News Release

Samoan Mormons Send Food and Clothes to Post-Cyclone Vanuatu

Families Share Own Crops and Clothes to Assist People of Vanuatu

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from across Samoa have been gathering rice, taro, clothing and other aid which will be shipped next week to communities in Vanuatu still recovering from last month's devastating Cyclone Pam. 

Soon after the cyclone hit the Pacific nation in mid-March, Elder O. Vincent Haleck, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Pacific Area Presidency, asked Church leaders in Samoa if they could invite Latter-day Saints to lend a hand to the people of Vanuatu. 

The response was remarkable. Congregations from across Savaii and Upolu came together to gather, bag and transport taro, yams, manioc, bananas, taamu, rice, dried foodstuffs and clothing.

At first, local Latter-day Saint leaders thought they would have enough donated food and clothing for one 20 foot container. They are now going to fill three containers. The aid will leave by ship on 8 April.

70 large bags of clothing and 250 boxes of dried noodles — which will not fit in the three containers — will be shipped at a later date.

Among the coordinators of the effort were: Denny Afualo, Sam Te'o, George Patu, Tuise Sefo, Motisha Solo, Sapele Faalogo and Leo Leauanae.

According to the Church's National Director of Public Affairs for Samoa, Sapele Faalogo, the success of the project was due to "many people facing in the same direction."

"We are grateful for the opportunity to assist our brothers and sisters in Vanuatu. We are grateful to God and His gospel, and for those who heard of and saw the need to lend a hand."

Watch videos of other relief efforts.





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