As a global faith organiziation with headquarters in Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is well-positioned to enlist a veritable army of helpers to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
It has a worldwide network of leaders and members who see preparedness for disasters as a theological principle and who can address needs quickly and efficiently — and a multibillion-dollar “rainy day fund” that could be used for humanitarian relief.
Since January, the church says it has provided support, supplies and funding in the United States, Cambodia, China, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
In China, the church worked with Project HOPE to offer “personal protective equipment,” including masks, goggles and coveralls. In Iran, it partnered with Moms Against Poverty for the same items and, in Italy, where the raging virus has caused much death and devastation, it worked with INTERSOS, a nonprofit humanitarian aid organization that assists victims of natural disaster, and MEDU, an international shipping company in Geneva, to deliver these supplies as well as informational material and hygiene kits.