Prestonsburg Responds to Challenge

February 15, 2010

On January 12, 2010 the Republic of Haiti was racked with the devastating tremors of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.  Lives were lost, homes were lost, and in many cases hope was lost. The world watched and waited, wondering how to help, what can we do.  Sixteen hundred miles away, part-time local pastor, Roy Harlow, had an answer.  It was not the complete answer but it was something the people of the Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church could do. 


Rev. Harlow, pastor at Graceway UMC, issued a challenge to the district office, the district office passed the challenge to the Disaster Relief Coordinator, and the fuse was lit.  What, you may ask, was the challenge?  Rev. Harlow challenged the people of the Prestonsburg District to assemble 5,000 health kits for Haiti. Prestonsburg District Superintendent Charlie Douglas and Disaster Relief Coordinator Albert Hughes were more than happy to shepherd this call to action. United Methodist churches throughout the district, as well as one or two churches from other denominations and schools in many of the counties, collected items and assembled kits throughout the district. On Thursday, February 11, the Prestonsburg District delivered over 1,500 kits from Prestonsburg District and more than 700 kits from the Corbin District to the holding area at Addington Transportation in Elizabethtown. 


Another part of making this challenge come to fruition was working out the logistics of handling not only the 5,000 kits that Prestonsburg hoped to collect but many more kits that other districts would be collecting. Rev. Allen Basinger, Elizabethtown District Disaster Response Coordinator, stepped in and was able to get Addington Transportation to donate storage space, a loading dock, pallets, shrink wrap and a fork lift. He also got a commitment from Miles Farm Supply, in the Owensboro District, to donate a semi trailer, a driver, and the fuel for kits to be delivered to the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA.


Health kits can be delivered to Addington Transportation Monday- Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) until this Thursday, February 18.  Addington Transportation is located at 700 West Park Road in Elizabethtown, KY. If your church has health kits to deliver, please do so this week.  If you need to make arrangements to have someone meet you at the trailer, please contact Allen Basinger at

To read how other conferences are helping to fill the need, click here