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Still looking for a project idea for God’s Work Our Hands Day?

Still looking for a project idea for God’s Work Our Hands Day?

LDR Carolinas would like to offer these suggestions!

Here are two possible kits that you or your congregation can assemble and deliver to a collection point in September. They will be stored here in the Carolinas for use following a disaster. 

Also, please let us know if your congregation would be willing to serve as a collection point for these kits in September.  We are working to identify several locations in both North and South Carolina.  You would not need to provide long-term storage for the kits.

Clean Up Buckets

Items should be new and all liquid items must be capped and securely tightened.

Place all items into the bucket, making sure they are packed securely.  Snap the lid on tight.

Each bucket should include ALL of these essential items.  Please do not substitute or add items.  If the requested size is not available, go down to the next available size.

Many of these items can be purchased at local dollar stores at substantial savings.

(1)   5-gallon bucket with resealable lid (If reused, please scrub clean. Do not use a bucket that has held chemicals of any kind. No screw lid. Advertisement on the outside acceptable.)

(1)    4-8 oz pump spray air freshener

(5)    scouring pads (No stainless steel or pads with soap in them. Remove from packaging.)

(7)    sponges, assorted sizes including one large

(1)    scrub brush (With or without handle.)

(18)  reusable, lightweight multipurpose dry cleaning towels (No terrycloth, microfiber or paper towels. Remove from packaging.)

(1)    32-64 oz or two 25 oz bottle(s) of liquid laundry detergent

(1)    16-34 oz bottle of liquid disinfectant dish soap

(1)    12-40 oz bottle of liquid concentrate household cleaner that can be mixed with water (No spray bottles.)

(1)    package of 36-50 clothespins

(1)    50-100 ft clothesline (Cotton or plastic line.)

(5)    dust masks (N95 particulate respirator dust masks preferred; No surgical masks.)

(2)    pairs of heavy-duty, waterproof dishwashing gloves (Latex-free, non-surgical. Durable for multiple-use. Remove from ackaging.)

(1)    pair of work gloves (Cotton with leather palm or all leather.)

(20-28) heavy duty or contractor type 30-45-gallon trash bags on a roll (Remove from packaging.)

(1)   6-9 oz bottle of non-aerosol insect repellent (Pump spray bottles must have protective covers. Packs of 10-20 insect repellent wipes also acceptable.)

Children’s Comfort Kits 

These items should be packed in a plastic shoebox:

  • Notebook
  • Crayons
  • Bubbles 
  • Small plush toy
  • Stress ball
  • Playdough 
  • Hand sanitizer

Questions?   Contact Ruth Ann Sipe at [email protected]


Opportunities to Serve, Celebrate, and Connect

Opportunities to Serve, Celebrate, and Connect

Garage damaged at St. Luke, Summerville
Photo credit: Rev. Nathan Rice

On June 10, a severe storm with a microburst struck Summerville and Ladson,  SC.  We were recently contacted by South Carolina Emergency Management about over 50 households who are still in need of help with debris removal from those storms. As you can see from the photo above, St. Luke Lutheran in Summerville had damage themselves, which they have been able to clean up.  

We are NOT asking folks to self-deploy and simply show up to work. There are a couple of ways to get volunteers to the right places.  The first would be to work directly with the local Red Cross.

The other would be to set dates for work days.  As far as we know, mostly what will be needed are gloves, rakes, and maybe brush saws. Chainsaw groups already went through many of the neighborhoods and cut trees down.  

Please help us identify volunteers who are willing to help and dates when they would be available to work.  Thanks in advance for your willingness to help your neighbors in need!

We also have some financial assistance available to support domestic disaster recovery service trips planned by congregations or other groups.  Contact us for more information!

Completed Amity Lane Bridge
Photo credit: Mark Howell

We are pleased to report the completion of a bridge in Lincoln County.  This bridge, which is on a private road serving 26 families, is a partnership project.  MDS (Mennonite Disaster Services) provided the engineering and most of the volunteer labor, while Lutheran Disaster Response provided a $75K grant toward this project.  Other organizations, including PDA (Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Samaritan’s Purse) assisted with the funding as well. (The completed bridge is shown above, with the local fire department tanker truck and the volunteer construction team. The bridge was engineered and constructed to allow for emergency services and new mobile homes to reach the neighborhood.)   More information is available here.  

