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Brookhaven ministry helping Hondurans hurt by hurricanes

Some Lincoln County people are hoping to make a big difference in the lives of thousands of Hondurans this Christmas, and say there’s still time for others to help.

A 40-foot-long container will leave the Port of New Orleans Monday and be carried by ship nearly 2,200 miles south to the port city of La Ceiba, Honduras, where it should arrive three days later.

In that container will be blankets, pots and pans, large bags of rice and beans, clothing items, baby supplies and other much-needed items.

La Ceiba was the center of the Honduran area hit the hardest by two Category 5 hurricanes this year — Hurricane Eta in the first days of November and Hurricane Iota almost exactly two weeks later.

“Most of the people have nothing left,” said Jennifer Calhoun, director of First United Methodist Church’s Mission Ministry.

For the past six Christmas seasons, members of the Brookhaven ministry have traveled to the Central American city on mission trips to distribute food bags and Christmas shoe boxes.

“This year, we won’t go because of COVID,” Calhoun said.

But after the double impact of the tropical storms, some of the Honduran people the ministry had helped in the past began to reach out to them asking for help. Thousands of homes were destroyed, along with crops, farms and ranches. Bridges and roads were washed away.

People who had given in the past to help the mission efforts had begun contacting the church, too, asking what they could do this year in place of the trip.

So Calhoun set in motion a plan to pack a shipping container with essential supplies and send it to the people of Honduras. The church asked for cleaning supplies, clothes, shoes, blankets, kitchen supplies, canned goods, mattresses, rice and beans.

Donations began pouring in, Calhoun said.

“We still have room for more stuff,” she said, “so if anyone wants to donate, as long as we have it by Friday morning we can include it.”

Although the container won’t ship until Monday, a final inventory of everything in it must be submitted by Friday afternoon. Shipping and customs costs are expected to be in the range of $5,500 to $5,800, so monetary donations can be made, as well.

Donations can be delivered to the front porch of the blue house next to FUMC on West Cherokee Street or to Vendor’s Emporium on Hwy. 51.

Monetary donations can be made through Venmo @fumcbrookhaven or via PayPal to brook1stumc@gmail.com. Donations can also be mailed to FUMC, P.O. Box 385, Brookhaven, MS 39601.

For more information, Jennifer Calhoun can be reached at 601-695-0600.Honduras