News Release

Presidents Donald L. Hallstrom and Patrick Kearon visit Humanitarian Aid Organizations receiving LDS Church Donations

During early February, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom, of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Patrick Kearon and Elder Paul Johnson of the Europe Area Presidency, visited several Humanitarian Aid organizations in Italy, Macedonia and Serbia that received donations from the Church.

In Italy on Tuesday February 9th, the two Church leaders met with Dr. Alberto Barbieri, founder of Medici Peri Diritti Umani, Doctors for Human Rights, or in short MEDU.

The Church donated a mobile medical unit to MEDU to help the organization continue to care for migrants, refugees and others in need of medical assistance.

Later that day, Elders Hallstrom and Kearon, together with Elder Massimo De Feo, an Area Seventy, and Alessandro Dini Ciacci, Rome Italy West Stake President, donated two computers, 70 energy efficient light bulbs, and a kitchen sink to Centro per L’autonomia (CpA).

CpA works with several partners to help migrants and refugees find paths of self-reliance.

The Church will help fund training in self-reliance for the center’s organizers. The Church will also offer its own self-reliance classes through the Self-Reliance Manager in Italy and Church members from the Rome Area.

The final meeting for Elders Hallstrom and Kearon in Italy was at the Rome Italy West Church building, where 40 youth ages 12 to 18 from Rome and Naples were assembling 1,000 hygiene and first response kits for refugees.

These kits, large quantities of milk, chocolate and high protein bars, 1000 pairs of shoes and 1000 pairs of rubber slippers were donated to the Italian Red Cross, Rome Chapter on Wednesday, February 17.

The Church also donated a camp kitchen to the Red Cross Chapter, which will arrive in April. The kitchen has to ability to feed approximately 900 people a day.

Upon receiving the donation, President Ronzi of the Red Cross said he was very positively surprised by the great organizational skills of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their ability to transform a promise into reality in such a short time with great efficiency.

On February 10, Elder Hallstrom and Elder Paul V. Johnson, First Counselor of the Europe Area Presidency, visited the entry refugee camp in Preševo in Serbia, where they met with Kirpatrick Day from the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Elder Hallstrom observed: "The humanitarian work being done in the Europe Area is remarkable.  I was able to observe projects in which we have partnered with other trusted organizations to accomplish major results.  Additionally, I witnessed firsthand the work of our Church members who selflessly are giving their time to help others in need.  These combined efforts are truly inspiring!"

The two Church leaders also visited the refugee exit camp in Tabanovce, Macedonia, where they met with Goran Stojanovski, manager of the exit camp in Tabanovce.

On February 11, in a meeting with Suzana Saliu of the Crisis Management Center (CMC) in Macedonia, President Hallstrom presented her a certificate representing the Church donation of two vehicles, 10 computers and a power generator to use at the Tabanovce exit camp.  Elder Johnson said, “The donation was graciously received, and the Church is pleased to help with the refugee situation by partnering with these dedicated relief organization.”

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