Buckets of hope

You can’t keep a good woman down.

Even a short hospital stay doesn’t stop Kathy Crist from staying on mission to help those in need.

Crist has been collecting supplies to assist Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey. Those cleanup items have already been transported to the Lone Star state, but Crist isn’t done just yet.

Fortunately for Crist, and those in need, a few clear hospital tests put her back to work.

Kathy and Jerry Crist work through Hope for Families & Veterans in Need, which they founded about four years ago. The organization collects such things as clothing, furniture, household goods, linens, coats, shoes and just about anything else to give away to those who need them.

Their current mission is to collect enough hurricane relief supplies to fill the 50, 5-gallon buckets they recently purchased at Lowe’s at a much-appreciated discounted price.

Jerry Crist, however, is more ambitious than his wife. His hope is to fill 100 buckets before the supply drive is over.

Mr. Crist received the inspiration to purchase the buckets as he listened to the Rev. James Grubb, pastor of Union United Methodist Church, preach on discipleship.

It was first on Facebook
Mrs. Crist initially got the idea of helping with flood buckets after reading on Facebook that Coastal Carolina University was collecting relief supplies to send to Texas.

She quickly called on her fellow Union church goers and other folks who support Hope for Families. The Crists soon had enough cleaning supplies and toiletries to fill two and one-half oversized storage containers.

Those supplies left for Texas this past Saturday in a very full Lewis Truck Lines vehicle with a 53-foot trailer.

CCU partnered with the Conway company for the second year in a row to get needed supplies to states impacted by severe weather. In 2016, CCU sent a supplied-filled truck to Louisiana to assist in flood relief.

“This year, we were blown away,” said Cari Rosiek, associate athletics director/student athlete enhancement and senior woman administrator for CCU.
Rosiek said there was some concern the abundance of relief supplies would not fit in the truck, but 17 teenagers, along with some adults, packed and stacked and got everything in.

CCU students were able to go to Louisiana to help in person in 2016, but Hurricane Irma stopped that plan this year. The 50 or more flood buckets filled by Hope for Families will be able to assist with those affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida as well as any future hurricanes the season may bring.

Been there and can help with that
Conwayite Sam Dusenbury knows well the benefits of flood buckets.

He and wife Lynn received one from the American Red Cross when their home on the Waccamaw River flooded from Hurricane Matthew this past October.

“They came in handy,” Dusenbury said. “There’s a bunch of cleaning to do after a flood.”

The Dusenburys are no strangers to flooding.

Their home was flooded in 1999 from Hurricane Floyd and was nearly flooded in 2015 by the 1,000-year.

The Dusenburys have already filled a Hope for Families flood bucket as a way of reciprocating the kindness shown to them.

The couple has since sold their home on the Waccamaw and are now building a home in the Pottery Landing community.

“I love living on the river,” Dusenbury, 69, said, adding he still might be there if he “had not had so many birthdays.

Filling the need and the bucket
Crist estimates that a 5-gallon flood bucket can be filled for about $25 to $30 if the items are bought at discount stores such as the Dollar Tree and Dollar General. Otherwise, expect to spend about twice that.

The Crists have provided a list for items to fill the buckets they have on hand. The list includes 1 qt. bottles of bleach (2), 50 oz. bottle of liquid laundry detergent, 12-16 oz. Spic & Span household cleaner, 16-28 oz bottle of disinfectant dish soap, 8 oz. can of air freshener, 50 ft. clothesline (2), 1 pack of 50 clothes pins, 5 scouring pads, scrub brush, 1 pack of dust masks (5 per pack), 6-14 oz. can of insect repellant, 7 sponges of assorted sizes, 18 cleaning towels (reusable wipes), 1 pair of work gloves, a 24-bag roll of heavy duty trash bags (33-45 gallon), and 2 pair of disposable, waterproof gloves (rubber or latex).

There’s more to the story
Hope for Families collects a variety of items for many agencies in the area.

It works closely with ECHO, the Eastern Carolina Homelessness Organization, as a means to distribute needed items to homeless veterans in the Horry County area.

Clothing, specifically dress clothes and men’s suits, are collected for Teen Challenge of South Carolina, a residential center and Bible-based recovery ministry offering help to males ages 18 and older.

Hope for Families also assists The Shepherd’s Table, Fostering Hope, and the Waccamaw Youth Center with donations ranging from toiletry items to furniture.

“Anybody’s that is in need, we help out,” Mrs. Crist said. “We are almost like Goodwill except we don’t sell anything.”

To find out more how to help, call Kathy or Jerry Crist at 843-397-4891or visit the Hope for Families &Veterans in Need Facebook page.

Be sure to check out the September 21, 2017 edition of the Horry Independent newspaper, which contains this story on page B1. A special thanks to editor Kathy Ropp for continuing to share the faith stories we are priviledged to write.