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Relief kits, comforters, sheets needed in Haiti


January 20, 2009
- Dan Dyck, with reports from Mennonite Central Committee

Winnipeg, Man. — News of a significant aftershock – some are calling it another earthquake – is in the news about Haiti today. There is no word yet on the effect. Nevertheless, the death toll continues to climb, with some media outlets reporting over 70,000 bodies recovered.

Mennonite Church Canada enjoys a strong partnership with its relief and development agency, Mennonite Central Committee. Below is an update requesting help with relief kits, comforters, and sheets, along with instructions on how readers can help.

Concerned and compassionate individuals and congregations are invited to respond to this request, and pray for families of victims and all aid workers.


MCC asks for relief kits, comforters, sheets for Haiti

By Linda Espenshade

Jan. 19, 2009

AKRON, Pa. – In addition to donations of money, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is asking the public to supply 20,000 relief kits, 10,000 heavy comforters and 10,000 sheets to be sent to Haitian earthquake survivors.

The supplies will help relieve the discomfort and suffering of Haitians who are sleeping on streets and in open areas because their homes are destroyed or because they don’t trust the safety of the buildings that remain.

MCC’s staff in Haiti and the initial support response team that arrived there Saturday are requesting these supplies as one way MCC can respond to the needs they see around them.

Relief kits include personal hygiene supplies, laundry soap, towels and bandages. People who donate kits are asked to provide complete kits with only the specific items on the list of relief kit supplies that can be found at

The relief kits can be packed in a box or bag and delivered to any of the drop-off locations in Canada or the United States listed at by Feb. 28. MCC will then repackage the kits in new, five-gallon buckets.

Heavy comforters and sheets also are being accepted at any drop-off location until Feb. 28.

MCC asks that the comforters be new and filled with quilt batting or a blanket for extra warmth. Twin-size comforters are preferred, but double/full-size comforters are accepted. Specific requirements are online at

Flat sheets, which also will be used as mosquito netting, can be double-, queen- or king- size. Sheets, with at least a 300-thread count, should be new, cotton and light-colored, which is not as attractive to mosquitoes.

MCC is grateful for the generous financial gifts that people have given to MCC for the people of Haiti, starting just hours after the 7.0 earthquake devastated the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Some of those funds are already at work in Haiti, being used to purchase food and supplies that are available there. MCC is airlifting 70,000 pounds or 31,750 kg of canned meat and 1,000 water filters into Haiti as soon as possible. Another shipment of at least the same amount of meat, probably more, will be sent by sea. MCC is also purchasing thousands of tents and tarps.

MCC is planning a multimillion dollar response over a number of years, focusing on rebuilding homes and livelihoods.

Donations to MCC’s response in Haiti are welcome. They should be designated Haiti Earthquake. Donations can be made online at or by telephone, toll free, 1-888-622-6337 (Canada) or 1-888-563-4676 (U.S.). By mail, donations may be sent to MCC and MCC U.S., P.O. Box 500, Akron, PA 17501 or any provincial office in Canada.

NOTE: See below for lists of supplies needed.

Relief kits

MCC’s relief kits include:

  • 4 large bars bath soap (leave in wrapping)
  • 1 plastic bottle shampoo (380-710ml / 13-24oz; place bottle in a re-sealable plastic bag)
  • 4 large bars of laundry soap (Some stores carry Fels Naptha, Sunlight or Zote brands; contact your local MCC warehouse with questions)
  • 1 squeeze-tube toothpaste (minimum 130ml / 6oz; leave in box)
  • 4 adult-size toothbrushes (leave in packaging)
  • 4 new bath towels (medium weight, dark or bright colors)
  • 2 wide-tooth combs (6 to 8in / 15 to 20cm)
  • 1 fingernail clipper
  • 1 box adhesive bandages (minimum 40, assorted)
  • 1 package sanitary pads (18-24 thin maxi)

Place contents in a box or bag and deliver to one of the drop-off locations in Canada or the U.S.* MCC will repack the kits in a new 5-gallon plastic pail with lid.

Comforter specifications

  • Use new or nearly new material
  • Single/twin-size preferred (approx. 152cm x 203 cm / 60in x 80in). Double/full-size accepted (approx. 208cm x 228cm / 82in x 90in)
  • Winter weight requested (please use quilt batting or a blanket for filler)
  • Knotted with crochet cotton (not more than 10-15cm / 4-8in apart)

Sheet details

  • New, double-, queen- or king-size, flat sheets
  • 300 thread count or higher
  • Cotton
  • Light colors

* Please deliver to any drop-off location, listed at, by Feb. 28.