By Rev. Kathy Dickriede*
“Ramon is moments away from Sandusky, currently, where he will pick-up collection items and drop-off 10 laptops to Tammy Kuntz, who will deliver them to Mexico,” said Midwest Mission Distribution Center Executive Director Chantel Corrie during December’s East Ohio Conference collection drive.
Sandusky was just one of many stops that Ramon made in towns all throughout the East Ohio Conference on December 7 and 8. He was like Santa in his truck, but instead of passing out presents he was collecting them from generous donors who came together to provide Christmas to children around the world. One of the beneficiaries of EOC generosity was Food for the Poor, which strives to meet the physical and spiritual needs of individuals, families and communities in primarily 17 Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Because East Ohio Conference Missions seeks to support ministries with which we can develop relationships and partnerships that are healthy and that seek justice for the recipients of their work, we asked Conference congregations and faith communities to consider choosing MMDC as the ministry they would support for Christmas 2020.
For 20 years MMDC has shown God’s love in practical ways through the distribution of education, health, micro-business, and disaster relief supplies. After receiving requests from those in need during a time of crisis, Midwest Mission distributes locally, nationally, and internationally kits that it assembles, kits from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), and other resources and supplies.
To assist with collecting items for the Nov. 29 – Dec. 6, 2020 MMDC Christmas drive, drop-off sites were established across each of the 10 districts of our East Ohio Conference. The addresses of the drop-off sites, information about the drive, and a list of requested items – such as toys, games, cleaning buckets, and school kits and hygiene kits – were posted on the Conference website and shared with clergy and laity through Conference and district communications.
Corrie reports that while Ramon was in Ohio, he dropped off donated paint from MMDC to Matthew 25 Ministry in Blue Ash, Ohio and picked up a donated industrial sewing machine in New Knoxville on his way back to Illinois.
“It has been great to bring donations and receive them on this trip,” she shared.
West Side Community House in Cleveland was one of many recent recipients of love and supplies from MMDC.
“Thank you, Midwest Mission, for the delivery of school supply kits, personal use kits, and cleaning kits!” said Volunteer Coordinator Gloria Perez. “What a beautiful picture just to see all the supplies, it was a really great day! The supplies came in and we are truly thankful. We plan on distributing the items to our seniors and families. We may use some of it for staff as well.”
East Ohio, thanks to your generosity the Midwest Mission Distribution Center was able to collect 8,440 lbs. of donated items during its December 7-8, 2020 pickups. Thank you to everyone who participated!
You will have two opportunities this year to donate items to MMDC that will help people in need. Items will be collected: June 14-18 during the week of Annual Conference; and December 6-7 during Advent. Details about both collections will be shared closer to those dates.
My hope is that even more EOC congregations and faith communities will donate during those collection drives as we continue living into our vision of being God’s agents of transformation in our communities and throughout the world.
View a video about the Midwest Mission Distribution Center created by Max Marble, of the Missouri Conference of The UMC, who attended the virtual mission journey there in November.
Make a financial donation to Midwest Mission Distribution Center (Fund 9944) and other mission sites.
Learn more about East Ohio Conference mission sites like the West Side Community House.
The Conference Communications team would like to share other stories that highlight ways that each of us is answering the call of Bishop Tracy S. Malone to reach out to our communities in creative ways. Please e-mail your ministry story to East Ohio Conference Director of Communications Rick Wolcott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Rev. Kathy Dickriede is director of Missions & Community Engagement for the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church. She can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.