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The Heartland Conference Disaster Network met last Saturday to continue the work of Disaster Response & Preparedness in the Heartland Conference. We prayed with our Disaster Response trailer, before members journey’d to Home Depot in Boardman, Ohio…where they loaded 116 cases of water and delivered them to Mount Olivet UCC, North Lima, Ohio. Mount Olivet members assisted as we loaded additional cases of water into our Disaster Response trailer, and will deliver the cases to East Palestine, Ohio this week.
Disaster Network members also toured East Palestine, to view the train derailment and the work currently being done in an attempt to remediate the contamination. Our hearts go out the the residents of the East Palestine area, many who are members of our area United Church of Christ churches. We continue to hold them in our prayers, and encourage others to do the same.

In 2023 our goal is to create 2,023 Emergency Cleanup Buckets, Hygiene Kits, and Period Packs, and we need your help!

Our Heartland Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Kevin Gehres, reports that as of June 1, we have 1054 cleanup buckets/personal hygiene kits/period packs/school kits in the Templed Hills Depot! That means we are over 1/2 way to our goal of 2,023 units…with 969 to go!

We also have 82 empty buckets w/lids (thanks to Christ Church, Orrville) for churches to come and pick up to fill. This will save you $7-8 per bucket! Come one, come all!!!

Let’s get those filled, and bring your buckets and kits to our Disaster Response sponsored “Help Build Hope” house build on August 26th at Templed Hills Camp!!

Inspire your Congregation with the Bucket Challenge as a Mission Moment! Together, our goal is to create 2,023 disaster relief buckets and hygiene kits in 2023! To learn more about the challenge, watch our video here or read more below.

WHAT IS IT? Hurricanes, floods and other disasters are happening more frequently. When our neighbors around the world experience these unforeseen circumstances, we can make the road to recovery easier with CWS (Church World Service) cleanup buckets and hygiene kits. By filling these buckets full of essential home recovery supplies and/or daily hygiene supply needs (using the shopping lists at the links below), we can help our neighbors’ dignity and recovery. 

HOW CAN WE PARTICIPATE? Anyone is welcome to participate by gathering buckets and items to create cleanup buckets or hygiene kits from the links below. Whether you’re an individual or a team, we want to celebrate you as you collect and drop off your buckets and kits! Send us photos for our social media at 

There are grants available from the UCC’s Disaster Ministries to offset costs. Apply here.


For years, the Heartland Conference has provided a remarkable presence of leadership as disasters of various kinds have affected folks in our conference geography and beyond.  We are currently in a season of re-forming this network with a plan to also partner with the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ for long term recovery work. Here are just some of the areas we are hoping to address:

If you have a passion for partnering with others to help us in our readiness to respond, we’d love to hear from you! To find out more, contact our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Kevin Gehres at