|Volunteers assemble cleanup buckets at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. Source: Baptist Press|
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was one of the worst hurricane seasons in the United States. Limited by safety restrictions intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus, disaster-recovery volunteers have been prohibited from traveling to many devastated communities.
Congregations that would normally provide everything from chaplaincy, feeding, cleanup and rebuilding in the wake of disasters have been relegated in many instances to just sending money and care packs.
“It hurts their hearts not to be able to do more,” said Bobby Rayburn, associate pastor of young families and the disaster response organizer at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, La.
Seeking to do more, Rayburn began organizing volunteers through his Cooperative Baptist Fellowship network and was able to connect with congregations in hurricane ravaged Lake Charles and the rest of the state.
Instead of being on the ground providing support services, volunteers in Baton Rouge started assembling “cleanup buckets” that contain recovery supplies for storm victims in Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle.
Rayburn said, “We knew we had to get creative because we couldn’t help in the ways we would normally help.” Thanks to the efforts of Rayburn and others, “cleanup buckets” have become an important disaster relief assistance project that congregations have been adopting in lieu of traditional disaster relief.
As “cleanup buckets” for disaster relief continue to increase in popularity, more congregations across the United States have turned to them as a safe alternative to sending mission teams as a safe option that still showcases Christ love to neighbors in need.
Source: Baptist Press