“It’s a community effort,” says Rev. Todd Gray, minister of the Central Baptist Church in Italy. “We are one in Christ when it comes to worldwide assistance,” he commented. In connection with UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and the Italy Ministerial Alliance, Italy residents are encouraged to join the efforts nationwide and help the grieving and suffering nation of Haiti by creating Health Kits to send to them. “We are challenging all individuals, groups, small and/or large to prayerfully consider participating in this mission. Our goal is to see the truck completely packed prior to shipping out,” said Gray.
Besides prayer for our friends in Haiti, there is one more way you can help. The First United Methodist Church in Waxahachie has been designated as the central drop-off location participating in the Health Kits for the UMCOR mission. Each church, parishioner, local clubs, school groups and individual residents of Italy are encouraged to participate and create the Health Kits to be sent overseas. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all need help at one time or another and the Haitians are in great need at this time.
Directions for assembling Health Kits for UMCOR:
Place these items inside a sealed, unused one gallon plastic bag
* 1 hand towel (15″ × 25″ up to 17″ × 27″) No Kitchen Towels Please
* 1 washcloth
* 1 comb (large and sturdy, not pocket sized)
* 1 nail file or fingernail clippers (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
* 1 bath-size bar of soap (3oz and up)
* 1 toothbrush (single brushes only in original wrapper, no child-size brushes)
* 6 adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages
* $1.00 to purchase toothpaste
* $1.00 for shipping costs
Please make sure all things included in the kits are NEW items. All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the greatest number of situations. Since strict rules often govern product entry into international countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested items-nothing more. So, please do not include any personal notes, money or additional materials in the kit. These things must be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.
*NOTE: Someone is designated at UMCOR to purchase toothpaste in bulk to ensure that the product does not expire or is broken before they are sent. Also, when packing multiple kits in boxes, each box must not exceed 66 pounds.
The Italy Ministerial Alliance is putting their resources together and reaching out. Local Methodist pastor, Pastor Tim Thomas said, “We at First United Methodist Church at Italy are going to be putting kits together after church services this Sunday and will then be delivering them by the Feb. 6th deadline to the drop off location. FUMC Italy would be happy to serve as a drop off point for any kits that are created in Italy. If anyone wants to drop off here, you certainly don’t have to be a Methodist, call the church at 972-483-6335 or my cell at 254-479-0608 and I will be happy to deliver them to the main drop off site. If anyone has any questions, they can call me.”
Remember, we are a giving nation and known for volunteering and helping. The same is said with the city of Italy. You can always count on an “Italian” to jump in and help when the chips are down.
UMCOR’s mission is to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict, or natural disaster—with open minds and hearts to all people.
To see more information about UMCOR, see their website.