We have created an Epic Community-wide Response to some Epic Storms


Our congregation IS a powerful catalyst in drawing together local businesses, organizations, civic groups, faith communities, and individuals in order to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors!

On Tuesday, October 3rd, we loaded 83 Church World Service Emergency Cleanup Buckets on a 10′ U-Haul box truck and drove them to a church serving as a Church World Service collection center in Meriden, CT.

This remarkable achievement came into being through the incredible generosity of and contributions made by people in our congregation, our community, and local businesses.

Here are some examples:

  • Home Depot gave us fifty (50) 5-gallon buckets and lids (thanks in part to the efforts of church member who is also a Home Depot employee)
  • Lowe’s gave us 20 100-foot clotheslines
  • A Lowe’s employee gave us an additional 10% off sale-priced contractor bags
  • Dollar Tree gave us a 50% discount on scrub brushes and household cleaner
  • BJs gave us 306 sponges
  • Poughkeepsie Ocean State Job Lot gave us a 50% discount on work gloves, large sponges, and scrub brushes
  • Target gave us a $50 gift card for purchasing supplies
  • ShopRite gave us a $25 gift card
  • Stop & Shop gave us a $25 gift card
  • Fishkill Ocean State Job Lot gave us a 20% discount on a variety of items
  • The check-out clerk at Big Lots, upon learning why one of our deacons was buying so many bottles of insect repellent, was inspired to give all the cash she had in her wallet at the time
  • Page Lumber contributed two buckets with lids and assorted cleaning products
  • A church member’s friend purchased and filled a complete bucket
  • Members of church member’s extended family donated 300 respirator masks (enough for 60 buckets)
  • UCC Disaster Ministries gave us a $250 matching grant
  • One of our young church members (age 9) and her close friend raised $233 in donations
    -State Senator Sue Serino and her chief of staff Lydia Biskop each contributed a lidded bucket with virtually all the supplies needed
  • Two of our friends in the wider community (May Duffey and Ava Krakower) held a bake sale, the proceeds of which were matched by Town of Poughkeepsie Girls Softball Little League for a total donation of $1,200
  • The people of our congregation donated over $1,700
  • The people of our congregation also donated many different items needed to fill the buckets

Eight congregation members (Jean Hessler, Jean Craven, Judith Heilman, Daphne Romeo, Ginny Zwierankin, Mike & Diane Soyka, Gene Scholtens), along with out pastor, Rev. Heather assembled all 83 buckets.   A church member and Senator Serino both made contributions that covered the cost of the U-Haul truck.   Cliff Dooris helped Judith, Jean C., and five members of the State Senator’s staff load the buckets on the truck for transport.  Caroline McDonough, Cathy Spector, Judith, Jean C. and Rev. Heather drove to CT and unloaded all 83 buckets.  And of course, Judith Heilman and Jean Craven did an extraordinary job coordinating every aspect of this project and devoting countless volunteer hours in seeing it come to fruition.

What a powerful good news story this has been! Generosity sparking generosity and people coming together to make something amazing happen. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!