“Around the Church,” Ensign, Mar. 2012, 78
Youth in the Campo Grande Brazil and Campo Grande Brazil Monte Líbano Stakes, in conjunction with the Facebook group Face Solidário, an organization promoting unity and service, gathered on the morning of Saturday, December 10, 2011, to deliver toys to some 500 children in Campo Grande in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (MS).
The activity, called Natal Solidário, or “Unified Christmas,” has been held for many years. This year, for the first time, the event took place in the Tagarela Association, which attends to children and others with special needs. The youth also delivered toys to families in Vila Nhanha, a neighborhood of Campo Grande.
About 600 members and friends of the Church across Portugal participated in a blood drive on Saturday, December 17, 2011, making it the Church’s largest service activity ever held in the nation.
Blood drives have been organized by several Church units in Portugal in the past, but this was the first time for nearly all Church congregations in Portugal to participate simultaneously. The blood drive was made possible with the help of the Portuguese Institute of Blood, a governmental institution that manages blood donations in the country.
On December 18, 2011, members of the five stakes of Puerto Rico—Caguas, Mayagüez, Ponce, San Juan, and Toa Baja—participated in a Christmas concert held in the Paseo de las Artes Abelardo Díaz-Alfaro in the city of Caguas. Approximately 85 members of the Church performed, and some 2,500 members of the community attended.
Latter-day Saints in Honiara, Solomon Islands, celebrated the organization of the nation’s first district in December 2011 by participating in humanitarian service in their communities.
Using humanitarian funds provided by the Church, members teamed up with a local Anglican congregation to renovate and repair a 40-year-old health clinic. Sixty people worked for two weeks on the project.
Some 300 members of the Church attended the organization of the district, where Elder James J. Hamula, President of the Pacific Area, presided.