Local and national donors will join with more than 17,000 women at this week's Women's Conference at Brigham Young University for one of the largest annual humanitarian aid efforts on the Wasatch Front.
Attendees at the conference April 29 and 30 will join forces for "Make a Joyful Noise," a service component that will include activities assisting Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Participants will assemble school, newborn and hygiene kits using materials and services donated by Northwest Research Inc., ContentWatch, the Matthew R. Brown Foundation, Melaleuca Inc., Wal-Mart, Staples Business Advantage, All Together Diaper, NuSkin, Smith's, Dressed in White, Corporate Express, Glad, Russell-Newman Inc., Safe Harbor Financial Inc., Les Olson Co., Associated Food Stores Inc., Mom & Me, Delta Airlines, Mandalay International and Dial Corp.
Service-learning rooms where participants can assemble kits while listening to conference addresses will be available both days, and a Thursday night celebration beginning at 5:30 p.m. will include service options as well.
Because of the high demand for kits distributed by Humanitarian Services, this year's Women's Conference participants have been asked to assemble 45,000 hygiene kits, 15,000 school kits and 5,000 newborn kits and to tie 200 quilts.
The Church of Jesus Christ is most eager to assist in the case of an emergency, so there needs to be a surplus of materials available, according to Rob Smoot, donor liaison for Humanitarian Services. "The Women's Conference activity is our chance to put some kits aside to meet immediate needs."
Some of the donations received include Corporate Express, 200,000 pencils; Associated Foods, 30,000 150-sheet notebooks; Les Olson Co., 15,000 scissors; Russell-Newman Inc., 5,000 receiving blankets; Wal-Mart, 3,000 erasers and chalk; Melaleuca Inc., 45,000 bars of soap; Dial Corp., 30,000 bars of soap; Mom & Me, 5,000 pairs of baby booties and 20,000 safety pins; and ContentWatch, 5,000 layette gowns.
"At ContentWatch we share a common mission with BYU and with the Church to provide children everywhere with the means to have a better life," said CEO Brent Bishop, "whether that be through humanitarian contributions or through tools that protect families, especially children, from potential ills from the media. We want children to be protected and prepared for a brighter future."
The scope of the corporate donations goes far beyond the two-day conference. "These generous donations provide materials not only for the Women's Conference, but for Humanitarian Services activities throughout the year," said Smoot.
Writer: Rachel M. Sego