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 Massachusetts Conference joins Church World Service in appeal for Clean-up Buckets


Friends,clean up bucket


We woke up Thursday morning to the news of the impact of Wednesday's storms that swept through Massachusetts. There are multiple avenues of response and support that are evolving. We want to be sure to offer the kind of support that will be helpful without burdening those most impacted and those tasked to offer emergency response. While we want to respond quickly as we watch the images and hear the stories, disaster recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. We are gathering information from our churches and pastors and have been in contact with our UCC National Disaster Ministries office as we look for ways to offer support beyond the early response.


In the days and weeks ahead, you will be hearing more ways for us to come together as a Conference to support our churches and communities in these disaster affected areas. In the meantime, know that your donations to the UCC Spring Storms appeal is one avenue of support.  But in particular, please consider the appeal for CWS clean-up buckets.  These buckets contain the supplies and instructions folks need as they begin the work of returning their homes to a new place of normal. They are a tangible sign of support and concern and a practical gift of materials and supplies.


You will find below an appeal from the Rev. Bert Marshall, New England Director of Church World Service.  This is a general appeal in response to this spring's and ongoing disaster needs.  We are joining the Maine and Vermont conferences in a concerted effort to respond to this appeal.  In addition to responding to the current disaster situations around the country, it's absolutely critical to keep replenishing the supply!  We understand that Maine has set a goal of 1,000 buckets.  While we don't currently have our own goal, we know that you will respond with the same generosity that you always do.


You can find information about the buckets here.


We don't have the details yet concerning drop-off spots and times, so for now you will need to keep the buckets in your church.  As soon as those details are available we will let you know.




Don Remick and Jim Tilbe, MACUCC Disaster Response Team Coordinators

Peter Wells, Associate Conference Minister for Mission and Justice

Andy Gustafson, Associate Conference Minister for Stewardship and Finance

Kris LoFrumento, Associate for Youth and Adult Ministry







June 1, 2011


SITUATION: Tornadoes and floods have caused massive destruction in parts of the West, Midwest and South this spring.  Tornadoes killed at least 160 people in late May, including at least 116 people in Joplin, MO., on May 22. Floods forced tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes along the lower Mississippi River. The damage from these disasters is estimated to be in the billions of dollars.


Among recent disasters in the last week:


++ Several communities in western MA, in the greater Springfield area and to the east and west, were struck by severe thunderstorms and tornadoes yesterday, June 1.  There are thus far four fatalities reported, numerous injuries, power outages, and massive damage - including to the First Church UCC of Monson.  The story is still developing but this storm has struck close to home.  CWS will of course be prepared to respond here, as well as the areas mentioned in the appeal below.


++ Tornadoes hit on May 25 in Sedalia, MO, an event that did not get much attention given the media coverage of Joplin. Thirty homes were destroyed, with damage also affecting more than 100 homes and businesses.


++ Tornadoes also affected Reading, KS, where three-quarters of the town's homes were either damaged or destroyed. This occurred the day before the Joplin tornadoes.


++ Flooding in the Lake Champlain, VT, area has impacted several communities including Barre, Berlin and St John's Bury. In those and other communities, 29 homes in predominately low-income areas were destroyed, and more than 250 homes damaged, most major.  State authorities and FEMA are conducting preliminary damage assessments.


CWS RESPONSE: CWS has shipped the following to affected areas, with some sent directly to requesting agencies and some to community warehouses for rapid distribution by requesting communities: 868 Cleanup Buckets, 1,020 Blankets, 780 Baby Kits, 4,260 School Kits and 33,960 Hygiene Kits. The material resources are valued at $492,067 and the processing and shipping costs total $15,625. Communities served include Butler, Ala.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Birmingham, Ala.; Raleigh, N.C.; Monmouth, Ill.; Gray, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Hoover, Ala.; and Atlanta, Ga.


CWS is preparing to ship 200 Cleanup Buckets to Crow Agency, Mont., a Native American community affected by flooding.


A CWS emergency response specialist is conducting training sessions on long-term disaster recovery in Cleveland, Tenn., where a tornado killed nine people on April 27. CWS is planning long-term recovery training sessions for communities affected by disasters in Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina. A confirmed list of training locations will be available soon.


CWS urgently needs donations of Cleanup Buckets for the spring storms response, communities affected by the upcoming hurricane season and other needs. Info on Cleanup Buckets is available here.  


Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.


For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit  


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Endorsed by the Commission for Mission & Justice and the Commission for Stewardship of the Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ  
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