Two Westport religious institutions have announced important projects.
Saugatuck Congregational Church is collecting supplies to assemble emergency cleanup buckets for hurricane damage in Texas and Florida.
The initiative — part of Church World Service — is open to all Westporters. The goal is to create one or more 5-gallon buckets with resealable lids. Contents should include:
- 4 scouring pads
- 7 sponges (1 of them large)
- 1 scrub brush
- 18 reusable cleaning towels (like Easy Wipes)
- 1 50 ounce or 2 25 ounce bottles of liquid laundry detergent
- 1 16-28 ounce bottle of liquid disinfectant dish soap
- 1 12-16 ounce bottle of household cleaner that can be mixed with water (no spray bottles)
- 1 package of 48-50 clothespins
- 1 100-foot or 2 50 foot clotheslines
- 5 dust masks
- 2 pairs of non-surgical latex gloves
- 1 pair of work gloves, cotton with leather palm or all leather
- 24-28 heavy duty or contractor-type 30-45 gallon trash bags on a roll, removed from carton
- 1 6-9 ounce bottle of non-aerosol insect repellent.
All cleaning items must be new. Liquid items must be capped and securely tightened. Place all items into the bucket, packed securely. Snap the lid on tight, and seal with packing tape.
The bucket should be cleaned well. It cannot have held chemicals of any kind.
Buckets can be dropped off behind Saugatuck Church by this Saturday (September 16). Signs say “Clean-up Bucket” at the drop-off point.
You can provide items from the list too, without buckets. Church members will assemble buckets on Sunday, and arrange for transportation.
Funds can be donated too, to defray costs. Checks made payable to Saugatuck Congregational Church (with “emergency buckets” in the memo line) can be sent to 245 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880 (attention: Dana Johnson).
“This is a great way for a family, school group or neighborhood to lend a much-needed hand,” says co-coordinator Melissa Banks.
“As someone who had to clean Superstorm Sandy debris from my home, I know this thoughtful gift of kindness in an overwhelming experience would be greatly appreciated.”
“Damage is massive. It’s hard to know how best to respond to a crisis,” adds Rev. Alison J. Buttrick Patton.
“This project gives us a concrete way to contribute to flood recovery. These buckets are desperately needed, and have a huge, positive impact. We’d love to be overrun by buckets assembled by the many caring and dedicated hands in Westport.”
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meanwhile, the Unitarian Church prepares for the re-dedication of its Black Lives Matter banner this Sunday (September 17, 12:30 p.m.). Community and faith leaders have been invited to attend. Everyone is welcome.
At the dedication last October, Rev. Dr. John Morehouse said, “It is our intention for this banner to open a dialogue with others in our community about race, and our role in ending racism.”
Church officials say that happened. People called to support, question and disagree with the banner. Conversations were respectful and civil.
Last month, however, the banner was removed. No one has been identified, and no motive is clear.
Rev. Morehouse calls the outpouring of support in the weeks since the incident “tremendous. Our community has proclaimed that hate has no home here. If necessary we will replace this sign and every other sign which is vandalized and stolen. We will not be intimidated by the forces of bigotry and hate.”
The new banner was purchased with donated funds.