News Release

Season of Giving: Canadian Latter-day Saints ‘Think Outside the Box’

How a car, portable laundry facilities, housing and medical equipment are changing lives

Latter-day Saints are “thinking outside the box” to support local charities and community organizations. In 2022, 63 projects were organized between Canadian congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their community partners.

According to The Giving Report, “one in four Canadians … are expected to use or are already using charitable services in 2022 for basic necessities.” With this in mind, Latter-day Saints are looking for ways to help in their communities.

Elder David C. Stewart, local Area Seventy, stated, “It is amazing to watch the hand of the Lord as He uses the natural skills and interactions of local Church members and leaders to bless His children. He is aware of all His children, in particular, those who are disadvantaged. We are asked to ‘lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees’ (Doctrine and Covenants 81:5). We can do that. We must do that. ‘When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God’ (Mosiah 2:17).”

Here are a few ways Latter-day Saints have helped across the country this year.

Driving Lessons for Teens

Rod Scott, vice-principal of Victoria Park High School in Lethbridge, Alberta, and his colleagues recognized many of their students were not getting their learner’s licence or their driver’s licence. Many “students don’t have access to a vehicle, a family vehicle or even a friend-supplied vehicle. They lack that experience.” Scott wished to “remove barriers for kids and see them succeed as is; that’s what it’s all about.”

Through a donation from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the school was able to purchase a vehicle and launch a Youth Driver Experience Program. The local Subaru dealer also partnered on the project, committing to provide maintenance on the vehicle at no charge.

“It means a lot to me. I’m really excited,” said Anneka Schoof, a Grade 12 student. “I’m an independent student and don’t really have access to practice.” With this new program, she will have more time behind the wheel.

Lethbridge School Division News: Driver Experience Program to Support Students at Victoria Park

Lethbridge Herald: New Wheels Donated for Victoria Park’s Driver Training Program

Portable Laundry Facilities

Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) has been working in the inner city of Edmonton, Alberta, since 1971. Their goal is to help individuals escape the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Edmonton Latter-day Saints partnered with BSCS to provide a portable laundry facility for members of Edmonton’s homeless community. It enables over 2,700 homeless people to wash clothing and bedding.

Jodi Phelan, general manager of Boyle Street Ventures, welcomed the gift. “This charitable and selfless donation will go a long way in positively impacting the lives of countless individuals in the community,” said Phelan. “Getting this laundry trailer will give those who do not have regular access to garment washing the ability to clean their clothing on a consistent basis. Not only will the laundry trailer assist in brightening up clothing items, but it will also go a long way in brightening up the community’s spirit.”

Refugee Housing

Georgette Mantini, Barrie Ontario Stake Relief Society president, understands the plight of refugees. Her grandparents were refugees and, thus, went through a time of uncertainty and hardship when they arrived in Canada. Mantini also understands the power of community partnering. “By working together with others in our community, we can achieve so much more,” said Mantini. “This is what happened when leaders from the Church … united with Mapleview Community Church (MCC) and the Canada Ukraine Coordination Network (CUCN). There was such a great sense of unity that, even though we were from different faiths, we came together with one purpose in mind: to alleviate suffering.”

In October 2022, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated $20,000 to MCC to pay for housing for local Ukrainian refugees. The donation brought CUCN director Snezhana Derzhanovska to tears. She said, “It’s unbelievable that a group of God’s people who don’t even know us found out about our mission to help Ukrainians and decided to join us in changing the lives of Ukrainian families. God likes to surprise us in ways we can’t even imagine.”

Computers and Renovations for Youth Mental Health Programs

Stella’s Place provides free mental health services for young adults ages 16 to 29. Toronto Latter-day Saints partnered with them to provide renovation support, so they could update and move into a larger space. Stella’s Place provides peer support, clinical services, employment support, wellness, art and recovery programs “to help young adults learn skills, build community and be empowered to manage their own mental health” (

The Shalem Mental Health Network offers individual, couples and family counselling. They support children and youth who struggle with attachment disorders and their caregivers. The Church donated funds to purchase new computers for use in their mental health clinics. These resources will help support families who struggle with emotional distress and/or mental illness.

Medical Equipment

Indigenous Canadians living in northern Ontario experience many barriers to medical care. In Attawapiskat, Ontario, residents had to fly 260 kilometres (162 miles) to get a simple X-ray. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided funds through the Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA) to purchase a new X-ray machine. The Church donated additional funding to purchase medical stretchers, ultrasound decontamination equipment, a fetal heart rate monitor, a biosafety cabinet, a medical-grade freezer, a portable laser and rehabilitation equipment. The equipment assists six First Nations communities serviced by the Moosonee Health Centre.

Season of Giving

These donations and acts of service are changing the lives of many. During this season of giving, may we all “think outside the box” and remember that our simple acts of kindness are equally transformative.

Jean Bingham, former Relief Society general president, said, “Sometimes we think we have to do something grand and heroic to ‘count’ as serving our neighbors. Yet simple acts of service can have profound effects on others — as well as on ourselves. What did the Savior do? … [He] smiled at, talked with, walked with, listened to, made time for, encouraged, taught, fed and forgave. He served family and friends, neighbors and strangers alike, and He invited acquaintances and loved ones to enjoy the rich blessings of His gospel. Those ‘simple’ acts of service and love provide a template for our ministering today” (“Ministering as the Savior Does,” April 2018 general conference).

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.