Village heroes support disaster relief

In February-March each year, VocNaz Mission Team solicits donations from locals and then bulk purchases items to be placed in Crisis Care Kits (CCKs). These are packed-up and sent around the US and the world to help those who are forced to endure natural disasters. Photo courtesy of Jim Cunningham.

In February-March each year, VocNaz Mission Team solicits donations from locals and then bulk purchases items to be placed in Crisis Care Kits (CCKs). These are packed-up and sent around the US and the world to help those who are forced to endure natural disasters. Photo courtesy of Jim Cunningham.

2017 may well become known as the year of natural disasters. Beginning in January and continuing at this moment, people all over the world are facing devastation and homelessness.

The year started with freezing weather in Europe and India, went to cyclones and mud slides in the Philippines, landslides in Sri Lanka, and moved on to typhoons, tropical storms, hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, floods, floods and more floods!

The Village of Oak Creek community is doing something about it ... again. In February-March each year VocNaz Mission Team solicits donations from locals and then bulk purchases items to be placed in Crisis Care Kits (CCKs).

These are packed-up and sent around the US and the world to help those who are forced to endure these tragedies. The recipients aren’t qualified by religion, nationality, economic status, race, or any other criteria ... only their need.

This year, due to so many early-season natural disasters, the CCKs from May were already gone when the biggest events began hitting: Mexico’s earthquake, hurricanes Harvey and Irma and more. With the increase in storms, floods and earthquakes, a plea went out asking for more CCK’s. In turn, Pastor Jim Cunningham, asked the community for help, funds and manpower.

He was overwhelmed with the response! Several churches outside our area contributed, realizing their dollars would go farther by participating in the bulk purchasing.

Over $11,500 was raised and around 350 man-hours were donated, all contributing to 1,404 Crisis Care Kits!

“I like to picture the faces of those who were hopeless, until someone looked them in the eyes and handed them hope in the form of a Crisis Care Kit,” said Pastor Jim. “We may not be able to travel around the world or even our nation, physically helping with disaster relief, but what we do right here at home with these Kits is huge, and just as important.”

Sixteen individuals donated their time chasing down banana boxes and organizing combs, toothbrushes, nail clippers, bath soap, toothpaste, shampoo, stuffed animals, pocket packs of facial tissue, Band-Aids, and hand towels. Close to 50 volunteers showed up Saturday, October 7th to fill the bags, double check the contents and box them up.

Pastor Cindy Cunningham said, “Using an assembly line process, these people built and boxed 1,404 Crisis Care Kits in 3 1/2 hours. They were amazing. They worked hard, were cheerful and helped out with whatever was asked of them. It was inspiring to watch and be a part of.”

Based upon local prices, to fill a CCK yourself will cost between $15-$18 (plus $2 for shipping). VocNaz places bulk orders for the supplies and was able to bring the cost down to $6.21 per CCK (plus $2 for shipping). If you want to help with Crisis Care Kits in the future please email pastorjim@vocnaz.org or you can call 928-284-0015 and leave a message.

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