Buffalo's Scientology Volunteer Ministers Join a Global Campaign to Help People Stay Well
Long known and respected in the community for their outreach with high-quality educational materials, the Church of Scientology of Buffalo has brought that same component to the city’s fight against the coronavirus.
When a community leader contacted the Church of Scientology Buffalo to help in a city-wide drive to distribute masks, she found the volunteers she needed and a whole lot more. The Church has produced a set of booklets to help people learn the basic principles of disease prevention. The Church provided copies of these booklets to go along with the masks. The event organizer said that by educating people, the booklets added a deeper and more caring purpose to the project.
When Buffalo schools closed in March to help contain the spread of the pandemic, it interrupted the school lunch program for underserved kids. The Volunteer Ministers took on distributing meals three times a week to make sure the children had the food they need.
And when the city began to reopen, once more Volunteer Ministers stepped up to help ensure its success.
Based on the principle that an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure, they dressed in their signature yellow jackets and caps and additional protective gear and loaded up with boxes of three booklets: How to Keep Yourself & Others Well, How to Protect Yourself & Others with a Mask & Gloves and How to Prevent the Spread of Illness with Isolation. The boxes open up into displays that invite people to take as many as they wish.
Buffalo Scientology Volunteer Ministers handed out 15,700 booklets to stores, restaurants, nonprofits, companies, organizations, and homes. Shop owners and managers made these available to customers and clientele.
Each booklet has a QR code on the back that goes to the How to Stay Well Prevention Center on the Scientology website, which makes these and other prevention materials available, free of charge. The booklets can be read on the website or downloaded. More than a dozen brief videos illustrate the key information, making it easy to understand what a virus is, how it spreads, and the actions anyone can take to protect themselves and their families.
Although people are keeping their distance, says Cathy, one of the Volunteer Ministers, she believes that in many ways the crisis has brought them closer together. “There are so many people working to make the community better,” she said.
Buffalo has all the best qualities of a big city with the friendliness of a small town, says Christine Latham, president of the local Church of Scientology who coordinated the campaign. She believes that one of the nation’s best-kept secrets is how cool it is to live in Buffalo.
Worldwide distribution of these booklets began in May in communities around Scientology Churches and Missions across the globe. The Church of Scientology International Dissemination and Distribution Center made this possible by printing and shipping 5 million copies of Stay Well booklets.
The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the largest and most visible international independent relief forces. The Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.”
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
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