Buckets share love, hope

(Photo courtesy of Baptist Global Response)

(Photo courtesy of Baptist Global Response)

Africa (MNN/BGR) — In Sub-Saharan Africa, there are about 23 million people living and dying with HIV/AIDS, but “buckets of love” are providing help for many.

At Main Street Baptist Church on November 3, 2014, students from University of the Cumberlands packed 5-gallon buckets with medical and hygiene supplies. The project was part of an emphasis by Baptist Global Response, to show love and offer hope to individuals who are struggling with the disease.

After working with partner organizations, BGR has determined what items would be best in the Hospice Kits. The average retail cost for one complete kit is around $85.

UC’s Bucket Project effort was made possible by money that was collected from students and staff who represent 28 different departments at UC as well as donations from alumni.

“In addition to the money that was contributed, a big factor in this effort was also the involvement of some alumni who helped in unique ways” stated Rick Fleenor, Assistant to the President for Church Relations. UC alums Barry and Drew Mahan donated 100 boxes of vinyl gloves to be included in the kits. Barry is the owner of Southeastern Medical Supply, Corbin, KY and Drew serves as pastor at Forward Community Church, Corbin, KY.

“Our local Walmart store was also a great partner in the effort,” said Fleenor. Store Manager Steve Centers and Assistant Manager Will Bentley, both UC alumni, helped place orders for the items needed and provided special pricing to help make the money raised go as far as possible. As a result of their assistance, the final cost of each individual bucket was only $52.

About 40 UC students and staff members processed 3,000 items that were packed into the buckets. Each bucket contained 30 items. After they were assembled, the buckets were taken to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, as part of a challenge to churches across the state to provide 800 buckets. From there, the buckets were delivered by truck to Houston, Texas, and then shipped on to Sub-Saharan Africa.

BGR has found this project may be one of the most effective ways to open doors to share the Word of God. Missionaries and other believers deliver the buckets and share the Gospel with patients.

Pray for HIV/AIDS patients to find eternal hope in Christ.