s highest governing body, invited Latter-day Saints to provide assistance through monetary contributions and by participating in community relief projects, where practical.