Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Cookson Hills family responds to request for specific supplies


At a drop-off site in Dallas, the Cookson Hills Center vehicle waits its turn.
On Aug. 31, five Oklahomans drove from Cookson to Dallas with a trailer full of specific supplies requested to aid Hurricane Harvey victims in south Texas. The storm still spun over the coastline.
Director Debbie Humphrey at Cookson Hills Center had received an early call for help from one of the United Methodist mission’s nonprofit partners.
Quick to respond generously were people who themselves receive help from the mission in northeastern Oklahoma as well as the staff — the term for all is “our family,” said the director.
“We want to help,” they told the director.
The nonprofit partner had asked expressly for “anything for babies,” from diapers and daycare mats to summer clothing, and for outsized adult summer clothing and water.
The timely request came as Cookson Hills’ thrift store was transitioning to winter clothing. Additionally, older adults who take part in the senior programs brought handmade baby quilts and booties.
The requested items were carefully separated and clearly labeled before the trailer was loaded.
“We didn’t just go and throw clothes at them,” said Rev. Humphrey, a deacon in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.
She remembers well jumbled towers of unsolicited clothing that filled Cookson Hills’ gym in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, discourages such donations, which overwhelm workers and victims facing already chaotic conditions.
Making the delivery run to Dallas were three people from the Cookson Hills mission, the Cookson UMC pastor, and a church member.
They joined a long line of vehicles waiting to unload. The nonprofit partner delivered the items to south Texas.
“It was real quiet” inside the vehicle as the Oklahomans pulled away, Humphrey said. They were “teary-eyed, seeing it all.”
The Cookson Hills mission is supported by Apportionment contributions; by second-mile giving through the United Methodist Advance (project number 582161); and by other financial gifts.
— Holly McCray

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