Brethren volunteers assemble 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in two hours




Brethren volunteers assemble Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in Mount Joy, Pa., on June 29, sponsored by the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts.
Photo by BDRA/Dave Farmer
Brethren volunteers assemble Emergency Clean-Up Buckets at Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa., on June 29, sponsored by the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts.

Why would anyone want to work on a hot summer day? On a Saturday? As a volunteer? For free? Well, 150 people from the Church of the Brethren districts of Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania did on June 29 at Florin Church of the Brethren in Mount Joy, Pa.

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Ranging in age from 3 years to more than 85, they came in response to a request from Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Material Resources program at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., where the supply of Emergency Clean-Up Buckets had been depleted following tornadoes in Texas and Kansas. The denominational staff had asked the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction to assemble more of the buckets, which are distributed to disaster sites on behalf of Church World Service (CWS).

The assembly area was set up the day before, so that when the volunteers arrived there were 7 assembly lines with 12 stations each, with supplies already stacked on the tables. An empty bucket started at one end, and as it traveled down the line volunteers packed 58 items needed for clean-up after a disaster. The last person tightly packed the items in the bucket, hammered the lid on, secured it with tape, and stacked it on a pallet.

In just 2 hours the amazing number of 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets are loaded onto a truck bound for the Material Resources warehouses at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md.
Photo by BDRA / Dave Farmer
In just 2 hours the amazing number of 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets are loaded onto a truck bound for the Material Resources warehouses at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., assembled by volunteers in Atlantic Northeast and Southern Pennsylvania Districts involved with the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction.

A second crew then moved the pallets to a waiting 18-wheeler where a third crew loaded them for immediate shipment to the New Windsor warehouse. A fourth crew supplied the tables with fresh products and removed and packed the discarded boxes. When one line depleted its product supply, it was shut down, the area cleaned, and the tables folded and stacked. By the time the last line was finished, the clean-up was already nearly complete.

The crews completed 1,700 Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in less than 2 hours. That’s 14 buckets per minute or 1 bucket every 4.2 seconds.

The wholesale value of the buckets is $100,000, paid for by the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction. The annual auction is held every September at the Lebanon (Pa.) Expo and Fairgrounds, and last year raised over $500,000 for disaster relief, which includes not only activities such as assembling the Emergency Clean-Up Buckets, but also disaster relief trips for volunteers from the organization.

-- Dave Farmer is media liaison for the Brethren Disaster Relief Auction. In addition to this article, he provided a link to a short video showing how the volunteers assembled 1,700 buckets in just 2 hours, find it at www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dS08SJVB4o . Read the accompanying news piece in the “Intelligencer Journal” at http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/870117_Brethren-volunteers-assemble-emergency-cleanup-buckets-in-Mount-Joy.html .

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