Helping Those Affected By Hurricane Harvey

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Even as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) began working toward recovery after Hurricane Harvey, Irma followed close behind, weaving a path of devastation, wiping out islands in the Caribbean and bringing damaging winds and storm surge to Florida. There are buildings that are no more than shells and boats where boats should not be. Years of recovery lie ahead, and your commitment will help PDA extend the hands of Christ. First Pres Mission Committee, and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, invite you to stand in the "GAP" for the people affected by these catastrophic hurricanes. Give. Act. Pray.


PDA’s emergency response and specialization in long-term recovery is fueled by generous gifts. To support recovery efforts, you may send checks directly to the church, made out to First Presbyterian Church Ann Arbor with "PDA: Harvey" or "PDA Irma" in the memo line. You may also donate directly to PDA online at


Assemble "Gift of the Heart" kits for survivors in the affected areas — cleanup buckets are especially needed. First Pres will assemble Clean-Up Buckets (see more info below) on Sunday, September 24. Volunteer rebuilding teams will be needed in the near future. Contact Rev. Sanderford at if you are interested.


In the challenging days, months and years to come, work through us to bring relief and respite from urgent need, comfort and the hope of peace for those who grieve the loss of family, home and safety, and faith to walk on through weary days of rebuilding.

"May we be steadfast in love, stronger than death, and thus, with those whose lives we seek to sustain, together bear witness to your redeeming love. Amen"

Keep up to date on long-term recovery efforts at or

Help Us Build Cleanup Buckets

Cleanup buckets are used to help disaster victims begin cleaning up their homes and lives after the storm ends, a great help to those starting to rebuild. 0n Sunday, September 24 at 10:30 we'll begin the "bucket brigade" in the Social Hall. Help fill buckets, fill your own bucket at home, or donate to purchase supplies with a check to First Presbyterian with "Cleanup Bucket" on the memo line.

How will the "Bucket Bridage" work? Tables will be set up in a U formation with buckets at the first table and one or more item types on each subsequent table with instructions on how many of each to put in the bucket. There will also be helpers at each table to assist and to help keep the tables full of bucket items. In addition we'll have helpers at the beginning of the assembly line who can carry the bucket for the bucket filler if they are unable. The full buckets are rather heavy. At the final table will be the bucket lids and someone to help repack the bucket if needed to get everything to fit and to seal it with packing tape. There will be a sticker on each lid for the bucket fillers to print or sign their name (saying something like "Cleanup bucket filled at First Presbyterian, Ann Arbor, MI by <insert your name here>. We will have 50 buckets to fill so kids, especially, can make more than one trip through the assembly line.

Here is the list of items for each bucket: A 5-gallon bucket with resealable lid (Value $75):

  • 5 — scouring pads
  • 7 — sponges, assorted sizes
  • 1 — scrub brush
  • 1 — pkg. cleaning towels (18 reusable, like Easy Wipes®)
  • 1 — box dry laundry detergent, 50-78 oz.
  • 1 — liquid concentrated household cleaner (like Lysol®) 12 oz.
  • 1 — bottle liquid disinfectant dish soap (like Dawn®), 24-28 oz.
  • 1 — 1 pkg. clothespins, 48-50 Clothesline, two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.
  • 5 — dust masks
  • 2 pair — latex gloves (like Playtex®)
  • 1 pair — work gloves
  • 1 — 24 to 28 count roll heavy-duty trash bags (30-45 gallon, remove from carton)
  • 1 — bottle insect repellant (pump, drops or lotion; not aerosol), 6-9 oz.

Please purchase all liquids in plastic bottles. Send only new, unopened materials. Put all items in the plastic bucket, packed securely to avoid damage during shipment, and seal lid with packing tape. *Some local fast-food restaurants are willing to give pickle buckets (or other 5-gallon buckets with re-sealable lids) or offer them for a small fee. These can be washed out and used for the cleanup buckets.

If anyone builds their own bucket at home it should be returned to the social hall either on September 24 (at the latest).