At the 2017 Northeastern Iowa Synod Assembly, congregations were invited to bring filled flood buckets.



Flood buckets contain essential cleaning supplies that can help families and communities affected by flooding, tornadoes or other disasters.

Pastor Mark Anderson, Assistant to the Bishop who coordinates disaster relief work in our synod notes:

“When a family’s home is flooded it is devastating. It is so much more than just the loss of personal possessions; it often means homelessness, tremendous expense, and a loss of the sense of personal security.  If the local store is accessible (which often is not the case), it is soon sold out of the basic supplies needed to clean a flooded home. The “flood bucket” gives the family the basic supplies to begin to clean up, so they begin to live in the “new normal.”

Photo Jun 08, 4 33 17 PM

More than 150 buckets were collected and dispersed around the synod in case they were needed.

They were needed.

Fifty were distributed in Sumner later that summer.

This year, 50 were given out during flooding around Mason City.

Steve O’Neil, Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management Coordinator wrote to say:

Flood buckets 2

I am sure a year ago most congregations were wondering just how much good could those little buckets be in a flood. I want to tell you that when on June 8th the flash-flooding hit the Mason City area and impacted hundreds of homes in just a few hours, those little buckets were a Godsend. The buckets provided by our congregations of the NE Synod were the first line of recovery for our citizens, and it meant a great deal to them and to me to be able to have them at hand immediately so that they could start getting their homes back to useable condition.

Those donated buckets allowed us to begin the clean-up/recovery immediately and gave us time to have more buckets ordered and shipped to us and keep up with the demand through the entire disaster. I greatly appreciate what our Synod was able to do to help with disaster recovery and I hope we will continue to build and donate flood buckets though-out the Synod.


Pastor Mark Anderson adds:

“I have seen recipients give hugs and shed tears when they receive a flood bucket less because of the supplies and more because they feel the Christian community knows their pain and stands with them.”

Good work Northeastern Iowa Synod!

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About The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson

The Rev. Dr. Joelle Colville-Hanson has been Director for Evangelical Mission, ELCA for the Northeastern Iowa Synod since late 2013. Part of her job description is to help leaders and congregations use social media and other digital means for outreach and mission. She writes and edits this blog as well as runs the social media accounts for the synod.




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