Valley Christian helps with ‘Clean-Up Buckets’

Hood River Valley Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Condon United Church of Christ have participated in an ecumenical disaster relief effort in response to recent devastating tornadoes in the Midwest.

Church World Service (, an ecumenical organization operating in more than 130 countries and the U.S., released an emergency appeal for Emergency Clean-Up Buckets in the wake of the twisters. CWS warehouse supplies were in danger of being completely depleted within a week.

The Rev. Tim Graves of the Condon United Church of Christ and Kathy Holmson, co-chair of World Outreach for Hood River Valley Christian, partnered to issue their congregations a challenge to respond to the CWS appeal. Graves issued a challenge to his congregation to gather materials for five Emergency Clean-Up Buckets for Church World Service.

Holmson challenged her congregation to raise needed dollars for CWS. The Hood River congregation had just raised over $500 for emergency buckets in January. The joint effort resulted in seven buckets assembled in Condon and mailed to the Church World Service warehouse in Maryland. Additionally, the Condon congregation raised $240 for CWS.

Hood River Valley Christian Church surpassed its January fundraising and collected more than $840 (the equivalent of 15 buckets).

Hood River Valley Christian Church hosts the annual CWS CROP Walk to end hunger around the world. The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ, and the United Church of Christ ( are formal Ecumenical Partners.

Since 1989 the two denominations have been in full communion and serve in a united effort in international mission work as well as having dozens of “federated” congregations that are affiliated with both the Disciples and UCC.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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