The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced an ongoing global effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the many projects underway, Church resources and volunteers are being used to help make much-needed face masks and other protective equipment for frontline health care workers.
“We know that God will hear and answer our prayers. We have been taught to be ‘anxiously engaged’ in relieving suffering and caring for those in need (see Doctrine and Covenants 58:27),” said the First Presidency in a letter released on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
“To date, we have approved over 110 COVID-19 relief projects in 57 countries. Most of these are done with trusted partners from humanitarian agencies, health ministries and hospitals, which allows us to use our resources—including food, hygiene products, personal protective equipment, medical equipment, cash and other commodities—in places where they can do the most good,” they added.
For example, the Church’s Beehive Clothing facilities in Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Utah will temporarily shift their operations from the manufacture of religious clothing to the sewing of masks and gowns (Utah only) needed by those in the medical field.
“We’re trying to work with governments [and] community leaders and find out what they need and then respond,” said Sister Sharon Eubank, president of Latter-day Saint Charities and a member of the Relief Society general presidency. “We have mobilized the Relief Society and their families to help with some of these projects.”
“Latter-day Saint Charities is very lucky because we have partnerships, whether it’s a pandemic or not,” Sister Eubank added. “We’ve had trusted relationships over time. So when there is a pandemic, we don’t have to start from scratch. We know exactly how to help each other.”
In Utah, the women of the Relief Society are organizing members to participate in a partnership between Latter-day Saint Charities, Intermountain Healthcare and University of Utah Health to help sew 5 million clinical face masks to be donated to health care workers.
“We invite our members to participate in these and other relief projects in their areas and communities as opportunities arise and as local government directives and personal circumstances allow,” said the First Presidency letter.