News Release

Brussels Mormons Work Together With Salvation Army to Help Refugees

Members and friends of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Brussels, gathered last Saturday to assemble 1,500 hygiene kits to help refugees. The kits will support about 300 refugees assisted in three shelters ran by The Salvation Army.

Inspired by the their Church leaders’ calls to reach out to refugees however they could, members of the Grimbergen Ward started to discuss what they could actually do to follow the example of Jesus Christ to reach out to the poor and the needy. The European headquarters of the Church based in Frankfurt, Germany, provided all the needed supplies to assemble the kits. While the EU Office of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints facilitated the contacts with The Salvation Army’s leadership in Brussels, members of the Grimbergen Ward organized the teams of volunteers and all the details of the service projects. These coordinated efforts turned into a successful event that involved members and friends of the Church of all ages.

“It’s good to be here and to say thank you to you all for the excellent contribution you have made to help The Salvation Army meet the needs of the refugee people we are privileged to care for,” said Major Mike Stannett, Officer for EU Affairs of The Salvation Army’s Regional Headquarters in Brussels.

Major Stannett emphasized the importance of the kits for women due to the challenges the Salvation Army faces in getting the needed supplies in large numbers. “Items specific for women’s care“, he said, “are often overlooked by donors.”

“The supplies we give today will help individuals to have something that makes them feel remembered, help them feel that they can succeed in their new life that they are seeking, that they have something to start new with,” Barbie Curtis, president of the local Relief Society, the women’s organization of the Church.

“We call ourselves brothers and sisters for a very good reason,” said Bishop Robert Hart, leader of the Grimbergen Ward. “As we walk out the streets of our community,” he continued, “may we be aware of those who are in need, that we might extend a hand, that we might be there for them in every way we can. That the Spirit might walk with us, that we might be better servants to our Heavenly Father.”

Elder Patrick Kearon, who along with his two counselors, oversees half a million members of the Church in Europe, said in response to the crisis in Europe the Church has made an additional commitment of €4.6 million (US $5 million) to immediately help displaced families, with more to come. 

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