Given a very favorable financial report on the status of Seal Beach First United Methodist Church invested funds, at its July Administrative Council meeting, Rev. Tia Wildermuth challenged the church leaders to consider sharing our blessings with those in need. One of the needs that was ascertained was the recent request for Fire Recovery Buckets from the California-Pacific Conference to aid the Disaster Response Task Force in its endeavors to provide aid and support to wildfire survivors.
An initial $5,000 was pledged toward this effort. After extensive searches online to determine and compare costs for the 11 items on the Cal-Pac designated list, it was determined that the cost per bucket would be $120-125. It was decided that 45 buckets could be assembled, and all the items were ordered (from three different sources). After final delivery of all the necessary materials, the congregation was invited to a workday set for September 11. Approximately 15 members of the congregation gathered. It seemed appropriate that 9/11 would be honored by gathering in service to others.
The fellowship hall was set up with tables arranged in an assembly line with 12 workstations. All the supplies were pre-stacked under the appropriate table labeled with a station number and a description of what was to be added. Each bucket moved down the line with items such as 2 Tyvek coveralls, 2 pair work gloves, 1 package of disinfectant cleaning wipes, 1 roll of duct tape, 6 heavy-duty large trash bags, etc. added to the bucket. At the last station, the contents were double checked, a label with a complete list of contents attached to the lid, and the bucket closed.
Already, 20 of the buckets have been sent down to Linda Vista UMC; 15 more will go up to Ojai UMC and 10 out to Ontario UMC. This helps fulfill the goal of having readily available disaster relief/response supplies spread to strategic supply hubs throughout the southern California area.
Wildfires are the most significant natural disaster in Southern California causing extensive damage and loss. Having supplies ready to help fire survivors is of critical strategic importance. To give to the Disaster Response fund, visit calpacumc.org/donate.
To learn more about the Task Force, visit calpacumc.org/disasterresponse/.