Supplies urgently needed for disaster relief

Supplies urgently needed for disaster relief

United Methodists in Theodore, Alabama, welcomed 304 buckets full of cleaning supplies from Holston Conference last night. The buckets will be distributed throughout storm-damaged parts of the Alabama-West Florida Conference.

The Rev. Harry Howe delivered 304 buckets full of cleaning supplies to Theodore United Methodist Church in Alabama yesterday, where residents are recovering from Hurricane Sally and bracing for Tropical Storm Beta.

Howe and his fellow traveler, Derek Phillips of Daisy United Methodist Church, were more than happy to respond to a request for help from the Alabama-West Florida Conference.

However, the sharing of “cleaning kits” has finally wiped out Holston Conference’s stockpile, which was low to begin with, said Howe, director of Project Crossroads in Marion, Virginia.

“We are completely depleted,” Howe said.

Due to the pandemic, Holston church members have been unable to gather in recent months to work on mission projects such as assembling “cleaning kits” for disasters occurring at home or in other parts of the world, said Jim Fetzer, Holston disaster-response coordinator.

To help Holston build up its inventory and be prepared for emergencies, Fetzer and Howe said district offices have been contacted to request that churches immediately begin assembling new “cleaning kits.”

Instructions for assembling kits are provided by UMCOR. Each cleaning kit is valued at $75. Some "hygiene kits" are also needed.
Howe, who frequently transports the disaster kits and who stores Holston's disaster-response supplies at Project Crossroads, made three additional requests.
  • Financial donations are requested to add missing items to partially completed cleaning kits. Please make checks to "Project Crossroads" with "disaster supplies" on the memo line. Mail to: Project Crossroads, 136 Snider Branch Road, Marion, VA 24354.
  • When assembling cleaning kits at your church, designate a team member to check that each bucket is completed based on UMCOR instructions. If all items are accounted for, please write "completed" on the bucket's outside.
  • Sponges should not be included inside the buckets (due to mold issues), but please provide sponges that can be added to the buckets later, when needed.
Church members should contact their district offices to find out when and where to deliver the completed kits.

Harry Howe traveled from Marion, Virginia, to Alabama on Sept. 23, stopping at Cokesbury UMC in Knoxville, Tennessee, along the way to pick up additional supplies. Pictured from left to right: Jacob Williams and Luke Stoecker of Cokesbury; Jim Fetzer; and Howe.


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Annette Spence

Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newsletter.

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