After Hurricane Maria left a life-changing path of destruction across Puerto Rico, one Middle Village congregation is organizing a different kind of bucket brigade to help the island repair and rebuild.
Community United Methodist Church is assembling care packages filled with cleaning supplies that will be sent to Puerto Rico, which was blasted by the Category 4 Maria earlier this week after taking a glancing blow from Category 5 Hurricane Irma earlier this month.
The care packages will consist of round, clean 5-gallon buckets with resealable lids containing all kinds of essential items that will help the disaster victims clean up from the storm and return to some semblance of normalcy as soon as possible.
Each bucket will contain the following products:
- One 50-ounce bottle or two 25-ounce bottles of liquid laundry detergent;
- One 12- to 16-ounce bottle of liquid household cleaner that can be mixed with water (spray cleaners will not be accepted);
- One 16- to 18-ounce bottle of dishwashing detergent;
- One can of air freshener (aerosol or pump);
- One 6- to 14-ounce bottle of insect repellent (aerosol or spray pump with a protective cover);
- One scrubbing brush with a plastic or wooden handle;
- 18 cleaning wipes (handy wipes or reusable wipes, no terrycloth towels);
- 7 sponges (no cellulose sponges due to mold growth);
- 5 scouring pads (no stainless steel/Brillo pads or pads containing soap);
- 50 clothespins;
- One 100-foot-long or two 50-foot-long clotheslines (cotton or plastic);
- One roll of heavy-duty trash bags (24 roll count, 33- to 45-gallon sizes);
- Five dust masks;
- Two pairs of dishwashing gloves (should be durable for multiple uses); and
- One pair of work gloves.
Residents can bring any of these supplies to the church, and volunteers will be assembling the buckets, according to Pastor Delores Barnett. The relief drive is being coordinated in conjunction with Elmcor, which is working with other houses of worship across Queens.
Donated items can be dropped off every day from 10 a.m. to noon and from 4 to 7 p.m. each day at Community United Methodist Church, located at 75-27 Metropolitan Ave.