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Mission challenge success

Posted: June 5 2019 at 08:49 AM
Author: Anne Marie Gerhardt

Many people around the world and around the corner will have a new clean towel, soap, a toothbrush, and many other personal hygiene items to help them through a disaster or humanitarian crisis thanks to Northern Illinois United Methodists. 

NIC's Secretary of Global Ministries Rev. Shirley M. Pulgar Hughes said the Annual Conference mission challenge to collect dignity kits for the Midwest Mission Distribution Center was a huge success.

"We celebrate four big victories this year and the tremendous generosity of our churches in the NIC," said Pulgar Hughes.

Those victories include:

  • Nearly 50% of NIC churches participated.
  • Two districts nearly tripled their goal, two districts more than doubled their goal, and another district nearly doubled theirs.
  • We graduated from a trailer to a real truck that was completely packed with about 50,000 items or 5,271 pounds – up 200 pounds from last year!
  • Two districts achieved 60% or greater participation.

The only snag in this friendly competition– this year there was a tie! Rather than take it up for a vote on the electronic keypads, the title of the mission challenge winner will be shared between the DeKalb and Chicago Southern Districts! 

Kits bring hope

Nearly 20 volunteers helped collect the donations, including youth from Our Saviour's UMC in Schaumburg, as well as leaders from Faith UMC in Downers Grove and Redeemer of Calvary UMC in Chicago. Besides the thousands of personal hygiene items, 75 cleaning buckets, seven large sewing machines, two bicycles, school bags, and diapers were also donated. The Midwest Distribution Center will sort the items at its warehouse in Springfield, Ill., in the next month so they're ready to be distributed as quickly as possible to those in need.

Chantel Corrie, Midwest Missions' Executive Director, said the kits bring joy and those who receive them are so grateful.

"I recently received a voicemail from a man in North Caroline who received a cleaning bucket and said 'thank you for blessing us in this way' and he just kept saying 'thank you' even after a tree fell through his roof and his minivan was flooded," said Corrie.

The Midwest Mission also prays over the donated items and sends prayer cards from The United Methodist Church with each kit. "Hopefully, we are giving them hope beyond their understanding," said Corrie. "If they don’t know Jesus yet, maybe it's a way for them to get to know Christ, too."

Watch below a video as volunteers pack the truck.

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