News Release

Latter-day Saint Charities Hands Over Donations to Caritas Manila, UNICEF Philippines and HERO Foundation 

Virtual Donation in Lieu of Light the World Giving Machines

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, through its humanitarian arm, Latter-day Saint Charities (LDSC) donated a total of PHP 1,250,000 to three of its partnered charitable organizations, Caritas Manila, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Philippines, and the HERO Foundation, as part of its yearly Light the World Christmas initiative. A ceremony for the turnover of donations was held on 15 December 2020. 

In attendance were the Philippines Area Presidency and their wives: Elder and Sister Wakolo, Elder and Sister Bangerter, and Elder and Sister Choi; and representatives from the partner organizations: Ms. Carli Snyman, Chief of Private Fundraising and Partnerships of UNICEF Philippines, Rev. Fr. Antonio CT Pascual, Executive Director of Caritas Manila, and General Viktor Bayani, Executive Director of the HERO Foundation. The event was hosted by Jairus Perez and Jasmine Wakolo.  

This year, the Church decided to forgo the launch of the Giving Machines, which have been a yearly staple since their introduction 3 years ago, following health and safety protocols amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In place of the Giving Machines, this year, LDSC donated PHP 500,000 to Caritas Manila, PHP 500,000 to UNICEF Philippines, and PHP 250,000 to the HERO Foundation. 

LDSC’s donations to its three partners will go to the organizations’ chosen beneficiaries. Caritas Manila has placed a special emphasis on providing relief to the poor and needy who are most in need of help, including the victims of the two typhoons that swept over the Philippines in the past month. UNICEF Philippines extends its charities to children in particular, while the HERO Foundation helps to care for and send military orphans to school.  


The program started with an opening prayer and was followed by a short explanation of the Light the World initiative by Eric “Eruption” Tai and his wife, Rona Tai. They were then followed by an audio-visual presentation of the LDSC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a short video from Chantal Videla, after which the Philippines Area Presidency presented the cheques to LDSC’s partnered organizations for their representatives to receive. 

Each of the partners then gave messages after receiving the cheques. A short message from Xia Vigor and a short piano performance from Becca Welch came shortly after. 

Rev. Fr. Pascual pledged that the donations would go towards Caritas Manila’s initiative of feeding the poor and malnourished children and families left in the wake of the recent typhoons. 

The donation made to UNICEF will be spent on emergency supplies such as water purification kits, hygiene kits, and learning kits, including the building of child-friendly spaces and nutrition monitoring support. 

General Bayani expressed his thanks to the Church, “This year’s support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through the Light the World Giving Machine campaign has brought HERO so much hope, not just through the monetary provision, but the hope that there are still many people who have generous and loving hearts.” The HERO Foundation currently has 260 military orphan beneficiaries. 

“Perhaps the greater good that should come out of this pandemic is we become more loving, and we become more generous,” said Rev. Fr. Pascual about the pandemic in his message about service. 

In his closing remarks, Elder Steven R. Bangerter remarked, “This virtual gathering of likeminded individuals and organizations who have partnered together to relieve human suffering emulates the teachings of He whose life was lived to cause the blind to see, comfort the downtrodden, healing the sick, and those afflicted with the pains of mortal existence.” 

Thanking the Church’s partners, he reminded the attendees of Jesus Christ’s mission, “We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your selfless, exemplary humanitarian service... Here we find a sense of hope and assurance; assurance both in the strength of shared values and in deep-rooted faith that God’s hand is upon this country and upon us, His children. These are the attributes of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world who came to relieve suffering, promote peace, and light the world with His love.” 

The program ended with a virtual photo opportunity. Also in attendance at the program were Elder Carlos Revillo, Welfare Head, Bro. Jairus Perez from LDSC, and Bro. Edgardo Fernando, Director for Temporal Affairs of the Philippines Area. 

The full proceeding of the event will be available tomorrow, 20 December 2020 on the Facebook page of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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