November 13, 2013
CHURCH WORLD SERVICE REPORTS:
Kits Challenge Results in Record Number of Kits!
When members of First Presbyterian Church in Elgin issued the 2013 Kits Challenge, they encouraged each congregation in Blackhawk Presbytery to make at least 30 CWS School Kits and at least 1 Emergency Clean-up Bucket. Congregations heard and responded!
“I’m pleased to announce that this was the most successful year ever, with 2597 kits contributed at or before presbytery on November 12,” says Julia Jones, associate director of the Illinois region of Church World Service. “Last year, the Kits Challenge resulted in 2552 kits, but a remarkable fact about the 2013 collection is that 126 of the kits were Clean-up buckets, so the number of actual kits was a slight increase, but the value of the kits brought this year was a tremendous increase!”
As CWS partners with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the ACT Alliance to respond in the Philippines, images from there remind us that small gifts of essential items, assembled with great love, can mean the world to someone whose life has been turned upside down. Updated info is at www.cwsglobal.org
School Kits: 1733
Hygiene Kits: 706
Emergency Clean-up Buckets: 126
Baby Care Kits: 32
Total Kits: 2597
Processing funds received by 11/12/13: $3637
Congregations still wanting to send funds may send a check made out to CWS to 188 Industrial Drive, #108, Elmhurst, IL 60126.
52 churches participated in the Kits Challenge, including at least two which had never participated before.
Jones states, “The fact that Elmira Presbyterian, which has 46 members and made 42 kits, shows that this is an activity which moves both small churches and large churches to action.”
First Presbyterian in Joliet hosted a dinner during which they assembled 160 School Kits, and First Presbyterian in Elgin involved most of its members as it assembled 129. Westminster Presbyterian in Joliet assembled the most kits in total, with 100 School Kits, 100 Hygiene Kits, and 10 Clean-up Buckets (210 total).
Thirty-three churches brought one or more clean-up bucket. Second Congregational/First Presbyterian in Rockford assembled an impressive 26 buckets, Oswego and Fairbury each brought 15 buckets, and Waltham made 12. Buckets are costly to put together but they are always the most needed kit, so this effort is extremely important to CWS. The fact that 2500 CWS Clean-up buckets came to Illinois in response to spring storms this year may have encouraged some congregations to respond so generously.
There were 18 volunteers who came to receive and quality-control the kits. The kits were dedicated and blessed during the MSRB report at presbytery, with Rev. Karen Schlack offering the blessing prayer. The kits were transported to the depot in Elgin in the trailer owned by First Presbyterian, Woodstock.
Thousands of Presbyterians worked on this effort, and thousands will receive the items. Those who assembled and those who receive are each blessed through this effort. Church World Service celebrates the success of this year’s Kits Challenge! Congratulations to all in Blackhawk Presbytery!