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Building of hope — New welfare center

WEST VALLEY CITY Utah — Before dedicating a new welfare center as a building of hope Bishop Richard C. Edgley praised Church members worldwide who are motivated by compassion motivated by love motivated by a desire to serve those that are needy.
I believe that as an institution as a Church we are the most compassionate loving people in the world he said.
Photo by Michael Brandy/Deseret Morning NewsLeft Bishop Richard C. Edgley chats with Richard McKenna director of Deseret Industries.
Speaking at the dedication of a new Deseret Industries Thrift Store in West Valley City Utah Oct. 24 Bishop Edgley first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric said the center will offer hope and self respect.
The 50000-square-foot building will serve 36 stakes in the Salt Lake Valley helping train more than 100 individuals each year. It also includes an LDS Employment Center that will serve more than 2500 people each year and offices for LDS Family Services.
Hundreds of priesthood leaders who will be served by the center attended the dedication.
During brief remarks Bishop Edgley reflected on a few experiences he has had while watching the Church and its members reach out.
After a recent earthquake in Peru for example Bishop Edgley met a woman who had lost everything.
What is your future? he asked her. She teared up. She said I dont know about the future. We have nothing. If it were not for the Church I would be out on the street with my family begging for food.
Bishop Edgley said he was touched when a stake in Peru not impacted by the earthquake decided to take on the needs of one ward that was. Nobody asked them to do that. They did that because there in their hearts (was) this feeling of love and of service and of compassion.
The same compassion was seen during the tsunami in Southeast Asia and other disasters he said.
It is not the Church that is doing this it is the saints it is the generosity of people like you the generosity of people in Hong Kong the generosity of people in Indonesia. Because what we have learned in this Church is the principle that we love one another we take care of one another and we have this great opportunity to serve in a way that brings great joy not just to the person receiving the service but to ourselves.
Photo by Michael Brandy/Deseret Morning NewsRichard McKenna director of Deseret Industries speaks at dedication of new Deseret Industries store in West Valley City Utah.
Sister Julie B. Beck Relief Society general president also spoke at the dedication noting that she grew up in the area that the new welfare center will serve.
To see something of this quality in the place where I have my roots means a lot to me she said.
Sister Beck noted that her daughter son-in-law and six grandchildren had been forced to flee their California home earlier in the week because of wildfires.
They have been taken in and loved and cared for she said.
The Church she said was there for her daughters family and others. It doesnt change the fact that we have had a tragedy but it helps people who are down and out to know that help is on the way and it is well organized.
She recalled a recent meeting with a delegation of 17 African women who visited Salt Lake City. The women wanted to learn more about the Churchs welfare program.
Sister Beck explained that the majority of Church welfare happens in wards and Relief Societies where Church members gather together and take care of one another.
In that group they generally have what they need to take care of each other. If they dont they go to their bishop. He provides them with help.
Sister Beck encouraged local priesthood leaders to take advantage of the services provided by the new center including the training programs the employment resources and the family services.
Through its community partnership programs the store also assists charitable agencies in the Salt Lake area including Division of Child and Family Services Hilda B. Jones Center Magna F.A.C.T. (battered womens facility) and the Granite School District. In addition it will have a humanitarian room where people can volunteer to assist in local and international humanitarian relief. As part of its humanitarian effort the West Valley Deseret Industries will provide hundreds of thousands of pounds of clothing each year to the Church Humanitarian Center where the clothing will be sorted and shipped around the world to those in need.
Photos by Michael Brandy/Deseret Morning NewsKay Cook tours the new Deseret Industries store during dedication events. The new store one of 43 in system will serve 36 stakes.
Established in 1938 as a single thrift store today there are 43 Deseret Industries stores serving people in seven western states: Arizona California Idaho Nevada Oregon Utah and Washington.
E-mail to: sarah@desnews.com

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