“We’re doing the best we can,” said Cathy Moore, Executive Director of ECHOS (Epiphany Community Health Outreach), in Houston, Texas. ECHOS is a partner of Church World Service. ECHOS connects people in need with health, social and educational resources in the metropolitan Houston area.
Earlier this month, there were long lines of people waiting in cars at the ECHOS food pantry in Houston, TX. “When I spoke to Cathy Moore, ECHOS Executive Director, they had just finished seeing 180 families in a day – a number that strains the capacity of ECHOS staff and volunteers. The last time Cathy, the staff and volunteers faced such a challenge was in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey,” said Kevin Murphy, Community Engagement Manager at Church World Service.
Following Hurricane Harvey there were many different challenges and that is when the ECHOS/CWS partnership began. But today the challenge may be even greater as many volunteers at ECHOS try to protect their own health and shelter in place.
Church World Service responded to Cathy’s call for assistance by providing 500 CWS Hygiene Kits. These kits were distributed to the people waiting in line at the ECHOS food pantry. “Most of our clients have lost jobs. They are restaurant workers, house-keepers…they are the first to feel the health and economic consequences of a crisis like COVID-19 – and the last to recover,” Cathy Moore, Executive Director of ECHOS.
“Without paychecks”, says Cathy, “they struggle just to put food on the table. They can’t afford basic hygiene items like soap and a washcloth.” The simple items found in a CWS Hygiene Kit can make a difference to people, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CWS Hygiene Kits are assembled and donated by congregations and volunteers all around the United States. Rev. Timothy Ahrens, Senior Pastor at First Congregational Church in Columbus, Ohio shared why the members of his church assemble CWS Hygiene Kits. “It is really simple. We know that soap saves lives every day. That is why our church is committed to making CWS Hygiene Kits each year.”
“Church World Service can only provide kits and blankets because of the generosity of our dedicated congregations,” said Matthew Stevens, Director of Congregational Giving at Church World Service. “Each year, congregations assemble these small packages of love and they do make a huge difference in the lives of many people, especially during these uncertain times.”
Thank you for your dedication to providing CWS Kits.