In honor of Brazil’s recent Labor Day, 60,000 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints assembled supplies for hundreds of hospitals throughout the country.
The volunteers were part of the Helping Hands program directed by Church Welfare Services and were assisted by several social aid groups, private corporations and health authorities.
At the end of the day, 300 Brazilian hospitals in 190 cities received 200,000 donated bedsheets, slippers and pillowcases.
“These bedsheets came at a very opportune moment. We are very much in need of this type of material. In the name of the entire population, I thank you,” said Mayor Rodrigo at a hospital in Santos in Monte Mor, near the interior of the state of São Paulo.
Marialice Fossem, the first lady of Jundiaí — a city in the state of Sao Paulo — participated in a workshop to assemble and deliver supplies to the University Hospital. In an interview with the local press she said, “The Church of Jesus Christ is our friend. It is a friend of the community. They practice true religion. They really are helping hands.”
Another volunteer, Dr. Carlos Casartelli, a director of a receiving hospital in Porto Alegres, said: “When I arrived, I thought that I would be leaving in a hurry. When I saw the work of the volunteers, the desire to leave left me. I am leaving here better than when I arrived. As I leave, I am a better and happier person.”
To increase awareness, Brazil’s largest broadcaster, Globo TV Network, donated airtime for a 30-second public service announcement about the Helping Hands program. It aired for two weeks prior to the project.
SBT-TV and Bandeirantes TV joined Globo TV by airing similar spots eight times daily, for three days.