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‘Buckets for Harvey’ readied for hurricane survivors

GRAPEVINE, Texas (BP) — Even a 2-year-old can help the flood survivors in Houston and southeast Texas. That’s the plan at Kristin Leonard’s home, where her family is packing cleaning supplies for Hurricane Harvey survivors.

When Normandale Baptist Church in Fort Worth announced plans to collect “Buckets for Harvey,” she saw it as an opportunity for her family to get involved.

“My 2-year-old will love putting things in a bucket, and our 5-year-old will have some understanding of what happened and why people need these things,” Leonard told the Southern Baptist TEXAN. “We looked at the list and it’s all manageable, so I sent out a Facebook message to see if other people wanted to help.”

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is asking churches and individuals to collect five-gallon buckets with lids and pack them with 18 items such as respirator masks, eyeglass protectors, work gloves and cleaning supplies. Together, the supplies will cost $50-$75.

After Church at the Cross in Grapevine alerted members of the project, Staci Taylor invited neighbors on her street to a Sunday night packing party. “Join us to help meet a very practical and essential need for our Texas families,” she wrote in a Facebook post to friends.

“We want to be a people of action in this situation to shine light in the darkness,” wrote Geoffrey Bertram, minister to life groups at Church at the Cross, which provided the buckets for families to fill with supplies.

Mitch Kolenovsky, an SBTC field ministry strategist, still remembers how grateful he was to a local church that showed up with cleaning supplies nearly two decades ago when his home in Seguin, Texas, flooded.

“Things like bleach and sponges are real necessities because mold and mildew become a huge problem in the aftermath of any flooding that takes place. You need to be able to kill that out as soon as possible,” Kolenovsky said.

As of Sept. 6, 19 churches across the state were serving as collection sites for the buckets.

Providence Church in Frisco will make their delivery Sept. 11 while a team from Normandale Baptist will head out with buckets the following week. Other sites have a longer time frame with late September deliveries.

Churches planning to receive and distribute the buckets include Houston’s First Baptist Church, Sportsman’s Church in Victoria and First Baptist Church in Beaumont.

Each five-gallon bucket should contain 18 items:

— Terry towels (4-pack or buy in bulk and separate, thin not thick)
— Trash bags (roll of 25, may need to buy in bulk and separate)
— Mold and mildew control, spray bottle
— Dish soap
— Cleaner with bleach, spray bottle
— Wonderbar pry bar, 12-3/4″
— Small first-aid kit
— Duct tape roll
— Scrub brush
— Leather work/palm gloves (3-pack)
— Disposable gloves (2-pack)
— Utility knife
— Sharpie permanent marker (2-pack)
— 3M eyeglass protector
— Small hygiene kit (or use feminine napkins/pads purchased in bulk then separate)
— 11″ zip ties/cable ties (100 pack or similar)
— Respirator masks (2-pack)
— Sponges (3-pack, pack these last under the lid)

For further information, visit sbtexas.com/harvey and click on “Buckets for Harvey.”

Watch a video outlining the process:

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  • Tammi Reed Ledbetter