“Helping Hands” Distribute Food and Essential Supplies to Children with Measles

The "Helping Hand" ministry of LDS Church members.

Published 25 Nov 12.10am, Updated 26 Nov 8am. Amongst the many groups of people in the community who have stepped up to offer assistance for children affected by the measles outbreak in Samoa, is a small group of those who want to offer a “Helping Hand”.

The group started their work two weeks ago, cooking out of the home of the Bishop for the LDS Church Ward #6. The Helping Hands group was initiated by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but do also have about 10 non-members supporting and donating to their work.

Seiuli Doris Te’o explains that, “Helping Hands is a group of volunteers that provide meals and essentials for the sick children and their families, including nurses and doctors”.

Helping Hands team cooking nutritious meals for measles infected children, parents and health care providers.

Last Saturday the group delivered home-cooked soup with bananas, as well as supplies of essential needs to six different locations where children were hospitalised and being treated.

“We made hot soup for the children as well as their parents, and for the doctors and nurses who are taking care of the many children affected by measles.”

A member of the LDS Church Pesega 5th Ward, Seiuli said the Helping Hands team has been receiving support from members of the local community.

A sack of potatoes donated by Chris Bickers

“The support has been tremendous with monetary donations, and various supplies needed by the children.”

Helping Hand call for volunteers to help cook.

“We welcome all volunteers to help us cook and serve meals.”

“We believe that service to your fellow men is Service to God,” said Seiuli.

“The children at the Motootua hospital including their parents who are caregivers and members of the staff are always very appreciative of our services.”

“They are small donations but given from our hearts with love and compassion”.

Cash donations are used to purchase necessities.

The death toll since the measles epidemic in Samoa continues to climb with 23 of the 24 recorded deaths so far being children under the age of 4, mostly babies under 12 months old. The latest report says there are 147 in-patients with measles across all hospitals, with 120 at TTM National Hospital, and 23 at Leulumoega District Hospital.

Seiuli says they were able to deliver blankets, disposable diapers, and little treats for the children. Their team are collecting the next lot of donations and distributing them everyday.

Essentials purchased with cash donations

“We will be heading out again tomorrow at 4pm. We’ll be making hot soup, and hope to take more supplies for the children and their families,”

“We accept monetary donations, vegetables and chicken to make soup, pampers, blankets, toys and lollipops as a treat.”

Helping Hands team with a truck load ready to deliver.

Most groups going into Motootua National Hospital to help families affected by the measles outbreak have found the need to impart prayers and comfort over fearful parents.

“Our missionaries come and assist us with our work by giving Priesthood Blessings to the many families that ask us for prayers,” said Seiuli.

“God Bless Samoa and may we continue to pray for the Lord’s blessings upon us all.”

If you would like to support the Helping Hand initiative, please contact – EKA ARP on 779.2120 OR SEIULI DORIS TEO on 761.8230

Sina Retzlaff