SALT LAKE CITY — Donations to the LDS Humanitarian Aid Fund quadrupled in September as Mormons and others sought to help victims of hurricanes, famine, mudslides and earthquakes.
They also donated 1 million hours of service in the United States alone during the month, according to a news release issued Friday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"In the midst of this suffering, people throughout the world have rallied to come to the aid of their brothers and sisters," said President Henry B. Eyring, first counselor in the First Presidency of the church.
Donations to the church's humanitarian aid fund allow the church leaders to provide quick emergency response to disasters around the world. LDS Charities has provided nearly $2 billion in assistance to millions of people in 189 countries since 1985.
"Donations to the Humanitarian Aid Fund in September were more than four times the monthly average," said Bishop Gérald Caussé, the church's presiding bishop.
In August and September, the LDS Church provided aid to victims of a mudslide in Sierra Leone, wildfires in Montana, flooding in Nepal, two earthquakes in Mexico and hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Also in September, the church announced an $11 million donation to help 1.1 million people facing famine in Africa and the Middle East.
"We are truly humbled to see the tremendous sacrifice our members are making to help their brothers and sisters," said Sister Jean B. Bingham, Relief Society general president. "We hear countless stories of simple Christlike service as they mourn with those that mourn and comfort those that stand in need of comfort."
The church also has responded with money and volunteer manpower to wildfires in California.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, second counselor in the First Presidency, was among church leaders who visited victims in the devastated areas. After Hurricane Harvey, he went to Texas, where on one Sunday 11,000 church members worked as Mormon Helping Hands to clean out houses.
"The church is really not so much about an organization. The church is much more about you, about every individual member. That makes all the difference," President Uchtdorf said. "Your work, your service, your love, your kindness to God and your fellowmen is a reflection of what the Church is all about."
The church provided mattresses, shelter, food and water in Sierra Leone and food and emergency items in Nepal during August and September.
In response to hurricanes, it has shipped about 90 truckloads of food, water, clothing and other relief supplies to Texas and Florida and more than 40 ocean containers of food, water, building materials, hygiene kits and cleaning supplies to Caribbean islands. Two planes each delivered 80,000 pounds of food, water and tarps to Puerto Rico.
The church sent nearly 15,000 food boxes and hundreds of hygiene kits and tents to Mexico to support government relief efforts. Mormon Helping Hands also provided thousands of hours of volunteer work.
In recent years, the church has provided annual reports about its emergency response efforts.
In 2016, the church provided aid to 119 emergency response projects in 49 countries.
In 2015, it responded to 177 emergency situations in 56 countries.
In 2014, the church helped people amid 132 disasters in 60 countries.
Those numbers are an incomplete picture of the church's overall efforts. For example, in 2016, LDS Charities worked on 488 refugee aid projects in 54 countries, according to its annual report.