The worst storm to hit the Philippines this year brought a trail of destruction in Northern Luzon. Typhoon Lando lingered on land close to a week as it weakened before finally exiting.
LDS Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church, lost no time in deploying Kenneth Lee and Jairus Perez to assess the situation in order to mount an emergency response.
Close to a thousand individuals sought shelter in 37 chapels or meetinghouses as Lando pounded on their homes with water levels rising. Meanwhile, all missionaries of the Church were safe and accounted for.
A total of 24,489 food relief kits were repacked and distributed by 390 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers who rendered more than 10,000 man-hours of service. A breakdown of their efforts are as follows:
- 2,000 food relief kits repacked and distributed in Tuguegarao City and six (6) municipalities in Cagayan Valley by 75 volunteers logging in 1,900 hours
- 6,285 food kits repacked and distributed in Cabanatuan City and five (5) municipalities of Nueva Ecija by 93 volunteers logging in 2,290 hours
- 8,000 food kits assembled and distributed in Dagupan City and seven (7) municipalities of Pangasinan by 150 volunteers logging in 3,700 hours
- 8,204 food kits repacked by 73 volunteers working 2,304 hours and distributed to at least five (5) municipalities in Aurora province
Assessment for the need for additional assistance is still on-going. The Church also assisted affected members in 44 stakes and districts (dioceses) through fast offering.
The Church designates one Sunday each month, usually the first Sunday, as a day of fasting. Members are asked to go without food and drink for two consecutive meals, or approximately 24 hours. They are also asked to contribute the money that they would have spent on food for those meals to the Church’s welfare system. This money is called a fast offering. The Church uses the fast offerings to assist the poor and needy.