EMU Relief Kits on the Way to MCC

Students prepare the relief kits for sending to Mennonite Central Committee Photo by Jim Bishop Students from Northlawn Third South prepare to assemble the relief kits for sending to Mennonite Central Committee.
Photo by Jim Bishop

Fifty "Relief Kits" will soon be on their way to needy people in the flood devastated Gulf Coast region, thanks to another disaster response effort at Eastern Mennonite University.

Initiated by Campus Ministries pastoral assistants and dubbed the "Katrina-Rita-Rama Relief Race," EMU students, faculty and staff were challenged to provide items for relief kits for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

The contest involved nine teams – the six residence halls, Parkwood Apartments, Commuter Fellowship and faculty/staff. Each team was assigned one or two items to collect for the kits over a three-week period.

An MCC relief kit consists of four bars bath soap, a package of sanitary pads, a plastic bottle of shampoo, fingernail clippers, a box of adhesive bandages, hairbrush, wide-tooth comb, toothpaste, laundry detergent and bath towel.

Hillside Residence Hall collected the most items – 93 bottles of shampoo – and received bottles of dishwasher liquid a poster of EMU’s "Friday Chapel Announcement mascots" (students Matt Pearson and Becka Rankin) for their efforts.

A student group from Northlawn Third South assembled the kits Tuesday evening, Nov. 1, to send to MCC.

Senior Carissa J. Sweigart of Harrisonburg, one of the student organizers, said she was "excited to see all the donated items coming in," noting, "Fifty kits may not sound like a lot, but with each one valued at $30, the EMU community raised nearly $1,500 on top of previous relief efforts."

An earlier student-initiated fund-raising project brought in nearly $3,400 by the end of September to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. The project was launched during a Sept. 9 chapel service by the Young People’s Christian Association (YPCA).

That money was sent to MCC headquarters in Akron, Pa., earmarked for Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) work in the Gulf Coast.