Elder Gary and Sister Sandy Reed, Area Welfare Specialists for the entire North America Northeast Area, sent along the following advice to Relief Societies today:
"Over the past few weeks we have gotten several request to ship Relief Society projects to Salt Lake (quilts, hygiene kits, etc.).
"We love that the Relief Society has a 'Welfare Heart,' but there is a better way to handle these things than to pay to ship them to Salt Lake, have them inspected to make sure that they fit the guidelines, store them, and then pay to ship them right back to us when we have an emergency.
"Our first choice in the Eastern States would be for the Relief Society to have in mind a LOCAL agency that would benefit from their project and that gifting would help build good relationships in the community.
"Our second choice would be to check with us and see if there is a project in the works that would benefit from their help. For example, we have a burning need for school kits just now. We could use thousands of them. We need baby quilts; we can place all that we could get. We need hygiene kits always.
"Full-sized quilts are hard to place sometimes. Think about it. People in shelters sleep on cots. Most disasters happen in the warmer months and warmer places where quilts are just not needed. It may be more fun to make beautiful quilts and if that's the case, give them locally to someone who will cherish them."
These guidelines will be good to keep in mind when Relief Societies are looking for projects they can undertake for humanitarian aid.