Written by Carol Fouke-Mpoyo
The United Church of Christ's Florida Conference is matching UCC National Disaster Ministries' matching grant of $250 for Florida congregations to assemble CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and/or CWS School and Hygiene Kits.
Florida's conference minister proposed – and the conference board of directors approved – the additional $250 match after hearing of the enthusiasm of Union Congregational UCC in Holly Hill for helping Church World Service replenish its stock of supplies that are of critical importance for recovery after disaster strikes.
UCC National Disaster Ministries is offering the matching grant to any UCC congregation in the United States. Click here for full information!
"Now, Florida UCC churches can make $750 worth of disaster cleanup buckets that will help the next time disaster strikes," said the Rev. John Vertigan, Florida Conference minister (pictured below). "Here is a great example of the local church, the conference, and the national setting partnering together in ministry."
Make that at least $1,400 worth of cleanup buckets in the case of the Holly Hill church.
Bill Wealand, Florida Conference Disaster Coordinator, said, "I knew that Union Congregation UCC in Holly Hill, Fla., shooting for $250, had raised about $900 in 10 days, before it had even received assurance of getting the national matching grant."
As he was telling that to the Florida Conference Board of Directors, "Rev. Vertigan interrupted my report to propose to the board that the Florida Conference add $250 – giving participating congregations $250 from national, $250 from Florida and its own $250 or more for purchasing ingredients and assembling CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets, and School and Hygiene Kits."
The Holly Hill church expects to assemble at least 40 CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets - even more, "as they claim to have one of the most prudent shoppers in the world at work," Wealand added.
Moreover, member David Heald, Florida Conference Disaster Coordinator for Northern Florida, "has been going to Home Depot and Lowes stores and has obtained empty buckets for free."
Wealand said that, in the greater Daytona Beach area, "I have already talked to two other congregations moving forward in a similar way. They will try for $250 so they can get $500 in matching funds."
There's not much paperwork for Florida UCC congregations to get the matching funds from the Florida Conference. All they have to do is submit a copy of their application for the UCC National Disaster Ministries matching grant to the Florida Conference office care of Dave Cyril at firstname.lastname@example.org
What motivated Vertigan to propose the additional $250 in matching funds from the Florida Conference?
"Florida is often the locus of disasters, giving us a heart for disaster ministries," he said.