News Release

Church Helps Children, Patients, Prisoners and Refugees

Pacific Area Office leaders, missionaries and staff take part in week of community service

Leaders, missionaries and staff at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Pacific area office in Auckland joined forces with community service organisations last week to complete a variety of projects.  

Participants worked with four organisations to feed hungry children, provide blood for hospital patients, help prisoners improve their literacy, and assist newly-arrived refugees feel at home.

President of the Church’s Pacific Area, Elder Kevin W. Pearson, said, “We love the Saviour and the Saviour’s teachings are all about serving other people and the more we serve the more it draws us close to Him and helps us become more like Him. It helps us do what He would do—to help our Heavenly Father’s children wherever they might be.”

Elder Pearson’s wife, Sister June Pearson, added, “I think that when you lose yourself in service you find yourself. You are happier when you are serving others and thinking about others instead of yourself.”

The Church partnered with New Zealand Red Cross to put together care packages for refugees and migrants who come to New Zealand. Each of the 150 personal hygiene kits assembled contained: a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, wash cloth, soap, shampoo, and razor.

Teaming with Eat My Lunch — an organisation that works with charity Kids Can to provide lunches to schools in lower socio-economic suburbs — office personnel had the chance to purchase two lunches for $10. One was for themselves and the other for a child.  

Elder O. Vincent Haleck, of the Pacific Area Presidency, said, “The Saviour talks about doing service. That’s what His life was about—to help other people and to serve other people.”

Sister Peggy Haleck said, “We serve because we love our fellowman.  I want to help my brothers and sisters—people who need help—those who may not have the same opportunities that we have had.”

A book drive was another component of the week of service. Books of many genres were collected and then donated to Mt. Eden Prison.

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen, of the Pacific Area Presidency, said, “When you do things like this you have no idea where it’s going to end up, but you know it’s going to bring warmth and love to someone. That’s why we do what we do.”

Sister Wendy Nielsen said, “We serve because we love the Lord and realize that all of us are brothers and sisters and that He is our Father. We want to become like Him and reach out and lift and bless everybody we possibly can and bring as many people as we can along with us.”

Office staff were also invited to donate blood to the New Zealand Blood Bank.  

“Blood is a precious commodity everywhere in the world,” said Elder Guy Fugal, a missionary from the United States. “I feel blessed to be healthy and strong enough to donate blood. It makes me happy to know that doing something this simple can bless someone else in need and possibly even save their life.” 

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are taught from an early age the importance of following the example of Jesus Christ by serving others.

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