After the recent earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, we were asked by our church leaders to pray for those affected; for peace in their hearts, that their suffering would be easier to bear, and that they would have patience in their trials. I'm absolutely certain the members of our church were not unique in offering these prayers; I imagine people all over the world were pleading with heaven for spiritual and temporal relief for these people.
I appreciated the reminder to make our prayers more about others and less about ourselves, and especially to teach our boys to think of others, even strangers suffering in faraway lands.
I wanted our family to participate not only in the spiritual relief through our prayers but also the temporal relief.
After reading several articles about how, immediately following the earthquakes, the LDS Church Humanitarian Services had sent thousands of hygiene kits to both Haiti and Chile, we decided that this is how we would participate. The website says that in a typical year they give out approximately 1 million of these kits each year.
Throughout the month of March, the boys completed many extra jobs around our house to earn money to pay for the supplies for one hygiene kit each. We purchased items little by little and then last week we assembled four kits and got them ready to ship.
I love this project, because these are items that we use everyday, so the boys can see the benefit of sending them to people in an emergency. It is a simple, relatively inexpensive way to provide service to those in need. Anyone can participate--Humanitarian Services is always accepting more kits and there is no minimum. You can ship them to the address given here, or take them to a local Bishops Storehouse.
Now the prayers offered around our house include pleas like this: "please bless the people in Haiti and Chile, and make sure our hygiene kits get there."