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.