SBTS assists NAMB with ‘Buckets of Hope’ initiative

Communications Staff — March 15, 2010

As residents of Haiti seek to put their lives back together, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary is working in partnership with Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief to help alleviate the hunger needs in the earthquake-ravaged nation.

This week Southern Seminary is serving as the final collection point for the North American Mission Board’s “Buckets of Hope” program in the state of Kentucky. Bob Perkins, director of campus security at Southern, explained that the initiative is the official response to the situation in Haiti from the North American Mission Board. NAMB asked churches and individuals to buy specific food items to put in a five-gallon bucket, Perkins said. Those buckets were then taken to regional collection points and delivered to the central collection location, Southern Seminary.

Student, faculty and staff volunteers are needed Tuesday, March 16, starting at 11:30 a.m. to load the buckets onto pallets and shrink-wrap the pallets. Once the buckets are packed, NAMB will transport them to Hialeah, Fla., where the Florida Baptist Convention will make sure they arrive safely in Haiti.

Each “Bucket of Hope” consists of a plastic five-gallon bucket packed with a standardized set of food items. The food contained in a single bucket will feed a Haitian family for a week. Each bucket also includes a $10 cash contribution to cover the cost of transporting the relief buckets to Haiti.

Coy Webb, disaster relief associate for the Kentucky Baptist Convention, spent a week in Haiti with an assessment team in mid-January and met with two Haitian Baptist Conventions and representatives with the International Mission Board. These conversations led to the idea for the Buckets of Hope.

Perkins said a company in Indiana donated the pallets for the relief effort. Webb said the two Haitian Baptist Conventions he talked with agreed to present the Gospel orally with the distribution of every Bucket of Hope. He noted that the situation in Haiti will require long-term relief efforts, but the Buckets of Hope initiative provided an opportunity for people to respond soon after the disaster.

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