Jesse Lee, Ridgefield Hardware partner together for Harvey relief

Jesse Lee Church and Ridgefield Hardware have partnered together to donate cleaning supplies to Texas residents affected by Hurricane Harvey.

The hardware store is donating five-gallon “flood buckets” that volunteers will pack with the following items: laundry detergent, dish soap, household cleaner, air freshener, insect repellent, cleaning wipes, sponges, scouring pads, clothespins, clothesline, trash bags, dust masks, rubber gloves, work gloves, and a scrub brush.

Ridgefield Hardware is making all the items available at their cost, so a complete bucket is $52. The buckets can be sponsored at, or people could mail or drop off a check to the church office.

“Often, after such a disaster, well-meaning people send all kinds of supplies to the affected area, but without an articulated need or a proper plan to store and distribute these items, they can go to waste,” said Neal Bowes, youth minister at Jesse Lee. “Our flood buckets have been requested and will be distributed by the United Methodist Committee on Relief, which is already working, through our denomination's network, on the ground, meeting the people's needs.”

'Bucket brigade party'

The church is collecting sponsorships — more than 75 buckets were already sponsored by Friday, Sept. 1 — through Friday, Sept. 22.

The church will then have them assembled and shipped by the end of the month

“We plan to task the youth group here with assembling the buckets, but if the number of sponsorships overwhelms us, we'll throw a bucket brigade party and invite the whole town to help assemble them,” Bowes said. “We should have a better handle on that in a week or two.”

Bowles added that there is a display with a bucket and the supplies right inside the door at Ridgefield Hardware, for residents who would like to see it.

Just beginning 

The church is also planning to send members of its high school youth group to Texas during Christmas break to help with the ongoing initial clean up phase.

“We made five trips over seven years to New Orleans after Katrina,” Bowes. “It's obviously a little early for exact details, but that is the plan. The best way for a high school student to become involved is to join our Sunday evening youth group that meets every week at 6:00 p.m.”