UMCOR Relief Supply Kits Are Needed Now

October 27, 2011

By Phil Bandy
Interim Director, CA-NV UMVIM Office

The distribution of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Relief Supply Kits has been successful this year. The sad news is that many were in great demand because they were shipped to assist people in crisis from the many disasters this year, and now supplies are running out. Brian Diggs, Director at the UMCOR West Depot, says, "We need kits and supplies of almost every type." He will be restocking the warehouse this winter as volunteers arrive at the Salt Lake City facility to process relief kits, but he stresses the depot needs kits and materials now. 
One church, Pinole UMC, is stepping out to help get these much-needed relief kits to Brian at UMCOR West. They have kits assembled already, and plan to take them to the depot themselves, picking up kits from other churches as they go. Team leader Linda Stone has put together a route and schedule for November 4th and 5th. She points out, "ask for bulk supplies instead of kits, because of the short time available to gather all the things for this trip. [However,] if you have enough volunteers to put the kits together, this may generate more for this trip. 
Download Linda's list of relief kit materials here.
Read about how to participate in the latest "UMCOR Kit 'Pony Express' Roundup" here.   
In this plan, there are a series of eight (8) churches that have been designated as "Drop Stations" on Linda's route. She also points out, "If churches that have kits or supplies to take to the drop-off location would call other churches between them and the drop-off location, perhaps they could do another pony express to get them to the drop-off location, rather than each driving the whole way. Here they could take them to the next church and then someone from that church would take them to the next, just like [with] the original pony express."
UMCOR Relief Kits for cleaning and personal health are sent to flooded homes and churches, burned communities, tornado-ravaged homes, and quake disasters such as Haiti. These include Cleaning Bucket Kits. Last year, 23,000 Health Kits were shipped out of the UMCOR West facility to Haiti. All those kits were replaced, but now have been shipped out again to other places of need. The rest of the kits are sent to support the work of UMCOR to provide basic necessities for people who lack ready access to essential supplies.
Hundreds of local volunteers in Salt Lake City assist as needed at the UMCOR West Depot, but teams from all over go there to volunteer. Read here about the recent team from Susanville UMC and the great time this group had there. This destination is perfect for teams of all ages, families, youth, large groups, and small groups.

During the months of August and September, the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network shipped out nearly 238,000 relief kits to people in need across the United States and the world. (UMCOR-hotline, Oct. 25, 2001.)