Relief Society assisting in humanitarian aid project When the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was chartered in 1844, the stated purpose was to provide relief wherever it was needed. The Vermillion Branch Relief Society is carrying on that tradition. It held a humanitarian aid work meeting on Sept. 25.
Vermillion Relief Society president Shawna Hammond said 15 women from Vermillion joined more than 100 women from the Sioux City Iowa Stake Relief Society to make hygiene and school kits for earthquake victims in Turkey, sew baby quilts and receiving blankets for Kosovars and crochet tropical sore bandages for countries in South America devastated by hurricanes. The Vermillion Branch will sew six quilts.
"In some countries, newborns are being taken home wrapped in newspapers," said Mary Campbell, Stake Relief Society president. "We want to change that."
Using the theme "Hope After the Storm," the Sioux City Stake Women's Conference project is part of a continuing effort by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide service to those suffering throughout the world. An earlier humanitarian aid project by the Sioux City 3rd Ward was forwarded to the Latter-day Saint Humanitarian Aid Center in Salt Lake City this spring. At a "Worldwide Sisterhood Through Service" project held at Brigham Young University, volunteers from the Relief Society donated nearly 7,000 hours to help people in need.
"Crocheting bandages brings me closer to the people I'm serving," Campbell said. "It's like the women during the Civil War who knitted socks for the soldiers." Knitting socks and gloves was one way women in times of war felt near their fighting men.
The event was held from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the Sioux City, IA Stake Center located at 1201 W. Clifton Ave. A dinner was then served to the volunteers, followed by the General Relief Society Meeting broadcast originating from the Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City.
The meeting was telecast live to 3,500 meetinghouses in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Speakers at the meeting included President James E. Faust of the First Presidency, and members of the Relief Society general presidency — Mary Ellen W. Smoot and her counselors, Virginia U. Jensen and Sheri L. Dew.