Blanco County volunteers sent their first batch of burn buckets to the victims of the Central Texas fires this week, and all should have been delivered by the time you read this.
A second assembly line is scheduled for this Saturday.
Burn buckets contain cleaning supplies specific for fire cleanup, with instructions for using some of the less obvious contents. For example, what’s vanilla extract doing in a cleaning bucket? A tablespoon in a washer-load of clothes helps take the smoky smell out.
“I can’t imagine facing what some of these people are looking at,” said Dawn Capra, who managed the project. “Even if their homes survived, fine soot and ash are everywhere, and everything smells like smoke. You’d almost wish you could just scrape the slab and rebuild clean.”
The burn bucket project was initiated by the Blanco County Disaster Response Group, partnering with the First Christian, First United Methodist and HOME Churches and Liberty Lighthouse Fellowship, with volunteers from throughout Blanco County.
“I can’t take off from work and go serve in a shelter for a week,” said volunteer Julia McCullough, “but I can pitch in and help with this part of it. A lot of people doing a little adds up to a lot of good getting done.”
“One reason the support has been so strong for this effort is that we all know the headlines could just as easily have been about us as about Bastrop,” said the Rev. Lee Romero, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Johnson City.
“We’re all surrounded by tinder-dry brush and grass, and it’s only by the grace of God that the sparks fell there and not here. If it were the other way around, we’d sure be glad to see a Good Samaritan offering us a helping hand.”
This week, with more donations and more time to shop, the “bucket brigade” hopes to more than triple the number of buckets filled on day one.
To make a donation to the bucket campaign, please make your check to the HOME, Methodist, or Christian church and drop it off at one of their offices.
To help with shopping, call Dawn Capra at 512-577-4833 to see what’s needed and to avoid duplication. To help fill buckets, just show up at the Methodist church in Johnson City at 9am Saturday morning.