Five women from the Godwin-Pate Circle of Edisto Island United Methodist Church spent a week in Louisiana at the UMCOR Sager Brown Warehouse making flood buckets for the victims of the floods in Louisiana. Judy Blancett, Melinda Hester, Gerri Hutto, Violet McKenney, and Patti Smyer traveled to Baldwin, Louisiana to make flood buckets that would be sent worldwide whenever hurricanes or floods or other emergencies inundate a city. When they began their trip, they had no idea that there would be an urgent need in the state where they were working.
Flooding was so severe in Louisiana over the weekend of August 12th as the team traveled to Sager Brown that they were advised to turn around at the end of the second day of travel. The team of five circled up and prayed and then agreed as a team that they needed to continue on the trip. When they arrived at the Louisiana Welcome Center to get information about road closures, in order to safely continue the trip, they found the Welcome Center closed, due to the state’s emergency situation. The team immediately called the DOT number for road closures, got the list of road and lane closures, and forged ahead.
Four teams were supposed to work in the warehouse that week. Two teams turned back and two continued to the mission. In addition to the team of five from Edisto, a team of seven came from two churches near Gainesville, Florida. The Edisto and Florida teams worked together all week to provide over 2300 flood buckets to be sent to Baton Rouge, where the flooding damage was most serious.
Flood buckets are made with a five-gallon bucket which is filled with 15 different cleaning solutions and supplies (from laundry detergent and cleaning solution to work gloves and dust masks). After each bucket is filled with the specific list of supplies, a lid is hammered onto it and it is stacked on a pallet that can hold 36 buckets. The two hard-working teams filled more than 60 pallets with completed buckets.
During the week of work, the teams also participated in the blessing of a container filled with baby layette kits that were headed to Angola, Africa. Approximately 100 teenagers (who were out of school due to flooding) and adults came by school bus from Lafayette to the mission that day to load the container and to make another 1800 flood buckets.
At the end of the week of hard work and companionship, the Edisto group headed home tired and sore, but feeling fortunate to have participated in a mission that produced a product that was urgently needed in our own country. They have already made reservations to return to Sager Brown next spring, as well as making plans to return every year.
Note: UMCOR Sager Brown is the United Methodist Church Committee on Relief distribution warehouse where emergency kits (flood buckets, health kits, baby layette kits, and school kits) are assembled and verified for accuracy before being shipped to over 81 countries worldwide.