Several Baptist Resource Network (BRN) churches participated in the Disaster Relief bucket challenge, which urged churches to fill five-gallon buckets with toiletry items to benefit victims of the horrific tornados in Kentucky right before Christmas.

As many as 100 buckets have been donated, shared Kenton Hunt, PA/NJ Disaster Relief Director, adding, “We weren’t sure what to expect with such short notice.”

The buckets from several churches were filled with hygiene items, such as deodorant, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner, washcloths, feminine products, disposable razor blades, shaving cream, body wash, Chapstick, moisturizer, nail clippers, and wipes.

Churches also are sending money in to assist in the response, he said.

When Barry Whitworth, BRN executive director, brought the idea to Hunt, he asked, “Can we do this?” Giving the timing around Christmas, Hunt only anticipated about 50 buckets, if even that many. But 100?

We are grateful for the generous response, Hunt said, who will be delivering the buckets using a recently acquired, brand new disaster relief trailer – the BRN’s seventh recovery unit.

According to Ron Crow, Kentucky’s Disaster Relief Director, the two Baptist Association of Southwest Pennsylvania shower/laundry units are the still operating, having supported the Kentucky disaster relief teams and other teams, like Team Rubicon, Mennonite Disaster Services, and other denominational services.

As plans now shift to repairing and rebuilding, Crow is shifting focus to supporting the churches in the area so they can be a resource to the community. The hygiene items will be a big part in that effort, to be distributed either at a warehouse site in Paducah or from First Baptist Church, Fredonia.

The local collection sites across Pennsylvania and South Jersey included Bloomsburg Southern Baptist Church; Catalyst Church, Altoona; East Shore Baptist Church, Harrisburg; Great Commission Church, Philadelphia; First Baptist Church of Clarion; Harvest Community Church, Kittanning; Millcreek Community Church, Erie; Rolling Hills Church, Verona; SOAR Church, Woodbine, N.J.; and Winfield Baptist Church.

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