Ready when disaster happens: Mission supplies needed now

Jim Fetzer (left) and Harry Howe load "cleaning kits" to help survivors of Chattanooga tornadoes on April 17.

Mission leaders are asking congregations to collect cleaning and hygiene supplies so Holston Conference can be prepared to help when disaster strikes again.

Holston's stockpile of "cleaning kits" and "hygiene kits" were depleted when used to help survivors of flooding in Tazewell County, Virginia, in February, and survivors of tornadoes in Chattanooga in April, according to the Rev. Harry Howe.

Now, Holston churches are asked to refer to UMCOR's instructions in assembling the kits:
"We are pre-planning in anticipation of the forecasted rain and the hurricanes anticipated along with the storms we have already had," said Jim Fetzer, Holston disaster response coordinator. "The Covid restrictions are easing, allowing people to begin to work together making buckets."

Church members should contact their district offices to find out when and where to deliver the completed kits, said the Rev. Mike Sluder, director of connectional ministries.

Howe, who frequently transports the disaster kits and who stores Holston's disaster-response supplies at Project Crossroads in Marion, Virginia, made two additional requests.
  • Financial donations are needed 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, please 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.

Howe said he was concerned that Holston regions could experience flooding within the next three to four weeks, since the ground is saturated from previous rains and storms are predicted.

For more information, contact Sluder at mikesluder@holston.org.