On Monday, October 2, Addison Gaskin and Barbara Hartsock, two drivers for the family-run Weinrich Trucking business, stood in the parking lot of Altoona United Methodist Church, waiting to have their rig filled with nearly 400 clean-up buckets, plus boxes full of hygiene kits, that volunteers had assembled to help hurricane victims. (Later in the day, more than 300 additional clean-up buckets were collected from First United Methodist Church in Marion.)
“It’s 53 foot long, and it’s about 8, 9 feet tall, so we can actually get quite a bit in there,” said Barbara of the truck, which they were readying to drive to Chatham, Illinois. From there, the buckets will be sent off to Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, where locals need all the help they can get to clean up their homes. The buckets—full of cleaning supplies—have a value of over $45,000, contributing to a total of $450,000 that United Methodists have now given to disaster relief efforts.
Click here to listen to the conversation
with Addison and Barbara
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from the pick up at Altoona United Methodist Church.
When asked why Weinrich Trucking had donated its services to help transport the clean-up and hygiene kits, Barbara explained, “Some of our office personnel belong to the United Methodist Church there, and [Iowa Conference disaster response coordinator] Rev. Catie Newman is their pastor, so they volunteered the use of their equipment to do this.”
Addison added, “I think it’s because their heart and minds are in the right place.”
On a personal level, Addison and Barbara are both touched to be a part of this mission. “This wasn’t something I was expecting. We spend a lot of time hauling fry oil or chocolate from the heart of Chicago, and it’s business, business, business,” Addison said. “When she told me that we were switching our normal tanker for a dry box, I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. To find out we were actually going to be part of helping these people who are in desperate need of help, it gave
me some hope.”
Barbara agreed. “Having friends and family both in Texas and in Florida, it’s great to help them out,” she said. “It’s nice, it’s a good feeling. You get to help people give back to your community.”
Clean-Up Buckets and Hygiene Kits from this shipment are being shipped to St. Lucia in the Caribbean, Nicaragua, and Texas. In the next week or so, another 800 clean-up buckets from Iowa will be sent to the Midwest Missions Distribution Center, these destined for Puerto Rico. Brad Walton, the Warehouse Manager at MMDC, said, “We really looking forward to receiving this load. We’ll turn it right around and get it on the road south.”