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The LDS Institute in Logan is collaborating with a nonprofit group, pledging to send 500 medical kits to India to fight leprosy.

The institute welcomed Becky Douglas, the chairwoman of the board of directors for Rising Star Outreach, to pick up the kits in person. Douglas, known by many as a type of modern day Mother Theresa, gave a talk at the institute earlier this week as part of the Institutes’ Women’s Association Service Week.

Cecelia Benson, a member of the Institute Council in Logan, said the group decided to do this project to coincide with its service week.

“We have a responsibility outside our own borders and just a small effort can work miracles in the lives of those who suffer,” said Benson.

Douglas’ nonprofit has garnered worldwide attention and has the support of celebrates and major corporations, including the Marriott International hotels and American Idol contestant David Archuleta.

Benson said leprosy, a chonic disease caused by a bacteria, is often thought of by many in India as a curse because it causes skin lesions. According to, there are more than 700 “leprosy colonies” where the stigma of leprosy is inevitably perpetuated in India.

“The culture is changing with the help of this remarkable woman,” Benson said.

Benson said researchers from Utah State University and University of Utah have gone with Douglas to India to work with leprosy colonies in medical trailers.


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