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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    UNY asked to fill shoe boxes for Red Bird Mission

    October 9, 2015 / By UNY Communications / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

    When you think about filling shoeboxes around Thanksgiving, Samaritan’s Purse’s ministry probably comes to mind. But there is a stateside ministry that also needs your supplies: Red Bird Mission.

    The Red Bird Mission and Clinic in Beverly, Ky., has provided ministries in the Appalachian Mountains region since 1921. Today, the need remains critical in this isolated, rural, distressed area. Chronic poverty, lack of jobs, poor housing, and rugged mountainous terrain provide obstacles to a fuller life for the residents of this area. Red Bird Mission strives to meet these needs through ministry in five areas: Education, Health & Wellness, Community Outreach, Economic Opportunity, and Community Housing Improvement.

    And shoe boxes can address the needs of both the Health & Wellness and Community Outreach areas.

    There are two different styles of shoe boxes: adult and children.

    Items needed for the adult shoe boxes (please mark them as for a man or women) include a comb/brush, shampoo, hand lotion, deodorant, toothbrush and paste, chap stick, full size bath soap, wash cloth, mittens, disposable razors, shaving cream, scarves and hats, nail care supplies, socks, and work gloves.

    Items for the children's shoe boxes (please mark for a boy or girl, and the age category: 2-4, 5-9, and 10-14) include two or three toy items, two or three school items, bar soap, children's toothbrush, children's toothpaste, shampoo, lotion, wash cloth, comb/brush, chap stick, mittens, hats, socks, and small flashlights. Christian bookmarks, wrist bands, and other spiritual items are also appreciated.

    Click here for a list of other acceptable items.

    Upper New York lay member Dave Alexander is organizing this year’s Conference-wide collection and driving the donation to the Red Bird Mission; he is relieving Paulett and Nelson Tower and Jude and Edmund Burdick, who have served in this capacity in past years.

    In 2014, more than 730 shoe boxes – plus additional clothing, cleaning supplies, and monetary donations – were given to the mission.

    Although shoe boxes can still be used, Tracy Nolan, Director of Community Outreach at the Red Bird Mission, is asking for small plastic storage containers to be used instead of the shoe boxes, when possible. The plastic containers provide needed dry storage for their clients. Walmart sells a 10-pack of containers that you can order online and have shipped to your local store for free.

    All boxes must be dropped off by Nov. 25 at the Endwell United Methodist Church, 3301 Watson Blvd. If needed, Alexander may be able to arrange pick-up at your church; call him at (607) 743-8955.

    “We’re hoping to leave right after Thanksgiving to go to Kentucky,” Alexander said. “Monetary donations to help cover truck rental and fuel would be appreciated. If anyone knows or has connections with a truck rental firm and could help us get a great deal on the rental that would also be appreciated.”

    This year’s goal, he said, is to fill a 26-foot rental truck full of the needed items.

    For more information, contact Alexander at

    TAGGED / Communications / Ministry Shares

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."