Church World Service (CWS) has issued an urgent appeal for school kits, and also is requesting baby kits. CWS is a Christian humanitarian relief agency connected with the National Council of Churches. The Emergency Response program of the Church of the Brethren General Board is supporting this appeal.
“We have great need, immediately, for CWS school kits, in particular,” said Donna Derr of the CWS staff. “We also have a need for CWS baby kits, although this is less urgent, because pending requests for these are at the moment not as great as the requests for school kits.”
At the moment, CWS has only about 200 school kits in inventory that are uncommitted for upcoming shipments. This has in part arisen because requests for school kits, just since the first of the year, have exceeded requests during the whole of last year, Derr said. “I think this reflects new interest on the part of many partners in receiving material resources to undergird their program work, which is wonderful. However, it means we need to work at keeping our inventory at more consistent levels to meet increasing need,” she said.
For information about the contents of school kits and baby kits, and how to pack and send them to the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., go to www.churchworldservice.org/kits/school-kits.html and www.churchworldservice.org/kits/baby-kits.html.
Brethren also may deliver school kits and baby kits to the Emergency Response booth at the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, from June 30-July 4 in Cleveland, Ohio.
In other news from the church’s disaster response work, the General Board’s Service Ministries program has had a busy beginning to the year. Service Ministries staff have packed, loaded, and in some cases trucked the following shipments:
- a shipment of school kits, children’s kits, and more than 6,000 pounds of medical supplies to Angola, including items from both CWS and Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA) organized through the Church of the Brethren Emergency Response program
- a 40-foot container of school kits and new school books to Montenegro, and a 40-foot container of school kits to Romania, through a cooperative effort of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and CWS
- a 40-foot container of 300 bales of quilts to Serbia, sponsored by Lutheran World Relief and IOCC
- a shipment for CWS of one 20-foot container to Burkina Faso filled with blankets.
Domestic US shipments for CWS this year have included a shipment of blankets to McAlester, Okla., and Austin, Texas, in response to winter storms; blankets to homeless and disadvantaged persons in Binghamton, N.Y.; a shipment of 20 cartons of blankets, 14 cartons of baby kits, 23 cartons of health kits, and 300 cleanup buckets in response to the tornado in the area of Orlando, Fla.; and bales of blankets to disadvantaged border areas near Brownsville, Texas.