Wednesday, February 8, 2012


When we woke up this morning, there was a dusting of snow on the ground. Winter finally has come to central Illinois! But for those of us from Iowa and Michigan, it was hardly anything.

Let me start today’s narrative by focusing on the team members from Michigan who are building school desks. Talk about mission work inspiring people! They will have 12 student desks completed by the end of the week! In fact, 2 of them are staying to work tomorrow while the other 3 are going to serve at Breadline so that they can be sure to finish! This project is a real labor of love for them.

They wanted their pictures taken each time they finished a desk. Carol and Mike...

Sandi and Jim...

Mike and Carl...

and Roger and Carol. Notice “Power Tool Woman” in the background.

The first of many tasks in the workroom today was inventorying the contents of two Gaylords, a genericized term for a bulk box or a pallet sized corrugated box named for Gaylord Container Corporation, a former U.S. paper manufacturer (1986–2002). [Thank you, Wikipedia.] Judy really got into her work... did Mark.

 Pat also helps put items into a rolling bin to bring into the workroom for inventory.

First the items were separated onto different tables. Here are the hand towels to be sorted.

Then towels and washcloths were counted before laying them together with a washcloth on top of a hand towel for assembling Personal Dignity Kits.

Mark livened things up a bit by suddenly appearing as the “Warehouse Angel.”

The next task was for  Vicki and Joan to assemble boxes for Bedding Kits. 

These include 2 full size flat sheets, 2 pillow cases, and 2 pillows.  Here Helen and Joan put plastic liners into the boxes.

Jan puts the bedding into a box. The pillows are so “fluffy” that one Bedding Kit fills a box!

Susan takes a filled Bedding Kit box... Becky who tapes it shut.

Meine adheres the label to a box while Mary weighs each box before it goes to the warehouse. The team packed 22 Bedding Kits.

Next the Poseyville, MI, team split up to take care of several tasks. Helen and Jan put updated instructions into patterns for hospital gowns. Please note: UMCOR requires that fabric must be new and not laundered before cutting out either boys or girls hospital gowns.

Vicki and Joan went back to cutting out one handled bags. They worked almost to the end of the day in order to use up the bolt. They’re real “cut ups” of 155 one handled bags! Meanwhile, Laura, Marty, and Joyce continued to sew them, completing 44 between yesterday and today. Great job!

Joyce also fixed  hospital gowns—sewing twill or seam tape into the back of the tops and shorts. These tapes have to be sewn all around their edges and must be at least 3 inches long so that the child’s can be written on it.

Meine and Becky filled 28 flood cleaning buckets out in the warehouse before they ran out of packages of 2 dozen trash bags to go inside.

The next task was to assemble more Personal Dignity Kits. These used the hand towels and wash cloths that had been inventoried earlier in the day. Marty, Becky, Meine, Jan, and Helen packed total of 168 kits!

In the warehouse Carl uses a dolly to move UMCOR kits. Sager Brown in Louisiana asked MMDC to help complete 3 or 4 loads that will be shipped soon. These UMCOR kits included layettes, school bags, flood cleaning buckets—about 10 pallets worth (but they stacked them double height to fit to the roof of the semi)!

Judy and Susan keep track of what is completed each day so that Mary can add it to inventory.

 We gathered at the end of the day to “pray out the load.” Below Mark illustrates what it is like if you are all alone in the world and have no one within reach to help you.

Then we gathered around so that we were touching the boxes...

 ...held hands and prayed for those who assembled the kits, the driver who will deliver them to Sager Brown, and those who will receive them who now have someone who has reached out to them.

We all went to dinner at Sugar Creed United Methodist Church. It was a New Orleans meal with jambalaya and étouffée with red beans and rice. Mmm, good. This is a wonderful caring ministry on every Wednesday.

Carl, Roger, and Marty sit together at supper.

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