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Disaster kit rally begins September 10

Volunteer packing a Home Care Kit

The Michigan Conference prepares for a fall disaster kit rally, September 10 through October 22, as it begins a season of transition in disaster response ministry leadership.

Content Editor

Natural disasters can strike anytime, and the Michigan Conference Disaster Response Team is ready to mobilize and respond quickly and efficiently. The team plans year-round to ensure we are prepared to assess immediate needs and then engage ministry partners and volunteers.

The Michigan Conference is preparing for its biannual disaster kit rally this fall, from September 10 through October 22. Midwest Mission, our long-time disaster ministry partner in Pawnee, IL, needs our help replenishing its stock as we near the peak of hurricane season.

The fall rally will focus on collecting Personal Dignity Kits and some common items found in other kits. These kits and supplies are the most popular requests that Midwest Mission receives and can be sent abroad with few restrictions to communities in need.

Personal Dignity Kit

    • 1 hand towel – no kitchen towels
    • 1 washcloth – no dishcloths
    • 1 toothbrush (no multipacks)
    • 1 bar soap – 3-4 oz.
    • 1 shampoo – 12-19 oz.
    • 1 deodorant – 2-3 oz. (stick, roll-on, or pump)
    • 1 1-gallon resealable plastic bag
    • $2 donation for razor and toothpaste

The Michigan Conference will also collect these popular items that are found in Midwest Mission’s Home Care Kit and Tornado Kit, and in the UMCOR Cleaning Kit:

    • Liquid household cleaner – no larger than 80 oz. (no spray bottles)
    • Dish soap – bottle no larger than 64 oz
    • Liquid laundry detergent – bottle no larger than 150 oz
    • Work gloves – leather palm

Packing note: Midwest Mission asks each church that donates to complete this form (click here) so they can be thanked and, in some cases, notified where their supplies have been sent.

Drop-off locations for each district, including collection times and contact information, are listed at the end of this article.

Midwest Mission’s Impact

Midwest Mission has worked closely with United Methodist annual conferences within the North Central Jurisdiction for many years. Still, they receive no direct funding from any annual conference or the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

But by developing relationships with local United Methodist churches, they can make a bigger impact for Christ (watch this video to see the impact). Midwest Mission does its best to steward the resources they are given, and in 2022, for every $1 spent, they sent out $7.89 of in-kind supplies. All donations are processed quickly, most often within three months of receiving them.

Midwest Mission Sunday is September 17, and assembling Personal Dignity Kits at your church would be a great way to honor this day and help them meet their goal of getting 2,023 people serving over that weekend. Learn more about Midwest Mission Sunday here (click here).

Midwest Mission is also collecting new or gently used items in good, working condition that others around the world could use. If you have any of these items, contact them at 217-483-7911 or by email, [email protected].

    • Medical Equipment and Supplies: foldable walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, canes, orthopedic supplies, such as boots and slings
    • Disaster Relief Clean-up Tools: non-electric hand tools, metal rakes, shovels, push brooms
    • Sewing Machines: electric or treadle (no electronic machines)
    • Rescue and Fire Equipment: fire trucks, ambulances, jaws of life, axes, fire hoses, breathing apparatus
    • Bleacher wood

Conference Disaster Response Ministry Transition

The Michigan Conference Disaster Response Team, led by interim Co-Disaster Response Coordinators Rev. Kayla Roosa and Rev. Bob Miller, is in a period of leadership transition.

Dan O’Malley, who served in this strategic role for several years, has moved into a leadership role with After the Storm, the Michigan Conference’s long-term disaster recovery nonprofit. The Michigan Conference is grateful for his many years of service coordinating annual disaster kit rallies and helping to manage the emergency disaster response for the Michigan Conference.

Roosa and Miller, both active in the Michigan Conference’s disaster response ministry, have stepped in to share this role temporarily, but they seek others with gifts for this life-giving ministry. If you want to learn more to see if this might be a good fit, get in touch with Kayla or Bob. Their email addresses are found on the ministry’s web page.

Please direct all general questions about the fall disaster kit to Rev. Kayla Roosa at [email protected]. To get in touch with one of the collection points and coordinate deliveries, reach out to the contacts listed below.

Collection Points for Fall 2023 Rally

Central Bay District
Becky Jenkins, 4760 East Wackerly Rd., Midland, MI 48642
Contact Becky to set up an appointment: 989-859-2035

Northern Skies District, West
Ishpeming: Wesley UMC, 801 Hemlock St., Ishpeming, MI 49866
Drop-off contact: Pastor Bob Freysinger, 906-486-4681 or [email protected]
Contact Bob to set up an appointment

Northern Skies District, East
God’s Country Cooperative Parish, Dunlap Ministry Center, Newberry, MI 49869, M-123, under the blue water tower
Drop-off contacts: Rev. Jackie Roe or Randy Hildebrant, DDRC, 906-553-1953
Call Randy to arrange delivery: 906-293-5711

Northern Skies District, South
Kalkaska UMC, 2525 Beebe Rd., Kalkaska, MI 49646
Drop-off contact: Dave Stockford, DDRC, 231-384-0504
Collection will be by appointment beginning October 15

Western Waters District
Williamsburg UMC, 5750 Williamsburg Rd., Williamsburg, MI 49690
Drop-off contact: Rev. Matt Chapman at [email protected], Traverse Bay UMC at 231-946-5323, or Williamsburg UMC at 231-267-5792
Collection hours: Monday, 9 am to noon; Wednesday, 9 am to 3 pm; Thursday, 9 am to noon; or by appointment beginning October 9

East Winds District
Bethany UMC, 353 E. Vienna Rd., Clio, MI 48420
Drop-off contact: Rev. Kayla Roosa, 810-686-5151 or [email protected]
Collection hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm beginning October 9

Heritage District
Plymouth: First UMC, 45201 N. Territorial Rd., Plymouth, MI 48170
Drop-off contact: Rev. Bob Miller, 734-453-5280
Collection hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 4 pm, or leave items on the porch, beginning October 9

Greater Detroit District
Warren: First UMC, 5005 Chicago Rd., Warren, MI 48092
Drop-off contact: Donna Willey, Office Administrator, 586-264-4701
Collection hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 3:30 pm (outside office hours, items can be dropped inside the north entrance)

Greater Southwest District
Westwood UMC, 538 Nichols Rd., Kalamazoo, MI 49006
Drop-off contact: Nancy Vandenbrink, Missions Chair, 269-344-6945 or [email protected]
Collection hours: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 1 pm

Last Updated on September 8, 2023

The Michigan Conference