Continuing the series of facts about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members, here I have collected some facts about how the church and the membership approach service, welfare, and self-reliance.
The previous post is facts about the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Of course, you can download the entire list of neat facts about our faith HERE.
A breakneck pace of self-reliance training – In its first three years, the church’s self-reliance initiative trained over 700,000 people in 130 countries on topics like starting a business, finding a better job, managing finances, and getting an education. (Mormon Newsroom, 2018)
Vaccines and vaccination training – The Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the single largest religious donor to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, and continues to donate 1.5 million per year to provide immunization supplies. Our volunteers then educate local community members on how to perform their own vaccinations, so they need not rely on charity organizations. (Wrigley, 2012)
Comprehensive and effective social welfare – Bloomberg reports that “Mormon Church… essentially runs the most comprehensive and effective social welfare system in the country…maybe in the world” (Mcardle, 2013)
Millions of pounds of grain donated annually – The LDS Church keeps 9.1 million bushels of wheat on hand for emergencies at all times divided between 28 cities across the USA and Canada. That’s 546 million lbs or $72.8 million. As stores are replenished, this wheat is milled into flour and given away across the world as loaves of bread and boxes of pasta. (Swensen, 2014)
An essential partner in disaster response – The president of the Red Cross says: “Our partnership with the LDS church is absolutely essential for the Red Cross to fulfill it’s mission every day. With us, the church has been there in so many different parts of the world in large numbers… The most critical thing in disaster response is moving large groups of people to the site of the disaster. There is no one who can mobilize groups of people better than the LDS Church.” (Mormon Newsroom, 2013)
Fighting homelessness – The LDS Church support of Utah’s “Housing First” initiative helped reduce chronic homelessness in Utah by over 90% (Carrier, 2015)
Resource centers and Perpetual Education – The LDS Church operates over 1,100 Self-Reliance Resource Centers which includes access to the Perpetual Education Fund which gives disadvantaged people access to education loans to learn new skills for a better life. This project was so well funded by members that the church is not even accepting donations for it any more. (LDS Church, 2018)
Improving the world, not just repairing it – As an example of disaster response philosophy: when disaster struck, Mormons didn’t just rebuild homes for victims of Typhoon Haiyan, They bought them tools, taught people how to build their own houses, then gave them trade certificates in construction that helped them qualify for better jobs. (Walch, Perpetual Education Fund’s success led to massive expansion of LDS effort to lift the poor, 2016)
Doing more than just Tithing – Members and supporters of the LDS Church donate an additional $50 Million per year on average to humanitarian assistance such as emergency response, clean water efforts, wheelchairs, developing country neonatal care, and immunization projects ON TOP of donations made for Tithing, food storehouses, employment assistance, thrift stores, and other welfare efforts. 100% of these funds are used to help those in need, rather than a percentage due to overhead or management. (LDS Charities, 2011) (Wenger, 2012) (LDS Church, 2018)
Billions spent supporting the needy – According to the Economist Magazine, the church spends at least $50,000 per congregation (that’s 1.2 billion worldwide) per year on direct cash aid to local congregations to buy food, pay for housing, cover medical bills, assist in substance abuse recovery, provide food and clothing, and other welfare benefits. (The Economist, 2002)
More than just bishops available to help – The Church has programs to train and support employment specialists, disability specialists, and community service specialists on global, area, stake, and ward levels.
Helping others serve – The LDS Church created and continues to support JustServe.org – a free service that uses the power of the internet to connect volunteers with needy individuals and organizations around the whole world, increasing the amount and efficiency of service done globally. (Lloyd, 2018)
The Faith of Opportunity – Bloomberg reports that Utah’s upward mobility – that is, the ability a person has to change their own economic status from bad to good – is not just good for the US, but is nearly the best in the entire world. This is attributed to a number of factors, but especially to how the Church mobilizes, encourages charity and social programs, tears down political walls, and builds the community. (McArdle, 2017)
Carrier, S. (2015, February 17). The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness. Retrieved from Mother Jones: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/housing-first-solution-to-homelessness-utah/
LDS Charities. (2011). Building Hope: 2011 Fact Sheet. Retrieved from LDS Charities: https://www.ldscharities.org/bc/ldscharities/content/english/articles/why-we-help/pdf/2011%20Humanitarian%20Summary.pdf
LDS Church. (2018, 05 31). Self-Reliance Services/Perpetual Education Fund. Retrieved from LDS Philanthropies: https://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/perpetual-education-fund
Lloyd, R. S. (2018, 03 30). JustServe.org: Connecting Volunteers with Community Needs. Retrieved from Church News: https://www.lds.org/church/news/justserve-org-connecting-volunteers-with-community-needs?lang=eng
Mcardle, M. (2013, August 6). The Inequality That Matters. Retrieved from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2013-08-06/the-inequality-that-matters
McArdle, M. (2017, 03 28). How Utah Keeps the American Dream Alive. Retrieved from Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2017-03-28/how-utah-keeps-the-american-dream-alive
Mormon Newsroom. (2013, August 28). Humanitarian Efforts (Mormons). Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3J2vLNGdWY
Mormon Newsroom. (2018, 9 28). Elder Christofferson Participates in G20 Interfaith Forum in Argentina. Retrieved from mormonnewsroom: https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/elder-christofferson-participates-g20-interfaith-forum-argentina
Swensen, J. (2014, 8 21). Church’s Blue Creek Welfare Farm Helps Feed Thousands. Retrieved from Church News: https://www.lds.org/church/news/churchs-blue-creek-welfare-farm-helps-feed-thousands?lang=eng
The Economist. (2002, February 14). Bishop’s Move. Retrieved from The Economist Magazine: https://www.economist.com/node/988818
Walch, T. (2016, 9 27). Perpetual Education Fund’s success led to massive expansion of LDS effort to lift the poor. Retrieved from Deseret News: https://www.deseretnews.com/article/865663385/Perpetual-Education-Funds-success-led-to-massive-expansion-of-LDS-effort-to-lift-the-poor.html
Wenger, K. (2012, July 11). Business Week’s erroneous claim about LDS chritable giving. Retrieved from Times and Seasons: http://www.timesandseasons.org/harchive/2012/07/business-weeks-erroneous-claim-about-lds-charitable-giving/
Wrigley, H. W. (2012, 06 13). Church Makes Immunizations an Official Initiative, Provides Social Mobilization. Retrieved from Church News: https://www.lds.org/church/news/church-makes-immunizations-an-official-initiative-provides-social-mobilization?lang=eng&_r=1