Humanitarian Aid

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paulhilbig
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Humanitarian Aid

Postby paulhilbig » Thu Feb 23, 2012 1:11 pm

With the local Humanitarian offices being shut down in the U.S., our stake RS president asked if the stake could set up a fund to fund humanitarian efforts in our area. I presume she was envisioning stake members donating money to the stake, the stake holding those funds in an Other account, then using that money to buy humanitarian supplies (blankets, diapers, etc.) to help those in need.

Is that okay to do? What's a better way since the money isn't for a specific use beyond the open-ended "humanitarian" service?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:01 pm

The problem with the humanitarian service is that it is open ended. There is no set event. Because of that, any use of the Other account to support humanitarian efforts is not in compliance with Church policies.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:35 pm

jdlessley wrote:The problem with the humanitarian service is that it is open ended. There is no set event. Because of that, any use of the Other account to support humanitarian efforts is not in compliance with Church policies.


And then there's the issue of if any donations are tax exempt or not. Typically things placed into "Other" will not be listed on the year-end tax statement. Would it count as a charitable donation? I'm sure there are a number of rules the local leaders would have to follow.
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falcon771
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Postby falcon771 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:55 am

What "local Humanitarian offices" are being shut down.

nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:44 am

Isn't this what Fast Offering does?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Mar 20, 2012 4:46 am

nutterb wrote:Isn't this what Fast Offering does?


Fast Offering funds are used by local leaders to help those in need (typically members, but occasionally nonmembers) who live within their ward boundaries.

Humanitarian Aid funds are used to help much broader groups of people, often because of a natural disaster such as flood, earthquake, or drought. I know that in one area where my son served his mission, where there were many poor people, large shipments of clothing were sent by the Church and distributed to the poor. The missionaries helped with this distribution. These shipments were sent by Church headquarters, and were not funded by Fast Offerings, and were distributed without regard for unit boundaries. I don't know how what kind of organization in that area facilitated these distributions; perhaps there were some sort of "local Humanitarian offices" that helped with that.
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nutterb
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Postby nutterb » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:02 am

Perhaps I should have been more clear. In reference to the understanding given by the following:

paulhilbig wrote:I presume she was envisioning stake members donating money to the stake, the stake holding those funds in an Other account, then using that money to buy humanitarian supplies (blankets, diapers, etc.) to help those in need.


Isn't that what fast offering is for?

To me, it seems risky for a stake to set up its own local humanitarian office/warehouse in this manner. How and where do you store materials? How do you ensure that they are properly inventoried, accounted for, and distributed? How large an area are you willing to service (the smaller the area you can service, the less likely you are to ever distribute your materials)? I would imagine that it is a project that requires a lot more overhead than simply buying supplies and waiting for a natural disaster to occur. Hence, my question: isn't this what fast offering does?*

*Specifically, if it were up to me, I'd use fast offering funds to bridge the gap between when a disaster occurs and when humanitarian aid becomes available.

davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:49 am

aebrown wrote:I don't know how what kind of organization in that area facilitated these distributions; perhaps there were some sort of "local Humanitarian offices" that helped with that.


Not sure of the exact process, but my parents served as "Country Coordinators" for the Humanitarian Aid sent to Zimbabwe on one of their missions a few years ago. They coordinated food distribution, drilling of wells for water, establishment of gardens among the members to become self-sufficient, and (the hardest part) weaning the local population off the free food.


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