Humanitarian aid has been collected and packed from various congregations and shipped to Ukraine. In the past, these items have been shipped by the U. S. State Department and are under the protection of the international treaties between the USA and Ukraine.
History of Shipments
The first 40-foot cargo containers were shipped in 2004 from collection sites in Judsonia, AR; Nashville, TN; St. Louis, MO; Columbus, MS; Memphis, TN; Chattanooga, TN; Elizabethtown, KY, Princeton, IN; and Huntsville, AL. The total monetary value of the containers was in the millions of dollars. Since 2004, over 100 other shipments have been made to countries all over the world.
Steps for Shipments
In order for the benevolent humanitarian aid shipments to be shipped and received properly, certain steps are taken to comply with import/export requirements by our government.
- Inventory. For each container, the inventories must be approved by the receiving country and Washington, D.C. These inventories must be in certain formats and double-checked for accuracy. When dealing with customs in various countries, procedures must be followed.
- Loading. Then the containers are loaded at the collection site.
- Shipping. Finally the containers are shipped via sea-going vessel to the nearest ports for the receiving country.
When the shipments first began, we were able to utilize a US government program that paid the cost of transportation. Any involvement of the U. S. Government ended with the transportation. Now that funds are not readily available, we have to raise funds for shipments most of the time. All shipments are sent to consignees in the receiving countries, and we strive to find a local missionary or congregations of the Lord’s Church to help distribute the items to those in greatest need. By distributing through the local churches, we are able to utilize the humanitarian aid to show the Biblical attitude of benevolence. When there is no local church to be used, we make sure that when it is distributed that everyone knows that the help is given by the Lord’s Church.
If possible, every item is tagged with the statement that it is “given free by the church of Christ.” Others are noted by local distribution that the items came from the Lord’s church.
If you are interested in helping with this work, see the list of items suggested. We can then put you in touch with the closest collection site.