DON'T MISS CHURCHES' STORIES AT THE END OF THIS PAGE!
Thank you for your terrific response to last year's call to help restock CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets for hurricane and other disaster survivors! Congregations from coast to coast assembled hundreds of buckets, replenishing CWS's depleted supply.
UCC churches used 190 of the 200 available UCC Disaster Ministries' $250 matching grants for congregations assembling CWS Buckets and Kits in 2017, committing to produce 4,475 Buckets, 1,483 School Kits and 3,673 Hygiene Kits (as of reports submitted by 1/30/2018).
In 2018, UCC Disaster Ministries is offering up to 75 matching grants. A link to the application will "go live" above soon. Why not get started fundraising and assembling kits in the meantime?
Members of the denomination can assist hurricane 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.
"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 fourth 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 75 congregations that raise $250 in cash and in-kind gifts for kits.
See application form for specifications for the different kinds of CWS Kits!
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.”
When residents of Lumberton and Warsaw, N.C., were affected by severe flooding, the need for cleanup buckets was substantial. The UCC ordered 1,000 CWS buckets for the Red Cross. 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 was a crucial stage in their recovery from the flood. We are so grateful to our partners who supported our communities. Without them, we would not have been able to help the great number of people in need."
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!