Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Helping Angola

We often wonder what we can do to help others. Some time ago, a nice opportunity arose.

Relatives of two families in our ward are living and working in Angola. Apparently, their company provides cargo space annually to its employees for shipping needed items from the United States. A group of employees decided that instead of sending things for themselves, they would pool their space and ask friends and family to contribute humanitarian aid items (toys, clothing, first aid, etc.).

This is one of the real-life applications of how "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass" (Alma 37:6).

Many in our area contributed small things and the combined result was truly great. The allowable shipping space was quickly exceeded by the amount donated. The most useful items were shipped, the surplus was offered to local poor, and the remaining items were sold at a huge yard sale, with proceeds going to Angola.

It really feels good to help, and not in a patting-yourself-on-the-back sort of way, but in the higher "ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God" sort of way (see Mosiah 2:17).

Here is where the nice twist come in. Because we had access to those on the other side of the equation—the distributing side—we could actually see the results of our actions. Instead of sending love, compassion, and goods off into the unknown, we saw the smiles and circumstances of those receiving help. Because this experience brought good feeling to our hearts, we made a short video that shows some of the people benefited. I say "some of the people" because it doesn't show our little family—we feel that we were benefited, too.

Here is a link to another site where you can download the video, if you're interested.

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