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Current list of drop-off depots (updated 9/3/17)
As rain, flooding and wind are devastating wide swaths of Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries is turning to church congregations to help overcome a shortage of much-needed cleanup buckets, stocked with essential supplies that are used after a disaster strikes.
UCC Disaster Ministries is offering congregations matching grants of up to $250 as an incentive to assemble Church World Service kits — in particular, CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets but also CWS School and Hygiene Kits. A heavy demand for buckets in 2016 has brought CWS's stockpiles down to only 1,800.
Members of the denomination can assist Harvey and other disaster relief efforts by pre-assembling various kits that are warehoused by CWS, ready to be shipped at a moment's notice when the need arises. The Disaster Ministries team is hoping the financial aid offered to congregations will kick start a church-wide effort to restock these much-needed supplies.
"For families that have lost everything, CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and other CWS Kits are more than just relief supplies, they are an expression of love and symbol of hope for the future,” said Zach Wolgemuth, UCC Disaster Ministries executive. "It's energizing to see congregations engaged in hands-on ways, reaching out to people they will likely never meet.”
This is the third year UCC Disaster Ministries has offered the matching grants. The ministry will fund participating and qualifying congregations up to $250 per congregation on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 200 congregations that raise $250 in cash and in-kind gifts for kits.
NOTE: Congregations that received a matching grant earlier this year may apply for another $250 to make CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets.
New drop-off points for buckets and for CWS Hygiene and School Kits will be announced soon.
BUCKET CONTENTS AS SPECIFIED BY CHURCH WORLD SERVICE
- One five-gallon bucket with resealable lid (If bucket has been used, clean well but do not use if it has held chemicals of any kind.)
- Four scouring pads
- Seven sponges, including one large
- One scrub brush
- Eighteen reusable cleaning towels (e.g. Easy Wipes)
- One 50 oz. or two 25 oz. bottle(s) of liquid laundry detergent
- One 16-28 oz. bottle of liquid disinfectant dish soap
- One 12-16 oz. bottle of household cleaner that can be mixed with water (no spray bottles)
- One package of 48-50 clothespins
- Clothesline, two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.
- Five dust masks
- Two pairs non surgical latex gloves
- One pair work gloves, cotton with leather palm or all leather
- 24-28 heavy duty or contractor type 30-45 gallon trash bags on a roll and removed from carton
- One 6-9 oz. bottle of non-aerosol insect repellent
All cleaning items must be new – all liquid items must be capped and securely tightened. Place all items into the bucket, making sure they are packed securely to avoid damage during shipment. Snap the lid on tight and seal with packing tape.
Value: $75.00 Processing fee: $3.00 per bucket
BUCKET RECIPIENT, PARTNER TESTIFY TO THE NEED
Celesta Bridgeforth of Athens, Ala., remembered the grief of losing her home to a tornado in 2011.
"We received a CWS Emergency Cleanup Bucket at that time,” she said. "It wasn't a million bucks but it was nice, convenient and timely and sure did help when I'd lost almost everything and didn't know what was going on.”
The need for cleanup buckets was substantial last fall in North Carolina, where the UCC ordered 1,000 CWS buckets for the Red Cross to help the residents of Lumberton and Warsaw affected by flooding. Those supplies helped families clean out their homes enough to assess the damage, muck out and tear out ruined drywall.
CeCe Williams, a Red Cross warehouse manager, said, "It's a crucial stage in their recovery from the flood. We are so grateful to our partners who are supporting our communities. Without them, we would not be able to help the great number of people in need."
50 DROP-OFF LOCATIONS HELP REDUCE SHIPPING COSTS
Emergency Cleanup Buckets are the most challenging buckets to assemble, because they are larger, more expensive (about $75 worth of items), heavier and more costly to ship. But they have the highest demand, especially when storms and floods are more prevalent in the spring and summer.
One possible way to offset the cost of shipping is to drop off completed kits and buckets at one of 50 drop-off locations in the eastern part of the U.S. Attendees to this summer's General Synod in Baltimore are also encouraged to drop off their buckets at a nearby CWS warehouse in New Windsor, Md.
Of the 14,000 buckets distributed by CWS last year, UCC congregations requested 2,500 of those. "Working together has always been at the heart of who we are and when we are able to share resources across the denomination it strengthens us and our witness in a hurting world,” Wolgemuth said.
"When someone gets one of these, they know someone cares," says Susan Rock of Grace United Church of Christ in Taneytown, Md. She's talking about CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets. Grace UCC just completed 26 buckets thanks to generous contributions from its members, a $250 matching grant from UCC Disaster Ministries, and careful shopping.
CHURCH ASSEMBLES NEARLY 450 CWS KITS WITH HELP FROM UCC DISASTER MINISTRIES MATCHING GRANT
With help from a $250 UCC Disaster Ministries matching grant for CWS Kits, members of Second Congregational Church UCC in Bennington, Vt., assembled 310 CWS School Kits, 133 CWS Hygiene Kits and one CWS Emergency Clean-Up Bucket. Wow!
Pictured: Kits assembly brings out the kid in two volunteers!