The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has sent protective equipment to Shanghai Children’s Medical Center where supplies have been depleted due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China. The Church partnered with Project HOPE, a humanitarian organization that has worked “on the front line of the world’s greatest health challenges” since 1958.
The Church sent two planes loaded with medical supplies, including 220,000 respirator masks, 870 pairs of protective goggles and more than 6,500 pairs of protective coveralls. The supplies were sent from Salt Lake City, Utah and also from the Church’s storehouse in Atlanta.
The Atlanta storehouse, like all Church storehouses, is filled with commodities “provided by fast offerings and other generous donations from members, including those in the greater Chattanooga area. Food and supplies from the bishops’ storehouse can be sent to those affected by natural disasters, wars, or economic crises at a moment’s notice,” officials state, and also provide for the poor and needy.
The Church’s recent shipment to China came about as a result of President Russell M. Nelson’s long association with “the good people of China for decades.” Prior to being called as an apostle in 1984 and serving today as prophet, President Nelson was a world-renowned heart surgeon for most of his life. He is well-known for performing heart surgery, including in China, where his final operation was performed in 1985. “Through his professional career and service to the Church he has made lasting and enduring friendships,” and recently inquired as to what might be needed to help combat the coronavirus, according to a Church news release.
He learned of the need for protective equipment, particularly at the Children’s Medical Center in Shanghai. “These are our dear brothers and sisters, and we feel privileged to be able to offer some small measure of help. We pray for them and know God will bless them,” President Nelson said. Shipments arrived in Shanghai on Feb. 4. Project HOPE and Latter-day Saint Charities partnered to distribute the medical supplies.
“What we have done is nothing compared with the medical personnel on the frontline risking their lives,” one volunteer said, “but nothing is worth more than giving ourselves to others in times of need” (see newsroom at ChurchofJesusChrist.org).