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Photo courtesy of the Brazil Area
Volunteers in Brazil's recent "Helping Hands" national service project participate in a training.

BRAZIL

Legions of LDS Brazilians recently participated in a nationwide “Helping Hands” project, delivering needed services to thousands of their fellow Brazilians.

The massive, multi-services humanitarian project stretched across several Saturdays in Church meetinghouses across the country. Volunteers donned yellow “Helping Hands” vests and went about the business of looking after their neighbors.

The “Helping Hands” project included a variety of service initiatives and utilized the talents of scores of members and their friends. Over a million Mormons call Brazil their home.

Folks in the city of Piracicaba, for example, learned tips on safely cooking with gas. Officials from the city’s fire department offered Church-sponsored classes on the proper use and handling of cooking gas.

Some 200 needy families participated in the classes and received new cooking gas equipment kits that were donated by a local company, Distributor Liquigas. Full-time missionaries in the area helped assemble the free kits.

Fire officials said that the lessons taught in the cooking classes could help significantly reduce gas-related accidents.

A variety of other services were delivered in more than 220 meetinghouses across Brazil.

In Rio de Janeiro, some 300 people gathered in a Church meetinghouse to enjoy a motivational speech delivered by Berandro Rocha de Rezende, the coach of the Brazilian National Volleyball team. The coach taught key lessons about the value of teamwork and cooperation.

“What matters most in life is the concept of community,” he said. The Church-sponsored “Helping Hands” project, he noted, is made possible through the joint efforts of many people working together as one.

In Sao Paulo, more than a dozen students from the Calazans Hairdressers Technical and Vocational Schools set up shop in a large room in a LDS meetinghouse and provided 120 haircuts. The school’s owner, Aparecida Calazans, said the project offered she and her students a priceless opportunity to serve others.

In the cities of Curitiba, Parana and Recife, attorneys associated with Brigham Young University’s J. Rueben Clark Law society offered free legal advice to folks from the community. Local Mutual groups scoured their communities prior to the event, letting folks of all backgrounds know about the “Helping Hands” projects.

Health and dental care, along with job placement services, was also offered in many Brazilian communities.

Brazil’s “Helping Hands” project attracted extensive news coverage and introduced countless viewers and readers to the mission of the Church.

The LDS Church News is an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The publication's content supports the doctrines, principles and practices of the Church.