When hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, winter storms and other natural disasters strike communities across the United States, our natural urge is to reach out with the same compassion and support we’d give our next-door neighbors. The only question is “how?”
Packed with sponges, cleaning supplies, trash bags, disinfectants and more, a CWS Emergency Cleanup Bucket offers essential resources for families beginning the overwhelming task of cleaning up after a disaster. And it tells them, “We care.”
Earlier this summer, 864 CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets were distributed following Tropical Storm Debby to the Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Warehouse in Tampa, which worked with the Florida Association of Food Banks to provide them in the counties most in need. And as Hurricane Isaac wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast in late August, CWS provided material resources to affected areas, including 2,000 Emergency Cleanup Buckets; 1,018 Hygiene Kits; 55 Baby Care Kits and some 2,300 CWS Blankets.
We can’t predict exactly when or where disasters will occur. But we can prepare for them. Find out how you can help.
Caring neighbors help with cleanup
Among all the CWS Kits assembled by various communions and groups, the CWS Emergency Cleanup Bucket holds a special place in their hearts.
That’s why the Shenandoah Presbytery’s disaster response team enlisted the entire Presbytery in a CWS Cleanup Bucket assembly project carried out during their annual meeting on February 11 at the Mount Olive Presbyterian Church in Hinton, Va. Gathering at the meeting were some 200 delegates, representing more than 120 Virginia and West Virginia churches and including more than 100 pastors.
The “bucket team” arrived early to set up an assembly area, and were soon collecting bucket items from arriving delegates. With the morning session in progress, the team positioned products for the assembly line. During and after their lunch, the meeting participants came in to help assemble the buckets.
At the end of the day, after being checked for completeness, sealed and labeled, 128 finished CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets were ready to go.
Calling the assembly project “no small task,” CWS’s Cindy Watson thanked the Shenandoah Presbytery and Dave Thalman, director of its disaster response team.
“Some 128 families will be able to do so much with the supplies your group tucked into these 5-gallon buckets,” said Watson, “and your caring and thoughtfulness will make life better for our ‘neighbors’ here in the U.S.”