|Flood buckets help towns soak up damage|
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is in
urgent need of additional flood buckets to help residents in the Midwest
with cleanup following widespread floods.
A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose.
A UMNS Report
By Susan Meister*
July 3, 2008
Teresa Daniels of Oakland, Ill., has a message for United Methodists who
donate tools and cleaning supplies to fill five-gallon pails for storm
"I love flood buckets!" she exclaimed.
Oakland is a rural community of about 1,000 people and is located miles
from a major river. But after 12 inches of rain fell June 7, its storm
drains backed up, and homes all over town flooded.
In the storm's wake, flood buckets were shipped to Oakland on June 11
from the Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham, Ill., after a
request from Judy Doyle, disaster response coordinator for the United
Methodist Illinois Great Rivers Annual (regional) Conference, and Bunny
Wolfe, missions and outreach coordinator.
"The flood buckets kept us going and gave us hope," said Daniels. "It
meant so much that somebody outside our community cared enough to donate
the items and deliver those buckets."
Debris from a flood-damaged home is piled along a street in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
A UMNS photo by Marta W. Aldrich.
The heavy rains and subsequent flooding in Oakland were part of a stormy
late spring that has caused widespread flooding in parts of Wisconsin,
Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.
"To date, we have sent over 5,000 flood buckets to areas around the
Midwest," said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, an executive with the United
Methodist Committee on Relief. "We are preparing for volunteers and
long-term case management with our partners. This recovery will likely
take years, and we need resources to undergird our response."
UMCOR has issued an urgent appeal for additional flood buckets or
donations to help replenish its supplies, especially since the Atlantic
hurricane season is just beginning.
"Our current supplies are dangerously low," explained Kathy Kraiza,
director of UMCOR's Sager Brown distribution center in Baldwin, La. "We
want to be fully prepared when the need arises. With generous donations
now, we can be assured of being able to respond after the next flood or
'Everything we need'
At $45 per bucket, the flood buckets include supplies ranging from
bleach and dust masks to sponges and clothespins. A list of contents is
available at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/getconnected/supplies/flood-bucket/.
"The flood buckets have everything we need," said Daniels, who has been
assisting neighbors whose houses flooded. "The rubber gloves, garbage
bags, masks, extra rags. … I've worn out that scrub brush. The mud
sticks to everything.
"People don't understand," she continued. "You drive by and everything looks all right, but you can't see the damage inside."
How to help
United Methodists are urged to be part of the recovery by sending
completed flood buckets, bulk materials or a contribution to purchase
supplies. Financial contributions can be made at http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=901440&id=3018981\.
To donate to UMCOR's work in the Midwest, drop checks in church offering
plates or mail them directly to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY
10087. Write Advance #901670 Domestic Disaster Response, Midwest Floods,
on the memo line. Credit-card donations can be made by calling (800)
554-8583 or at www.givetomission.org.
Up to 10 percent of gifts for Midwest flooding may be used to repair
United Methodist churches and their facilities that were not insured for
their catastrophic losses.
*Meister is the domestic disaster response correspondent for UMCOR.
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or email@example.com.
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