The following was written by Marianne Holman Prescott for the Deseret News. To read the full article, click here

More important than any donation or humanitarian giving is one-on-one connection with others, Sister Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities as well as the first counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, told students at Brigham Young University during a forum address on Jan. 23.

“You are the gift,” she said. “You yourself are the gift. It isn’t the clothing, the hygiene kits, the school desks, the wells. It’s you.”

Recognizing there are many, many organizations and people who do enormous amounts of good in the world, Sister Eubank said in her experience, the most lasting good comes through simple acts of caring for one another.

“This kind of humanitarian work can be done by anyone at any time,” she said. “You don’t need warehouses or fundraising or transportation. You can be perfectly responsive to any need that comes to you, wherever you are.”

Asking listeners what it would look like “if each of us were our own well-stocked humanitarian organization,” Sister Eubank encouraged listeners to, rather than give out tangible goods in foreign locations, care for the needs that are non tangible, such as friendship, respect, peaceful dialogue, sincere interest, protective listening to children, birthday remembrances, and taking in the stranger.

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