St. John’s New Minden Hosting Furniture Drives For Louisiana Flooding Victims

St. John’s Lutheran Church, New Minden, is sponsoring a collection of used furniture and other household items the next two Saturday mornings:  June 24, at the Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School parking lot, and July 1, at the St. John’s parking lot in New Minden.  Both collections run from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.  Collected items will be taken down to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for free distribution.

“This began as a way to ‘pay it forward’ after the tornado relief we received,” comments St. John’s Pastor Tim Mueller.  “After the 2013 tornado, help poured into New Minden from all over the place.  It was mind-blowing how many brothers and sisters in Christ from around the country remembered and helped us.  Last November, on the third anniversary of the tornado, Jake Martin and I went down to Baton Rouge and volunteered for a few days at Camp Restore.  We helped a home-owner put up drywall.  We heard and saw the need first-hand.  You don’t hear about it anymore in the news, but more than 150,000 houses in that region were flooded last August, and tens of thousands of families are still trying to recover.  Many families are between a rock and a hard place; they did not carry flood insurance, and FEMA funds cover only a portion of the cost of building materials.  Mountains of ruined furniture and household goods had to be thrown out; I can’t imagine there is much for sale at any yard sales.  People have to make mortgage payments on their damaged homes plus provide another place to live.  Surely there is plenty of good stuff around here that we can gladly share.  We know from our experience that sometimes the best time to help comes long after the national news media have left.  We had an excellent collection last Saturday, June 17, at Aviston, but there is still lots of room on the truck.”  Items will be distributed to people of all faiths at no charge through the outreach efforts of Trinity Lutheran Church in Baton Rouge.

Items that will be accepted at the collection sites include:  couches, love seats, living room chairs, pillows, rockers, etc. (sets and single items welcome), bed frames (used mattresses or box springs will not be accepted), dining room / kitchen tables and chairs, individually or in sets; working appliances (washer, dryer, dish washer, refrigerator, freezer, etc.); small appliances (toaster, mixer, etc. packed in a boxes); boxed dish sets and other boxed kitchen items; gently used towels, blankets, sheets, etc.; and old blankets and towels to pad breakable items on the truck.

Items that will not be accepted include:  clothing or shoes, used mattresses or box springs, anything made of particle board (such as computer desks or entertainment centers), television sets that are not flat screen, new or used building materials, exercise equipment, tires, toilets, and anything that is broken, stained, or junky.

Partners in the project with St. John’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League include Southern Illinois Beverage and owner Butch Rhine for providing tractor and trailer, Thrivent Financial, Christ the Vine Lutheran Mission in Aviston, Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School, and David and Natalie Ibendahl, who will drive the truck to Baton Rouge.

Pastor Mueller asks that people kindly note the collection times carefully; once the truck leaves at noon, it is too late for items to be left.  If you would like more information, you may call him at 618-314-3972.  “We have received the love of Christ in amazing ways,” he says.  “Now we have a chance to share that love with others.”