Amy Rees Anderson

Standing Among Giants

Last week I flew to Washington DC to meet with Charles Koch.  My husband and I have been blessed to get to know Charles and Liz Koch over the last several years and they are an inspiration to us because Charles and Liz spend their time finding ways to help others to excel and they’ve done so much to help my husband and I expand our thinking on what is possible when people come together to make great things happen.  We love being part of the organization Stand Together because it allows us to give alongside this community of amazing people who all desire to help others by promoting, educating, and perpetuating self-reliance. 

We returned home really late Friday night just in time to watch The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints worldwide General Conference broadcast. This conference includes ten hours of both talks from spiritual leaders and incredible music by the world famous Tabernacle Choir.  The talks given were on a myriad of inspiring topics that really served to lift people’s spirits, help us all refocus on lives and achieve our full potential.  

In the very final talk of the Conference, the Prophet of The Church Russell M. Nelson, shared some facts about the philanthropic giving being done by The Church’s organization Latter-Day Saint Charities. He shared that since it began in 1984, Latter-Day Saint Charities has given away over $2.2 billion dollars in aid and this aid “is offered to recipients regardless of their church affiliation, nationality, race, sexual orientation, gender or political persuasion.”  And that is just the beginning of the help being given.  He shared the example of how during a drought in eastern Africa church members donated $6.4 million dollars on a single fast day to help out. 

The Church has become well-known as being among the first-responders whenever tragedy strikes.  Last year alone Church members carried out more than 100 disaster-relief projects to help victims of floods, earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters.  Church members come in great numbers wearing Helping Hands vests to help those afflicted by the disasters.  But it doesn’t stop there…  

“In 2018, the Church provided emergency supplies to refugees in 56 countries. Nelson said millions of pounds of clothing are collected and sorted each year by Deseret Industries’ outlets in the United States with the greatest portion donated to other charitable organizations that distribute them worldwide.  He said last year, the Church provided vision care for more than 300,000 people in 35 countries, newborn care for thousands of mothers and infants in 39 countries, and wheelchairs for more than 50,000 people living in dozens of countries.” (quoted from kutv new report and Latter-Day Saint Charities 2018 Annual Report)

It would be impossible to calculate the amount of service rendered every day of the year by Church members around the world. Members give generously of their time, their treasure, and their talents.  All I know is that it makes me really proud to be a member of a Church that does so much good. 

Both last week and this weekend were incredible because they reminded me of how blessed I am to stand among giants in business, in philanthropy, and in the Church.  I am truly grateful for the examples these amazing leaders are to me.

Here’s a fun pic of me and Charles Koch as well as me with just a few of the amazing Church leaders who spoke at General Conference this weekend:

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the newly released book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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