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Area donates 401 buckets of food for Haiti victims

The Bethel Baptist Association collected 401 buckets of food for earthquake victims in Haiti through its “Buckets of Hope” program.

Buckets of Hope is an Alabama Baptist hands-on help for the Haitians. It is a part of the North American Mission Board’s disaster relief effort to help the victims in Haiti.

People were asked to get plain, white 5-gallon bucket — without a logo, if possible — and fill it with the following pre-packaged items: two 5-pound bags of long grain enriched rice, one 48-ounce plastic bottle of cooking oil, two 2-pound bags of dry black beans or red beans, one 5-pound bag of all-purpose flour (not self-rising), one 20-ounce cylinder container of granulated white sugar (coffee service size), two 1-pound boxes of spaghetti noodles, one 40-ounce plastic jar of smooth peanut butter and one two-gallon plastic Ziplock storage bag (used to wrap the cooking oil).

Participants are asked to provide $10 to pay for the shipping of each container. Buckets were brought to Fairhaven Baptist Church’s building on Cardinal Street, on of eight dropoff points throughout the state.

The buckets were loaded onto a semi Tuesday night to be sent to victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake which devastated most of the country.

“Out of the Bethel Baptist Association, which includes all of Marengo County and part of Wilcox County, we had 13 churches that were involved,” said Dr. Bobby Hopper, the director of missions at the Bethel Baptist Association.

“I thought if we could get 300 from the whole area, we’d be doing good. I think we got that just from the Bethel Association.”

Those numbers, added with others from around the state of Alabama and other states like Florida will bring enough food in one bucket to feed a family for a week.

“Statewide, we will have collected between 7,000 and 8,000 buckets,” said Mel Johnson, a state missionary with the Alabama State Board of Missions. “All buckets will loaded on the ships in Jacksonville, Fla., or Miami, Fla. — the two shipping points that we have set up — and they’re going to be transported via cargo container down to Port-au-Prince, where they’re going to be put in the hands of our missionaries and given directly to the families that are affected by the earthquake.

“Not only will these buckets be placed personally into the hands of people who need them, but also, there will be a gospel witness as our chaplains and our ministry teams are going to work towards helping folks in the crisis.”

The turnout in just a month’s time is impressive.

“I am amazed at the turnout all across the state,” Johnson said. “We had a great deal of monetary donations given as well.

“In 30 days after the earthquake, Alabama Baptists gave $300,000, and since then, more has come in. We are participating with all of our conventions from other states.”