Continued partnership also shines a light on the Church’s significant contributions to Red Cross blood drives, exemplifying community service through lifesaving donations

Leaders from the American Red Cross and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are set to meet on Thursday in Salt Lake City to renew their commitment to collaborative disaster relief, preparedness efforts and blood donation support. This enduring partnership is further solidified through the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“This continued collaboration between the Church and the Red Cross aligns with our mutual dedication to service and helping those in need,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “Together, we can broaden our impact and make a significant difference in the lives of individuals affected by emergencies.”

The upcoming MOU, marking the fifth since their initial agreement in 2005, establishes a framework for collaboration. It aims to streamline disaster response efforts by reducing service redundancies, designating Church buildings as potential shelters and enhancing coordinated disaster planning through joint training and drills.

Long-standing collaboration

The relationship between the American Red Cross and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints dates back more than century to their combined humanitarian efforts during The Spanish-American War.

Ruster highlighted the vital role of volunteers and partners, stating, “The mission of the American Red Cross is realized daily through the generosity of volunteers and partners like The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” She noted that many Church members contribute as Red Cross volunteers, offering support for people devastated by natural disasters locally and across the U.S.

The Church’s support extends beyond volunteerism, providing annual financial contributions to Red Cross Disaster Relief. This funding enables the delivery of essential services such as shelter, food and emotional support. Additionally, the Church donates in-kind relief supplies, including kits with essentials such as hygiene items given to those affected by disasters.

Blood drive partner

The Church also stands as the largest single contributor to Red Cross blood drives. Annually, Church members donate approximately 97,000 units of blood across thousands of drives. In 2023, the Church made a substantial donation of $8.7 million, aiding in the acquisition of biomedical equipment and the support of programs for individuals battling cancer or sickle cell disease.