A Rockingham church has launched a food drive to help people suffering from the earthquake in Haiti.
Pine Grove Baptist Church has volunteered to be a local collection site for the nationwide project called Buckets of Hope. North Carolina Baptist Men has arranged to get the collection to Miami where it will be shipped to Haiti.
“I’ve talked to some other pastors and they’re excited about it because their members are wanting to do something,” said Nicole Blake, who is coordinating the project in Rockingham.
Blake, a member of Pine Grove and its missions leader, learned about the project when she was searching for a way for her church to help out in Haiti. The desire to help has been so high that she decided to open the collection to the general public.
Here’s what you do. Get a five-gallon bucket that comes with a lid that seals tight. It’s the kind you see on construction sites that painters use. You can find them at Lowe’s, Rockingham Hardware, Hamlet Hardware and Sherwin Williams.
The buckets are to be filled with specific foodstuffs and dropped off at local collection points to eventually be delivered to the hands of someone in Haiti.
“Just think that a bag of rice you touched, and somebody will open it, touching it and cooking it,” said Pine Grove Pastor Corey Wilson.
There will be no middle man, he said. No one should worry that somebody will sort through the buckets before they get to someone’s waiting hands.
Wilson said anybody can participate. He’s adamant about that.
“This is not a Pine Grove thing, this is not a Baptist thing,” he said. You don’t have to be member of a church to participate, he added.
Collections will be held at the church Feb. 21 from 2-5 p.m., Feb. 22-26 from 4-8 p.m. and Feb. 27 from 8 a.m.-noon. In Ellerbe, E.E. Vuncannon’s will receive donations during regular business hours.
As missions leader for the church, members have been relying on Blake to find a trustworthy project. They have been touched by the portrayal of the devastation in television news reports, she said. And they want to make sure their donations help someone who really needs it.
“People wanted to do something but they didn’t want to give money,” she said. “Giving money is easy. This is something tangible.”
Buckets can be assembled and donated by individuals or groups.
“My son’s class is going to do it,” Blake said. “They have 14 kids and they have enough to do two buckets.”
Blake telephoned every store she could think of in the Rockingham area to find out where to buy the buckets. She also priced the food items which can be purchased at any grocery store. All totaled, everything costs about $30, she said.
A $5 cash donation is also requested to help defray the cost of getting the buckets to Haiti. The money should be sealed in an envelope and placed on the top of the bucket.
If that’s more than your budget allows, you can buy any one item on the list and volunteers will figure out how to include it. Here’s the complete list for one bucketful:
Two five-pound bags of long grain enriched rice, one 48-ounce plastic bottle of cooking oil, two 2-pound bags of dry red or black beans, one 5-pound bag of all-purpose flour, one 20-ounce cylinder container of granulated white sugar, two 1-pound boxes of spaghetti noodles, one 40-ounce jar smooth peanut butter and one white kitchen trash can size plastic bag.
“We won’t turn down any donation,” Blake said.
“If we get a hundred buckets, that’s 100 people who’ve been helped,” said Wilson. “If we get a thousand buckets, that’s a thousand people that’s been helped.”
The effects of the earthquake in Haiti has been far-reaching. Touched by the loss, Americans want to go Haiti to help in person. Blake, a nurse, may get her chance to be there as part of a medical team. She finds out in a few days.
For those who may never so much as step a foot outside the United States, there are other ways to express human kindness toward Haiti. The Baptist Men group has a list of four projects. Go to www.ncmission.org and link to The Baptist Men for more information.
“We have poverty in our own county but the need is much greater there,” Blake said.
Berlinda Bruce can be reached at 910-997-3111 ext. 16 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.