Hurricane Sandy: From So. Ohio to Upstate New York, volunteers hasten sending clean-up buckets and emergency kits for survivors

November 2, 2012

For the latest updates, visit our Hurricane Sandy emergency information page.

SYRACUSE, N.Y./EATON, Ohio — In the massive relief and initial recovery from Hurricane Sandy, grassroots and church groups around the country are answering an urgent call from humanitarian agency Church World Service for immediate cash contributions – and contributions of emergency clean-up buckets and kits.

As part of a longstanding volunteer tradition, families, individuals and groups are now in gear across the country to expedite collecting, assembling and ship contributed materials for these staples of emergency aid.

Already, Church World Service has expedited $480,000 worth of CWS Blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, baby kits and emergency clean-up buckets to local agencies in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, with more shipments in process.
Cindy Watson, CWS’s associate for congregational programs, said some groups have already shipped or are in process of shipping donated clean-up buckets, personal hygiene, baby layette and school kits that they may have assembled and stockpiled in previous months. Those will be added to the agency’s distributions of emergency blankets across the affected states.


Interview and visual media opportunities this weekend: Among the CWS emergency kits and clean-up buckets collection events scheduled around the U.S. this weekend are:

  • Syracuse, N.Y.:

Syracuse, New York’s Park Central Presbyterian Church has launched a drive to collect 3,000 personal-sized hygiene kits for Church World Service to provide to the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

Saturday, November 3, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM and Sunday, November 4, noon to 5:00 PM,

Contact: Rev. Andrew McTyre
Phone: (315) 475-1677; cell phone:  (315) 430-2353
Park Central Presbyterian Church
504 E. Fayette Street at Townsend
Syracuse, N.Y. 13202

Volunteers will be on hand to examine kits for appropriate contents and to assemble any additional kit materials donated. Donations of kits may be dropped off at the church’s curb.

For more information and for those who wish to contribute materials for the Syracuse clean-up buckets drive, see:,

For information on requested contents for CWS clean-up buckets:

  • Eaton, Ohio:

Brethren Disaster Ministries of Southern Ohio, Eaton, plans to ship at least 200 CWS clean-up buckets to the relief and development agency’s New Windsor, Md., warehouse on Friday, November 9. The effort is part of Church of the Brethren’s district-wide collections of CWS emergency kits.

Organizer Pat Via said volunteers will also be available Saturday, November 3 and other times during the week (Nov. 5-8) to assemble further clean-up bucket materials that are donated.

For more information, and for donors in the Eaton area who wish to contribute CWS clean-up bucket materials:

Contact: Pat Via
Phone: (937) 456-3689; cell phone: (937) 478-5766

Eaton Church of the Brethren
813 Camden Rd
Eaton, Ohio 45320
Church phone: (937) 456-5507

In the spring of this year, the same church’s Sunday school class collected and shipped 400 clean-up buckets to CWS.

For information on the contents requested for all CWS emergency kits and clean-up bucket contributions:

‘Urgent requests from affected areas’

CWS is continuing to receive urgent requests from states affected by Sandy for CWS blankets, kits and clean-up buckets.

“In addition to supplies already expedited in New Jersey and other states, we expedited shipments to Cuba prior to Sandy’s U.S. strike,” said CWS Director of Development and Humanitarian Assistance Donna Derr.

Derr said the agency’s inventory of buckets is rapidly being drawn down. “We’re issuing an urgent call to the public for contributions of assembled and shipped buckets, as well as cash contributions, a portion of which could be utilized for rapid production of more supply-filled buckets.”

How to help:

DONATE NOW: Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (REF: HURRICANE SANDY APPEAL, U.S., #627-W).

During disaster such as this now is the time to remember that the most important humanitarian donation that an individual can make is cash. Used clothing and other materials do little to restore the dignity of survivors. Remember, financial help is best. If you do have supplies that may be of help contact a CWS Emergency Response Specialist to see if the materials can be used and where.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.