Kindness Restores Faith in These Challenging Times
Scottish Scientology Volunteer Ministers bringing help to the community
As in communities the world over, COVID-19 has brought its share of hardship to Scotland. Volunteer Ministers (VMs) from the local Scientology Church, the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence (HAPI), encourage friends, neighbors and local merchants to help bring the pandemic under control by complying with pandemic protocols. And they help brighten the days of those who feel isolated by the lockdown.
Since May 2020, Edinburgh VMs have been carrying out an initiative—part of a program that Volunteer Ministers take part in around the world. They have handed out more than 9,000 copies of booklets that help people understand how to protect themselves and others from the spread of infection.
Inspired by the words of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard who said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure,” as soon as the pandemic began, the most effective measures were researched for ensuring the safety of Scientology staff and parishioners, and these were implemented internationally as protocols.
To make this prevention information broadly available, the Church of Scientology published three educational 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. All three booklets are available to be read or downloaded free of charge in 21 languages from the How to Stay Well Prevention Resource Center on the Scientology website.
Edinburgh Volunteer Ministers have presented shops and restaurants with displays of these booklets that invite customers to “please take one.” And they visited neighbors with copies of the booklets so they could help keep themselves and their friends and families safe from the pandemic.
They have also been working with local charities to see to the needs of isolated and vulnerable neighbors. “As a team, we’ve helped food banks with items they most need and want,” posted one of the Volunteer Ministers on the HAPI Facebook page.
“We answered a shoutout for help from a homeless charity and provided donations to seven Edinburgh care homes and a women’s shelter we’ve helped several times.”
And they pulled out all stops when it came to the holidays.
They knew the Christmas season would be particularly hard for those living in shelters and for elderly residents in retirement and care homes. The holidays tend to heighten the sense of isolation for those who are down on their luck. And increased pandemic restrictions meant that in care homes, residents would not be allowed to spend time with their children and grandchildren nor would family visits to the facility be allowed.
So the volunteers made sure the season was special by wrapping gifts and sending them to guests in care homes and shelters, each with a cheerful message.
It looks like they created the intended result with their holiday capers.
“Here’s a message from the women’s shelter,” they posted on their Facebook.
“Omg!!!! You guys are unreal!!! Honestly can’t believe it! All the staff & girls were absolutely blown away with your Christmas gifts, you literally made their day! You are absolute superstars.”
What the Volunteer Ministers took away from the experience was the confirmation that kindness is a beautiful thing. And just as their actions brought comfort to those who received their gifts, it brightened the days of the givers.
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 world’s largest independent relief forces.
A 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.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
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.
CONTACT:Church of Scientology Media Relations
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