A small band of volunteers braved the elements to deliver a shipment of health kits, assembled for Haiti by California-Nevada churches, to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) depot in Salt Lake City, this week.
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Director Phil Bandy and two others trucked the shipment 665 miles from Woodland, California across the snowy Sierra-Nevada Mountains to UMCOR West.
Woodland UMC was the collection point, over the weekend, for health and layette kits and raw materials gathered by churches – and two members of the congregation there accompanied the shipment, alongside Bandy.
One of them, 59-year-old Dave Shoemaker, is homeless. He sought out an opportunity to be of service soon after he began worshipping at Woodland.
"My interest was in helping, [even] before Haiti happened," he says.
Shoemaker identifies himself as a non-denominational Christian, and Woodland UMC is right up the street from the shelter where he's currently staying. When he lands in a new place he looks for "the quickest place I can find to volunteer and be with good people," Shoemaker says.
He adds, "Survival on the street can be a civilian combat zone."
They are featured videos this week on Reel Witness, the video library on the website of the California-Nevada Annual Conference at cnumc.org. (Link to Reel Witness under "Quick Links" on the left side of the Home Page.)