A decision by the Church World Service (CWS) leadership team to close all of the kit depots in local congregations through May 31 will affect the Church of the Brethren’s Material Resources ministry based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. The Material Resources warehouse facility receives, processes, and distributes CWS disaster relief kits.
Said the announcement from Matthew Stevens, director of congregational giving for CWS: “Given the heartbreaking realities of COVID-19 and in accordance with CDC guidelines, we are postponing all kit collections and depot activity through May 31st. We’ve been getting daily requests for hygiene kits for vulnerable groups. But without collections in the near future, we’re running out of supplies.... On May 11th, we’ll reach out to you again to share what we know and hear your thoughts about how we can continue this ministry in 2020.... I’ll be praying for you and your community in the days ahead. Let’s be in touch in both spirit and word.”
CWS kit depots received an email with this announcement on March 24, with the encouragement that churches not host kit assemblies during this time period. A follow-up email will be sent in May with any updates.