Finally, if you would like to participate in the LDR Carolinas Network to receive information like this via email along with invitations to participate in Zoom meetings with updates, please sign up here.

Local Disasters in the Carolinas – April 2024

Local Disasters in the Carolinas – April 2024

Two new disasters have recently occurred in the Carolinas, one in South Carolina and one in North Carolina. We want to highlight both and share ways in which you can assist with recovery. The first is a conventional natural disaster and the second is an unconventional disaster resulting from human activity.

On Saturday, April 20, a thunderstorm turned into a disaster for a small minority community in Rock Hill, South Carolina.  The storm is reported to have had winds up to 70 miles per hour and hail ranging from quarter size to grapefruit size. The hail pounded cars and homes, leaving damage that looks like something from a war zone. Trees were blown over onto houses and cars, two towers from a local radio station were destroyed, and residents were left with debris blocking roads and driveways.

LDR Carolinas coordinators Ray and Ruth Ann Sipe recently visited with Pastor Ken Gillikin of Epiphany Lutheran in Rock Hill, who has been working with Habitat for Humanity of York County as they assess damage, including damage to several Habitat for Humanity homes in the neighborhood (two are shown here).

Habitat reports that during their damage assessment intake, they had 146 individuals report damage. This includes 21 homes with no homeowner’s insurance, 10 with homeowner’s insurance, 67 with homeowner’s insurance but needing help with deductible amounts (estimated to be about $115,000 total), and 11 renters where the insurance information has not been determined with the landlords. In addition, 82 reported damage to cars with deductible amounts of nearly $45,000 (including this car under the tree), and more with damage who only have liability insurance. Because this storm is not a declared disaster, state or federal assistance is not available.  All assistance to fund repairs must come from donations.

LDR Carolinas worked with Epiphany Lutheran to evaluate preliminary needs and has obtained a Solidarity Grant from Lutheran Disaster Response of $10,000 which will be used to help Habitat repair as many homes as possible. In addition to this funding, we are asking for congregations and individuals who would like to contribute to send financial donations to Grace Lutheran Church in Rock Hill. Pastors Gregg and Rachel Hoffman will assist in collecting the donations and providing additional assistance to Habitat and those in need. Make checks payable to Grace Lutheran Church and mark them for Disaster Relief. 

Mail contributions to: Disaster Relief c/o Grace Lutheran Church, 426 Oakland Ave, Rock Hill SC, 29730. 

If your congregation would like to host a fund-raising event to gather funds for this relief effort, remember to have one of your Thrivent Members request an Action Team kit to provide seed money, banners, and T-shirts for those who help. Extra T-shirts can be sent to Habitat for them to use for their volunteers. 

Habitat is also in need of volunteers for cleanup and repair. If you or a team from your congregation would like to travel to Rock Hill and help, please reach out to York County Habitat for Humanity at [email protected] or call 803-328-1728 ext. 4 to arrange a time to assist them.  If you will be there multiple days and need housing, Epiphany has 12 cots that are available for volunteers if you wish to sleep overnight at the church.  The local YMCA can provide showers. Please contact Pastor Ken Gillikin at [email protected].

Our special thanks to Pastors Ken, Gregg, and Rachel as well as the congregations of Epiphany and Grace for their willingness to help during this relief effort.

(Photo credits – Ruth Ann Sipe)

+ + + + + + +

On April 29, in a normally quiet neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, what should have been a routine arrest someone turned into a deadly shooting. Four law enforcement officers were killed as they attempted to execute an arrest warrant in the neighborhood near St. Thomas Lutheran Church.  The officers were Joshua Eyer, a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer, Thomas Weeks Jr., a deputy US Marshal, and Alden Elliot and Sam Poloche, who both worked for the North Carolina Department of Correction.  The shootout, which lasted for several hours, resulted also resulted in the death of the suspect and injuries to several law enforcement officers.

Pastor Richard Hogg and the congregation of St. Thomas Lutheran Church have held past events for the local CMPD precinct and a number of the officers are well known to the congregation.  They are hosting the local homeowner’s association in May and will offer a meal and prayers for the community.  In June or July, they plan to have an event with the local precinct and offer prayers and a meal for the officers there. (Photo credit Rev. Richard Hogg)

We ask that you hold the families, friends, and co-workers of the four officers, along with the congregation and the entire community in your prayers.

If you have any questions about how you can help with either of these events, please contact Pastors Ray or Ruth Ann Sipe at LDR Carolinas!