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Church and Red Cross extend partnership

Bishop Dean M. Davies, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks to the audience as The Church donates $1.5M to the American Red Cross for the purchase of 10 new Emergency Response Vehicles during a press conference in Murray on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Leaders from the American Red Cross and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met today to pledge again their commitment to working together in disaster relief and preparedness efforts.

They have worked together for around 30 years at least. The Church gave Red Cross $1.5 million to buy ten new generation emergency response vehicles as well.

“This is a special day, this is not something we do every day,” Red Cross COO Cliff Holtz said. “The partnership with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really is a special one for the Red Cross.”

Church Presiding Bishopric First Counselor Dean M. Davies says the vehicles don’t last forever, and one recently had a tree fall on it just last week.

“They are used so heavily,” said Davies. “They are taken to the Houstons, and Panama Cities, and Wilmingtons to provide services.”

Holtz and Davies also signed an extension of their memorandum of understanding. Both organizations share similar missions.

“It’s in our DNA, it’s in their DNA,” said Davies.

Holtz said the organization is also giving the church a first-ever national status designation based on their commitment to advancing the mission of the organization.

“The partnership with the Church is incredible,” said Holtz. “Because our missions align so well, to prevent and alleviate human suffering.”

Both groups say they are always at the same places, like hurricanes, wildfires, house fires and earthquakes, ready with supplies and help.