Send Relief volunteers in Denver, Ashland, Kentucky, and Alpharetta, Georgia, are assembling care packages to be distributed to healthcare workers who are on the forefront of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Plans include sharing bags in hard-hit areas such as New York City and New Orleans.
Send Relief organized the project in order to encourage healthcare professionals and to demonstrate how individuals, families, or local churches can come together to serve their communities.
“Jesus gave His life for us, and this is a way that we can give to others,” said Bryant Wright, president of Send Relief. “Jesus teaches us that one way we can love God is to love our neighbor, especially our neighbor in need.”
In Alpharetta, Send Relief assembled two thousand care packages that will be distributed to local hospitals in Atlanta, sent to New Orleans, and some to governors’ offices in different US states. In Kentucky, volunteers put together another two thousand care packages, most of which will be going to New York City.
A packing event at the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) facility in Alpharetta had to shift into homes after a shelter-in-place order took effect in Georgia. NAMB and Send Relief staff joined together with their families the weekend of April 4–5 to put various items—such as hygiene products, snacks, and hand-written notes—into bags.
Send Relief leadership worked with Wellstar, a not-for-profit health system in Georgia, as well as with connections through local churches to identify hospitals and healthcare facilities that could utilize the care packages.
“Packing gifts for healthcare workers helped reset and refocus our family away from the challenges we’re facing personally to ways we can ease the burden for others,” said Faith Wroten, content manager and editor of On Mission Magazine at NAMB.
In Denver, Jason Tipton, Send Relief’s national ministry center director for the Western US, has been working with churches to organize a similar care package drive in their communities.
Providing care packages like these are one service opportunity that Send Relief has encouraged churches to practice during the COVID-19 pandemic. Send Relief also provides resources to help churches serve healthcare workers, vulnerable populations, and those who need food during this season.
Send Relief has published several response guides that churches, families, and individuals can use to meet needs in their communities. Such service can lead to Gospel conversations as believers explain why they are serving their communities. Visit SendRelief.org/covid-19-information/ and look for the response guides in the right-hand column.
Brandon Elrod writes for the North American Mission Board and is a member of First Redeemer Church in Cumming, Georgia.