News Story

Calgary Latter-day Saint Youth Serve in Anticipation of World Humanitarian Day

World Humanitarian Day is held every August 19 to rally support for people affected by crises around the world. Approximately 800 youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints heard that call and volunteered at Grow Calgary August 3–5, 2018.

Grow Calgary, Canada’s largest urban community farm, provides fresh produce to low-income and vulnerable families — 95 per cent of whom are women and children.

The Church youth participated in a three-day conference that connected them with like-minded individuals from the area in order to strengthen relationships, learn and grow spiritually. An important aspect of the conference included providing service to the community — in particular, to support Grow Calgary’s initiative to help feed families in need.

Planning the youth conference for such a large group took tremendous effort, so youth volunteers served on the committee to plan the events. The service project co-ordinator, Jason Lawrence, indicated that the youth were eager to engage in a service project that would benefit the community.

Lawrence said, “Searching for an organization that would be willing to put 800 youth to work in a service-oriented capacity was a daunting task. When Grow Calgary said that they could use every single one of our youth, we were ecstatic. We were happy to be able to partner with Grow Calgary to fulfill its mandate while giving our youth an opportunity to give back to the community.”

Caring for the poor and needy is a foundational belief of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Church humanitarian service may include emergency response to natural or man-made disasters. It may also be part of a longer-term effort to meet serious and more entrenched human needs, such as alleviating disease.

In total, the Calgary Latter-day Saint youth contributed over 2,500 hours of labour while transplanting, weeding, mulching and harvesting some of the 40 varieties of vegetables grown for donation.

Seventeen-year-old Jada Anderson said, “It was a great experience to see all the youth working together to help this volunteer organization. We were able to connect more through doing service for Grow Calgary, knowing they would be bringing some really needed produce to families in the community. It brought a great spirit to our conference.”

For the past three decades, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has contributed an average of $40 million per year to worldwide welfare and humanitarian projects. One hundred per cent of donations are used for humanitarian efforts. The Church absorbs its own overhead costs and utilizes a global network of volunteers, who generously contribute their time and expertise. Volunteers often live in the communities in which they serve.

Latter-day Saint humanitarian service is a reflection of the counsel and example of Jesus Christ, “who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed” (Acts 10:38).

by Mary Chapman

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.