Fill the Bucket – Clever Ways to Start a Disaster Fund

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This year has been an especially wet one. New Years brought widespread floods through Missouri, Illinois and all the way down the Mississippi. January, February, and March brought more flooding in Texas. Even right now I am just getting back from Texas to respond to yet another flood in Bryan, TX. David Ricks of Disaster Care Ministry usually goes through 500 flood buckets in a single year, here we stand at the beginning of June, only half way through, and he has used up over 1000 of them! Flood response is a slow and expensive process.

What can we do?

Flood buckets are a fantastic way for a church to get their members involved in Disaster Response without getting their hands dirty. The basic concept behind a flood bucket is to put basic cleaning items that will be used to muck out a house and help to stop the spread of mold.

Here’s a checklist!

    1. Devotional booklets
    2. A quick guide for cleaning tips
    3. Paper Towels
    4. Disposable Rags
    5. Glass Cleaner
    6. Cleansing Powder (Like Comet)
    7. Liquid Cleaner (Mr. Clean, AJAX, etc.)
    8. Bleach (1 Gallon Size)
    9. Scrub Brush
    10. Two Pairs of Rubber Gloves
    11. Sponges
    12. Broom and/or Mop (Optional since these won’t fit in the bucket.)

Click Here for a downloadable PDF of this page from our LERT Manual

Flood Bucket list

Here’s my brilliant idea!

So I’ve piqued your interest. You want to put together some flood buckets. Maybe you think you can only put together a dozen or so of them. Awesome! They all help. If you have a flood in your community, that’s 12 whole homes getting mucked out thanks to you. But how are you going to fund this project? Well here’s my idea. You know that Fill the Boot Campaign that the Firemen do? What if you did a fill the bucket campaign at your congregation? Here’s what it would look like.

You go on down to Home Depot and buy one single 5-gallon bucket, (just like you would buy when you assemble them) and put this downloadable label on the outside of it.

2012 Disaster Response bucket label

If you don’t have the ability to print that out, send us an email at Disaster@lcms.org and I’ll send you as many labels as you need.

Take that bucket and put it in the narthex of your church or in the hall of your school or on the counter at coffee hour and tell your congregation that you want to see that bucket flooded with the beginning of your church’s disaster response fund. Even if you only raise $50, you can start to assemble a handful of flood buckets and that’s a handful more prepared than you were before.

Once you’ve got that going, create a whole event around assembling flood buckets. Get your whole church together young and old, send a team out to home depot with the money to buy the supplies, have people back at church organizing it into an assembly and start cranking them out. Then form a bucket brigade to put them all safely in storage. Close off the day with Worship and a meal and you’ve just fulfilled your Mercy and Fellowship goals on the same day.

Interested in learning more about Flood Buckets? Send us an email at Disaster@lcms.org and join our new disaster response discussion Facebook group!

For a FREE packet of resources to share with your congregation, send me an email at Disaster@lcms.org

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Note: LCMS leader blog articles express the personal experiences and views of our ministry staff and have not been subjected to the LCMS doctrinal review process. Readers are encouraged to leave questions in the comment section or consult their pastor with any queries related to this content.

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