News Release

Haiti: Latter-day Saints Provide Humanitarian Aid and Volunteer Service

Those who join the service and help coordinated by the Church of Jesus Christ in Haiti say they do so because it is what Jesus would do if He were among them.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the Republic of Haiti on August 14 has affected thousands of people, with a death toll of around 2,000 and with hundreds of homes destroyed. This is mainly in the Les Cayes area, where leaders, members, and volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been providing emotional, physical, and spiritual help. An estimated 500,000 people need emergency humanitarian assistance.

This week, the emergency committee coordinated by Elder Hubermann Bien-Aimé, Area Seventy, has been delivering the aid provided by the Church. Two trucks have distributed the aid among the most affected communities, providing food, water, hygiene kits, items for newborns, flashlights, tents, tarps, and protective helmets, among other resources.

Mackenson Nöel, Welfare Manager for the Church in Haiti reported that, under the direction of the Caribbean Area Presidency, they have been doing everything possible to help those in need in this situation.

“The Church meetinghouse in Gabions, Les Cayes, is being used as a shelter, assisting a total of 159 people, of whom 109 are from nearby communities and 50 are Latter-day Saints. Also, our building in Quatre Chemins is serving the same purpose, and we are assessing needs there. Many homes have suffered significant damage due to the earthquake, and we are happy to serve as Jesus Christ himself would,” said Nöel.

The Church's aid will also impact some 4,000 people who receive assistance at the Immaculate Conception Hospital in Les Cayes. “We know that everything about this earthquake has been difficult, but we thank God that we are blessed by the good hearts of Latter-day Saints and others around the world who contribute sacred funds to make this help possible in these difficult times,” said Elder Bien-Aimé.

Sister Erika Charles, one of the emotional health professionals for Latter-day Saint Family Services, has volunteered as a psychologist, helping people who have been emotionally affected. “I'm just doing what the Lord would do if He were among us right now: lift up the hands that hang down and comfort those that stand in need of comfort,” Sister Charles joyfully expressed.

With people sheltered in the chapels of the Church, logistics is required so that everyone receives the proper care and that basic needs are met. The Church emergency committee has considered a program of activities to be carried out for all refugees, which will include daily prayers, scripture study, exercise, recreational and service activities, and emotional resilience classes.

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