Plastic bags become relief kits for Haitians

Church members packed towels as part of the Haiti health kits.
Church members packed towels as part of the Haiti health kits.

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's something we use everyday, but to members of St. James United Methodist Church in Montgomery, a plastic bag now carries a whole new meaning.

"You realize how much you take everything for granted. Just to see how much of a treasure one of these little packets would be to someone," says St. James member, Danny Williams.

Methodist churches across the country responded to a call from the United Methodist Committee on Relief, or UMCOR, to fill bags with towels, bandages, soap, and toothbrushes for Haitian earthquake victims.

"It's just the least that we could do is put together bags of things that would help them," says St. James member Kirsten Pattee.

It's a challenge coming just days after two of UMCOR's leaders, Reverends Sam Dixon, and Clint Rabb died.

They were inside the Hotel Montana in Port-Au-Prince when it collapsed.

"It was a hard, hard blow," says St. James UMC Pastor, Lester Spencer.

He knew the two men well.

"These were two top guys that would be coordinating the relief efforts for this kind of disaster," he says.

He says the men were there for a meeting about the denomination's on-going relief efforts when the quake struck.

And now Spencer's church members are continuing their work.

"It's a way to remember them.  It's also a way to reach out and serve those who have been devastated by this terrible disaster."

Church leaders say they're hoping to fill more than 400 bags.

Pastors are praying over each bag Sunday.

They're planning to send teams to Haiti throughout the year to help with relief efforts.

A memorial service is being held for Dixon and Rabb in New York City in February.

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