The Philanthropy Roundtable finished our year-long celebration of Economic Opportunity landmarks at Salt Lake City’s Welfare Square. See the full event agenda here.
You can also read more about this inspiring event as featured in the Deseret News. Read their special report here.
The programs provided through Welfare Square exemplify opportunity, thrift, and generosity to those in need. In the true spirit of those pioneers who settled in the American West, Welfare Square is at the heart of self-reliance. These model programs help individuals and families of all religions, nationalities, and backgrounds help themselves. Donors had the opportunity to meet visionary leaders who described the transformative impact of these programs on individuals and their communities.
Through its bakery, orchards, canneries, farms, dairies—and a 178-foot-tall grain elevator—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides resources, work opportunities, and vocational training for individuals and families throughout the world without regard to their religion or background.
The General Welfare Committee was formed during the Great Depression in 1936 with the objective to "help others help themselves." Over the years, this has grown into a world-wide operation that blesses the lives of millions of people each year. This year, the First Presidency of the Church has encouraged members to participate in a day of service and strive to live more providently to honor the accomplishments of the Welfare Program over the last 75 years.
The programs you will see are based on the core principles of personal responsibility, community support, self-reliance, and sustainability. Welfare Square demonstrates how "work works" to preserve the dignity of the individual and foster self-reliance.
As a special addition to this event, in the evening, attendees had the opportunity to attend a rehearsal by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, just two weeks before the filming of the choir's annual Christmas spectacular for PBS. The rehearsal took place in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ extraordinary Conference Center, a beautiful structure that seats more than 21,000.
- Marcia Argyris, S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation
- Eric Bjorkland, Utah Youth Village
- Sharon Eubank, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Peter Evans, Welfare Services, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Paul Godfrey, Ballard Center for Economic Self Reliance, Brigham Young University
- Jessamyn Lau, Peery Foundation
- Kris Mecham, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Terry Oakes, Managing Director, Welfare Services, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Lynn Samsel, Director, Humanitarian Services, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- Sister Mary Scullion, Project H.O.M.E., Philadelphia, PA
Regine Webster, Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Schedule of Conference Events:
November 30, 2011, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
- Pre-conference Meeting: Disaster Response Working Group and Humanitarian Center Tour
December 1, 2011
- Welfare Square and Economic Self-Reliance Program, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m
- Dinner and Mormon Tabernacle Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
December 2, 2011*
- Special Offer for Early Registrants: Snowbird Ski Passes
- See the full event agenda here.
Major Program Highlights:
Welfare Square is a facility composed of a 1940-original grain elevator, a bishop’s storehouse, a bakery, a cannery, a milk-processing operation, a thrift store, and an employment center. A small number of staff members and missionaries manage large groups of volunteers who complete most of the production and cleaning inside the factories. The food produced at Welfare Square is transported all over the United States and to various locations around the world.
The Bishop’s Storehouse
Bishop’s storehouses are warehouses that are stocked by food produced on Church-owned farms and processed in Church-owned factories. Today, 33 of the 143 bishop's storehouses are located outside the United States. Local Church leaders (Bishops) determine the food and clothing needs of families and individuals who are in difficult financial circumstances and give the individuals food orders to obtain food at the nearest bishop’s storehouse. Often, those receiving aid volunteer in the storehouse or other Church facilities in return for the assistance they are given.
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
The 360 members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir represent volunteer men and women of the LDS Church who come from different backgrounds and professions and range in age from 25 to 60. The Choir has appeared at 13 World's Fairs and expositions, performed at the inaugurations of five presidents of the United States, and sung for numerous worldwide telecasts and special events. The name of the Choir comes from its headquarters—the LDS Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The Choir’s weekly Sunday broadcast, Music and the Spoken Word, is the oldest continuous nationwide network broadcast in America.
What Is Self-Reliance?
Paul Godfrey, professor of strategy, Department of Organizational Leadership and Strategy, at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and fellow at the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance, will deliver a keynote address: "What Is Self-Reliance?" from his soon-to-be-published book, Producing Capital: Harnessing the Five Types of Capital to Create Wealth and Alleviate Poverty.
Special Additional Events:
Pre-conference Meeting: Disaster Response Working Group and Humanitarian Center Tour
November 30, 2011, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.
This special pre-conference discussion with Regine Webster, executive director of the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, focused on strategies and best practices for funding national and international disaster response. The discussion took place at the LDS Humanitarian Center and included a tour of the facility and a presentation from Lynn Samsel, Director of Humanitarian Programs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Grand America Hotel
555 South Main Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Please note: Philanthropy Roundtable site visits are solicitation-free events for qualified donors. Qualified donors include individual donors, private foundation trustees and staff, and corporate giving officers who make at least $50,000 in charitable donations a year. There is no fee to attend any of these events.
The mission of the Roundtable's Economic Opportunity Breakthrough Group is to serve donors who seek to increase economic independence for individuals and families who face adversity. These donors are advancing opportunity through diverse strategies, including entrepreneurship, career training, wealth building, personal responsibility, and life skills, at home and abroad.