Humanitarian Service in Indiana
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsors humanitarian relief and development projects around the world that benefit those of all faiths. These projects include emergency relief assistance in times of disaster and programs that strengthen the self-reliance of individuals, families and communities.
Hundreds of full-time volunteers with skills and experience in education, agriculture, social work, business and medicine serve throughout the world as part of these humanitarian projects. Read more about Church Humanitarian Service. These relief efforts include responses to the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, the earthquake in Haiti, the hurricanes in Louisiana and Texas and the famines in Ethiopia.
In Indianapolis and the surrounding areas that the temple will serve, local church members are engaged in humanitarian efforts for the benefit of their communities as well.
The Bishop's Storehouse
As directed by church leaders at the local, community level, the Indianapolis area LDS Bishop’s Storehouse provides food and materials within a hundred mile radius to assist the needy and strengthen their progress toward self-reliance. At the request of community bishops, over the past two years the Indianapolis Storehouse has also donated more than $90,000 in goods and materials to local interfaith and nondenominational humanitarian organizations. (The Storehouse is located at a west-side LDS warehouse and distribution hub serving similar facilities in other major cities.)
The food resources offered by LDS bishop’s storehouses are provided by donations from members who one Sunday of each month fast for two consecutive meals in order to donate what would have been spent on those meals to help the Church meet the needs of the less fortunate.
Because the Church encourages self-reliance, the Indianapolis Storehouse also maintains reserves of food and materials in the event of emergencies and in recent years has shipped truckloads of food and goods to assist Indiana communities with flood relief and similar needs. The Storehouse also provides member and nonmember access to food storage-related materials and equipment (dry-packing) to promote family preparedness against emergencies.
The operations of the Indianapolis Bishop's Storehouse are made possible by about 12,000 hours in donated service provided by church members and others annually.
Local LDS Congregations
In addition to the humanitarian services offered through the Indianapolis area Bishop’s Storehouse, LDS members also provide community assistance both as individuals and also in efforts coordinated by lay male and female leadership in their local congregations (known as “wards” or “branches”). Projects frequently undertaken include service to local food pantries, homeless and battered women’s and children’s shelters, hospital maternity wards, blood banks, retirement villages and school children.
For example, in one group of nine local Indianapolis area congregations (known, collectively, as a “stake,” which is similar to a diocese), humanitarian service documented by members over the past three years included help in constructing a Habitat for Humanity home, contributions to a local Ronald McDonald House, to the Wheeler Mission and to a Red Cross Blood Bank (46 pints); donations to local hospitals of home-made items for newborns (312 receiving blankets, 40 quilts, 428 pairs of booties, 46 newborn baby bracelets, 20 baby memory books, etc.); and school and preschool and related supplies for disadvantaged children (e.g., 217 home-made scarves, 493 home-made hats, 12 gloves, 100+ backpacks, 150 notebooks and thousands of items in related materials), and so on.
Many hours of service were given in response to the flooding in Terre Haute.
Thousands of hours of community service are also given by LDS youth annually both in fulfillment of Eagle Project requirements associated with Church-sponsored Boy Scout programs and similar programs sponsored by the Church for young women.
These types of projects are carried out by church members all over Indiana each year. While communities benefit with each project, we all benefit from the efforts we make to join together with our neighbors in humanitarian service.