By Mormon Newsroom
​Many families displaced by Monday’s 7.8 earthquake in rural and remote North Canterbury are finding temporary refuge in the closest Maori maraes outside the damaged areas. (A marae is a communal place that serves religious, social and humanitarian purposes in Polynesian societies.)

The Maahunui marae, currently housing and feeding over 50 people,  needed hygiene supplies yesterday for newly arrived families and those expected to arrive in the days and weeks to come.

“Mormon Helping Hands” volunteers in Christchurch quickly responded to the need by purchasing the necessary supplies, then assembling and delivering personal hygiene kits.

Standing outside the marae, Suzanne Pitama, the senior local leader in the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Christchurch, paused with emotion when asked why she and other Church members are so anxious to help those displaced by the recent earthquake.

“Our motto is ‘Charity Never Faileth’,” she said.  “Accordingly the Relief Society, one of the largest and oldest women’s organizations in the world, is always about serving and uplifting those in need.”

But assisting earthquake victims yesterday in Christchurch was a special and emotional experience, according to President Pitama.

“This was us five years ago.  We know what it is like to have our lives turned upside down.”

Read the rest of the story at Mormon Newsroom

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