May 27, 2020 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

St. Joe UMC to help kids at the border

St. Joseph United Methodist Church wants to help children that have nothing.

Helping those in need is nothing new to the church.

The church has been making and distributing personal hygiene kits by using sample size products for a couple of years.

Those kits were given to the Canteen Run in Champaign to hand out to homeless residents.  The church also makes sandwiches for the Run on the third Tuesday of the month and is collection large and extra-large T-shirts for the group.

Starting today, the church is taking on another project. They will be making hygiene kits to send to children who are being housed by churches along the United States and Mexican border.

Church member Nada Cagle got the idea while she, her two sons and other members of the church were on a mission trip to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center.

While there the group helped make flood buckets and a type of personal hygiene kit that included nail clippers, a hand towel, a face cloth, a comb and a full-size bar of soap along with a larger bottle of shampoo.

They also sorted supplies, helped make school desks to be shipped overseas as well as a couple of other projects.

Once she returned to St. Joseph, Cagle started thinking about the work that was done at the Distribution Center that was sent to other countries.

“I contacted them about seeing if they had any projects we could help with at our church that would benefit those children in the border,”
she said.

Initially, the Center said no but then a few weeks later they contacted Cagle and said that the United Methodist Committee on Relief did have a project they could help with—personal hygiene kits for children on the border.

The kits would be shipped to churches that had agreed to house some of the children, not to the holding centers directly.

The kits have to be made to a very specific standard, Cagle said, and each item has to be a specific size.

Cagle said that while people can donate items it is easier to donate money.

“The site we order from allows us to get four to five times the amount of product for money,” she said.  “Their monetary donations would be
put to much better use.”

Checks or cash can be dropped off at the United Methodist Church in St. Joseph. Please make sure to note Kits for Kids on the Border or
KKMX in the memo on checks. Checks should be made out to the United Methodist Church. If people wish to donate items, the items are listed
on the Facebook site for the group.

Cagle said people can also donate their time by volunteering to put kits together.

“Our first orientation workday is  July 16th at 4 p.m, in the United Methodist Church Basement,” Cagle said.

Cagle said if any other churches in the area would like to sponsor a work event she would bring the supplies.

“All churches and the community are encouraged to be part of this project,” she said. “They can contact me directly at Nada.cagle@gmail.com for details or questions.”

Cagle said the response to the project has been positive and she hopes it will continue to grow.

“I feel this is a good outreach for the church as we are showing God’s love to our neighbors, and allowing everyone that wishes they could help the children a hands-on experience,” she said.  “Part of our mission is to do all the good we can, in all the ways we can. It just feels good to help and you can not believe how it returns back in ways you can not imagine.”

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