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Volunteers deliver truckload of relief supplies

Posted: October 19 2017 at 12:00 AM
Author: John Stelter, Rockford District Mission Coordinator


This Flood Bucket Disaster Relief Project began with a decision by the Congregational Care and Missions Team of Belvidere First United Methodist Church. That prompted an email from the Rev. Danice Loveridge, Deacon, to me, asking if other churches in the NIC were collecting flood buckets for the Texas flood relief effort with UMCOR. Could they join the effort? That request generated emails to the all of the UMC churches in the Rockford District. This project was later noted and publicized by the Northern Illinois Conference. That then caused a lot of emails and phone calls.

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The Rev. Lisa Kruse-Safford, Rockford District Superintendent, then contacted Christ UMC of Rockford who graciously agreed to be a collection point for flood buckets and any flood bucket supplies for any churches who could get them there. Cliff Gillette of Christ UMC became the contact person and staging person for that site, but really we agreed to come and get the buckets if necessary from anywhere in the Rockford District, and we did that. We collected supplies from Apple River, Scales Mound, Pecatonica and Belvidere in addition to the staging area at Christ UMC.

We also provided a set of options including online monetary donations and purchasing supplies online from Dollar Days which would ship them to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center (MMDC) in Chatham, IL at no shipping cost. We had inquiries from several churches in the Northern Illinois Conference who chose to do that.

As the flood bucket supplies began to arrive, we realized that we would need a sizable truck to transport everything to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, over 200 miles away. Regional Administrator Betsy Smith offered the DeKalb Food For Sharing Truck and Mary Lynn McArtor did all of the driving, well over 400 miles in one long day.

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We also received several boxes and bags of supplies.

Eventually, we transported to the MMDC flood bucket supplies from 19 churches, including one in Pearl City that was not UMC. They delivered their buckets to Christ UMC, and we delivered them. The list of the 19 churches is at the bottom. Note that several of them are from outside of the Rockford District. Note particularly the church from Crete, IL near the Indiana border.

We loaded all of the supplies, delivered them to Chatham, and returned home, all on the same day. We were truly the hands and feet of Christ. I can’t possibly list all of the people who participated in this mission, from local church members to the staging area folks, from the transportation team to the warehouse staff in Chatham. It was an awesome mission event. Blessings to all of you!

Thank you to the following churches who donated supplies: 

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  • Belvidere First
  • New Life
  • Rockford Evans
  • Aldersgate
  • Pecatonica
  • Apple River
  • Scales Mound
  • Elgin: Cornerstone
  • Crete
  • Wesley
  • Court St.
  • Cherry Valley
  • Marengo
  • Hinckley
  • Lanark
  • Capron
  • Chemung
  • Grace
  • Pearl City

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