Church mobilizes for Haiti relief

By on February 5, 2010

Lord of Life collection brings in 10,000 items
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN—Matt Gerke, 13, did a lot of heavy lifting at Lord of Life Church in Elburn last weekend during a massive relief collection for Haiti.

But Matt was more than willing to expend the energy because he found the cause worthy.

“I feel really bad for the people there,” he said. “They were already the poorest country in the world, and then they have an earthquake.”

The Elburn teenager spent Friday through Sunday at the church, with other volunteers helping with the collection. Matt’s job was as a mover, he said, stacking pallets with 70 boxes of relief supplies each.

Lord of Life’s 11-day collection brought in more than 10,000 items from the congregation, as well as other churches and residents. During the project, volunteers sorted and boxed donated supplies, including jars of peanut butter, bags of rice and beans, first-aid ointment, blankets, toothbrushes, tools and more.

Matt said he was impressed by the quantity of donated items, including 1,000 bars of soap from just one individual.

“It’s an awful lot of stuff,” Matt said.

Lord of Life was one of about 20 churches serving as Haiti relief collection sites for Lutheran Church Charities. After the churches take their collected supplies to a warehouse this week in Itasca, they will go by truck to Florida, where they will be sent by ship to Haiti, said collection volunteer and Lord of Life member Kathy Geiger of Elburn.

Lord of Life congregation also collected more than $3,000 since the earthquake to support humanitarian efforts in disaster-torn Haiti.

The monetary donations and supplies will be distributed through Lutheran Church- Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod’s World Relief/Human Care networks in Haiti.

Photo: Justin Bristle packed up canned goods for shipment to Haiti on Sunday at Lord of life Church in Elburn. He was among the many volunteers who helped with the 110-day collection at the church for Lutheran Church Charities’ Haiti relief drive for supplies needed by people in the earthquake-ravaged country. Photo by Martha Quetsch