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Annual Conference Mission Initiatives

Elder Baskets

The 2019 Annual Conference will shine a spotlight on the ministries of the South Carolina Conference Committee on Native American Ministries.

To show our support for the work of the Committee on Native American Ministries, we are asking each charge in the South Carolina Conference to create one – and only one – Elder Basket and bring it to Annual Conference.

Elder Baskets are plastic clothes baskets filled with non-perishable items, which are given to elderly Native Americans who are in need. Many Native Americans live well below the poverty line.

The Committee on Native American Ministries shares these baskets to help them through particularly trying times.

“We tend to feel that, with government assistance, our elderly are able to take care of themselves – but they aren’t,” said the Rev. Cheryl Toothe, a member of the Committee on Native American Ministries. “Anything we can do to help is important because Native elders will do without before they will complain or ask for help. That’s their nature.

Elder baskets can be dropped off in the marked location in the Exhibit Hall at the Greenville Convention Center.

Items requested for Elder Baskets

  • Cans of soup
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Dried beans
  • Laundry soap
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper
  • A small gift to lift the spirits of the elderly, such as a bag of peppermint candy, butterscotch disks, or any other treat.

“When you see an elderly woman crying over the items in the basket – especially the toilet paper – you realize how appreciative they are of every little thing we do to help,” Rev. Toothe said. “It touches your heart in a way you don’t expect.

“Your life will never be the same after you help those who cannot help themselves.”

Want to do more?

The logistics of moving and storing one Elder Basket per charge will be a challenge. Anything more likely would be overwhelming.

If the people of a charge would like to help beyond providing one Elder Basket, they also can purchase gift cards (for discount stores such as Walmart, Dollar General, etc.) with which CONAM later will buy additional supplies once the initial supply of Elder Baskets has diminished.

More information


Food Drive

Harvest Hope Food Bank is a critical line of support for more than 500 partner agencies who take feeding missions directly to those who live in the most economically fragile communities.

Partner agencies are nonprofit organizations providing communities with a food pantry, soup kitchen or other programs to feed hungry people. They include faith‐based organizations, family shelters, and after-school programs.

Everyone attending the 2019 Annual Conference is encouraged to bring non‐perishable food with them and place them in Harvest Hope boxes that will be situated all around the Greenville Convention Center.

Pastors, delegates and other leaders are encouraged to conduct food drives at their local churches, and bring those donations to Annual Conference.

“Under Bishop Holston’s leadership, Annual Conference has become much more than an opportunity to worship and attend to the business of the church,” said Chris Lynch, a member of the Annual Conference Mission Initiatives Team. “Through an annual mission emphasis, the United Methodist Church in South Carolina has had incredible opportunities to impact the community where Annual Conference is held – and far beyond.

“This year is no different as we partner with Harvest Hope Food Bank of Greenville and the Conference the Committee on Native American Ministries to make a difference in the day-to-day lives of those in need. These two ministries offer Annual Conference attendees a tangible way to be the hands and feet of Christ in our world.”

Please place all donated items in the Harvest Hope boxes by the end of business Wednesday, June 5.


“Most-Needed” Items

Canned Goods
  • pop-top cans are preferred
  • meat
  • vegetables
  • fruit
  • tomato sauce
  • beans
  • soup
  • pop-top cans
  • evaporated milk
Dry Goods
  • peanut butter
  • instant potatoes
  • cereal
  • oatmeal
  • pasta
  • grits
  • coffee
  • crackers
  • granola bars
Personal & Other Items
  • baby formula
  • diapers
  • baby wipes
  • soap
  • shampoo
  • feminine products
  • toothpaste
  • toothbrushes
  • trash bags
  • paper towels

More information