The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Church World Services (CWS) recently launched a new joint initiative to provide essential health and dignity products to vulnerable communities across the U.S. The initiative focuses on menstrual hygiene kits and is being implemented through the efforts of volunteers and supporters. UMCOR and CWS programs are responsible for the distribution of the kits. FUMC was an early participant in this program. In the spring, FUMC’s United Women in Faith (UWF) assembled 18 menstrual hygiene kits, which were delivered to UMCOR’s Sager Brown Disaster Relief warehouse in Baldwin, LA by FUMC’s Sager Brown Mission Team. In addition to delivering the UWF kits, the mission team also spent a week working in the warehouse, verifying and assembling kits. Working alongside the United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids, IA, the FUMC Mission Team verified 3,224 kits and assembled 1,464 kits. Most of these kits will be distributed at the border by CWS. The “Period Packs” include a bar of soap, hand sanitizer, travel wet wipes, travel packs of flushable wipes, laundry detergent packs, 10 tampons, 10 sanitary napkins, and trash bags.

In addition to their warehouse work, the team had the opportunity to visit “Vermilionville Historic Village,” which portrays the lives of Acadians, Creoles, and people of African descent in the 1800s. They also went on a Cajun Swamp Tour and had sightings of over a dozen alligators in the wild, as well as various bird species.

FUMC plans to send its 17th Mission Team to work in the Disaster Relief Supply Depot in the fall of 2024. The trip is scheduled for the first week of November (11/2 through 11/9). We hope to see you in Baldwin, LA.