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Latter-day Saint Charities delivers donations to those in need

Latter-day Saint Charities is the humanitarian arm of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Its purpose is to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance and provide opportunities for service. Sponsored by The Church, Latter-day Saint Charities follows the admonition of Jesus Christ to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, take in the stranger, clothe the naked and visit the sick and afflicted.

The Reading Pennsylvania Stake of The Church, along with local partnering nonprofit organizations, has been the recipient of this humanitarian relief. In the past, clothing was received, sorted, organized and offered to those in need free of charge via voucher.

Partnering organizations helped to distribute the vouchers. On distribution days, those individuals and families went to one of four different locations - Whitehall, Reading, Pottstown or Pottsville - to shop for free clothing.

“Due to the pandemic, the manner of distribution changed in 2020,” Director of Communication for The Church Peggy Shafer said. “Instead of offering individuals and families a day to come shopping with a voucher, partnering organizations are now given the opportunity to order and receive the clothing, coats and blankets in 100-pound bundles. They will then sort and offer the clothing themselves to their clients in need.”

The tractor-trailer carrying 20,000 pounds of wrapped and strapped bundles of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, coats and blankets arrived at their first stop in Reading 8 a.m. Oct. 19.

Other stops throughout the day were in Norristown, Philadelphia, Camden, N.J., and Wilmington, Del.

“This year’s Lehigh Valley recipients are New Bethany Ministries and The Lehigh Conference of Churches,” Shafer said. “In Reading, those also receiving bundles are Opportunity House and Hope Rescue Mission.”

In Pottstown, Mission First also received bundles to clothe those in need in the community who are without homes. Also receiving the 100-pound bundles were Good Samaritan Services and Ephrata Area Social Services, both in Ephrata.

“We are very honored to partner with all of these great organizations who provide so much to those in need in their communities,” Shafer said. “Nonprofits that are interested in ordering bundles for next year’s distribution should contact us at readingstakepa@gmail.com.”

Left: Bundles of donations are loaded into a truck for Opportunity House Oct. 19, courtesy of Latter-day Saint Charities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Below: Volunteers take a break from loading the donations. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS