News Story

Mormon Helping Hands Serving at 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil

At the request of Brazil's Ministry of Sports, around 1,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brazil are volunteering their time to help Brazil host the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Mormons and their friends — those 18 years old and older — are taking part in Brazil Volunteer, the volunteer force behind this year’s World Cup and other events such as the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. They’re trained to receive visitors at airports and work at tourist sites and other popular locations during the World Cup, which lasts from 12 June through 13 July.

For nearly two decades, the Church has been known throughout Brazil for its many Mormon Helping Hands (MHH) projects — community service projects that often involve hundreds and even thousands of Latter-day Saint volunteers.

In 2013 Sarah Menezes, then national coordinator for Brazil Volunteer, worked with MHH volunteers during the FIFA Confederations Cup and was impressed by their service. “[Mormon] Helping Hands volunteers are the most organized and dedicated,” she said. “We need you at the Cup.”

As a result, representatives of Brazil’s Ministry of Sports approached the Church about providing volunteers for the 2014 World Cup.

Over the years, Mormon Helping Hands volunteers in Brazil have cleaned city parks, refurbished public schools, assembled and donated materials for newborn baby kits and provided other service in their various communities. In 2013 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers came to the rescue, helping their friends and neighbours clean up their homes and remove debris following the heavy rains in southeast Sao Paulo. They also donated blood on a nationwide “Helping Hands” day, partnering with blood collection agencies throughout Brazil.

In Canada enthusiastic Mormon Helping Hands volunteers recently joined other Christians, along with Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and other community members in Quebec for the fourth annual Interfaith Eco-Action Day. Several hundred pounds of garbage, recyclables and graffiti were removed from the streets and parks in the Saint-Henri district of Montreal as a practical expression of faith in action.

“We want to show the power of faith in our community, to make a positive difference,” said organizer Catherine Jarvis. “Volunteers who work together come to know that although faith traditions may vary, we have much in common, including the desire to live in healthy and robust communities.”

Attendees at the event were thanked by city councillors Craig Sauvé and Sophie Thiébaut, in addition to Marguerite Blais, member of the office of the national assembly for Saint-Henri–Saint-Anne, who also addressed the crowd.

The Mormon Helping Hands program of the Church, carried out in many parts of the world, reflects the desire of Latter-day Saints to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others.

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