Women Gather at LDS Church for Humanitarian Effort

By: Contributor Last Updated: April 27, 2010

Helping others is a concept that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are comfortable with.

In fact, the Relief Society (organization for women 18 years and older) gathered to help the community with their "100 Dresses" humanitarian event.

The activity held in Valparaiso included women from eight local congregations.

"Our goal was to gather 100 dresses, blouses and skirts to aid RESPONSE, an organization for women who need interview and work clothing to help them become self sufficient" said Bev De Pra, of Kouts, the event coordinator and President of the local 1000 member Relief Society women's organization. "The outcome was fantastic as we received over 200 articles of clothing that we repaired and prepared to donate."

In addition to preparing the clothing, the event included assembling 142 hygiene kits (individual packages of hand towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, soap and other items) that will be donated to the Caring Place in Valparaiso and the Church's International Humanitarian Center which aids those in need all throughout the world, including recently the country of Haiti.

By the end of 2009, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had given humanitarian aid to 178 countries. Some of the assistance rendered is 61,892 tons of food, 13,920 tons of medical supplies, 89,296 tons of clothing, 5,965 tons of educational supplies, and 10.3 million hygiene kits and newborn kits.

The women also decorated 105 paper lunch bags for The Meals On Wheels organization in Valparaiso. Three queen-sized patchwork quilts were tied and donated to the International Humanitarian Center.

Many women came from La Porte, Rensselaer, and Michigan City to help out. "As I was looking around during the event watching women tying quilts, assembling hygiene kits, and preparing clothing, they were all smiling and having a wonderful time" said De Pra.

A luncheon was provided. All items were donated by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the Northwest Indiana area.

Each year local members donate to the humanitarian center and to community organizations. "I was amazed at the response from the women to the needs of the community" said De Pra. "These women love doing service."

4 Photos:
Table of ladies decorating paper sacks for Meals on Wheels
Women tying quilts
One of the quilts tied during the event
Plates of dress cookies: made and decorated by Sherri Cameron of Francesville.