It's nearly time for the 2016 Thanksgiving Ingathering!  Are you and your church ready for this event?  Here are some last minute messages for the Mt. Pleasant site.

  1. We will be back at our usual spot this year—the Howe Activity Center.  Kit drop off will be in front of the Howe Activity Center.  Do not drop off the remittance form with the kits!  Remittance forms and money MUST be brought inside the building to insure proper credit and that the checks and/or cash get to us.
  2. PLEASE HAVE THE KITS AND REMITTANCE FORMS HERE NO LATER THAN 10:00 A.M.  It takes awhile to process everything and the people working want to get home before nighttime!!
  3. This is the LAST year for Iowa-Nigeria kits.  Be sure to mark if a kit is specific for Nigeria or UMCOR.  For example, the layettes are different as are the sewing kits.  Nearly all the kits taken to Mt. Pleasant go to Nigeria (but not after this year).  Empty school bags and baby sweaters or jackets will go to UMCOR, so be sure to mark them that way.
  4. We also ask for $2 per kit (not empty bags or sweaters) for shipping expenses.  That money goes in the check you write for other projects you are supporting financially.  Make your check to THANKSGIVING INGATHERING and attach it to the remittance form that you bring along to Mt. Pleasant.  If you just are sending money, and no one from your church can come to bring it, you may send the check, along with the remittance form, to the Conference Treasurer and it will be credited to the Ingathering.
  5. Don't forget your filled-out remittance form—it needs to come with you to the Ingathering.  It is found in the blue 2016—2017 Thanksgiving Ingathering book.  Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.  Bring checks made out to Thanksgiving Ingathering preferably one check for everything—but we accept all money we get!  Make sure to use the six-digit church number asked for on the form.  The Treasurer's office requires the six-digit number for proper credit.
  6. This year there will NOT be a youth event on Friday night, but we DO encourage youth groups as well as adults to come to help with packing kits and other needs at the Ingathering.  Kit packing begins shortly after 7:30 a.m. (I know that the book says 8:00 a.m. but lots of people come early). Quilts and bazaar and bake sale items need to be here no later than 9:00 a.m.  They need to be checked in and ready for sale by 9:00.
  7. There will be mission displays and information for the Ingathering projects.  Come and learn about these projects—see an actual P.E.T. and maybe even drive one!  Talk with people who know about these projects and see how YOU can help.
  8. The Celebration and Communion service begins at 11:30 a.m. under the direction of Marsha Gerot, with Rev. Lilian Gallo-Seagren serving communion.  Music will be provided by Christian Chaos from the Tipton UMC.
  9. Bring your checkbook or lots of cash for the bazaar and bake sale, as well as the professionally called quilt auction which begins at 12:30 p.m.  There are always lots of beautifully crafted quilts of all sizes as well as wall hangings.
  10. Lunch is available in the Iowa Wesleyan cafeteria beginning at 11:00 a.m.
  11. Questions?  Contact your district representatives—East Central District Jan Kittrell at or 319-854-7459; South Central District Jeanine Owens at or 641-673-8558; Southeast District Judy Brotherton at or 563-254-5372.

Hope to see lots of you at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant on Saturday, November 5, anytime from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 or 2:00 p.m.  Let's do our part to address hunger problems locally and globally.



Many churches are working on the Ingathering kits for the 37th Thanksgiving Ingathering.  This is a quick reminder of some of the changes to the kits for this year.

SCHOOL KITS.  Purchased bags CAN be used if they are sturdy and are the general size requested, about 14” by 16” completed.  Many school bags sent to the UMCOR Depot have to be resewn because the edges are not serged or zig-zagged (edges tend to ravel if they are not).  Other reasons for rejection are that the bags are not made of one piece of material and are not made of heavy-duty material.  Denim and upholstery or drapery material are good because they do not stretch and will last for a long time.  Do not use holiday or camouflage designs.  There can be NO advertising, religious, patriotic or military designs on anything.  Pencil sharpeners need to be bigger than 1 inch.

UMCOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR SEWING SCHOOL BAGS.  Cut material 15” by 36”.  Fold to make a 15” by 18” bag.  Serge side seams and around the top OR straight stitch with zigzag overlock reinforcement.  Fold top edge to inside 2” so bag is 16” long.  Make handles by cutting 2 3” by 23” pieces of heavy duty fabric.  Fold in half lengthwise and serge OR turn sides in 1/2” and top stitch.  Reinforce with 2 or 3 rows of topstitching.  The finished handle should be 1” by 23”.  Pin handles to the bag, one handle per side, like a grocery bag.  Pin 2” from side of bag and extend 2” inside of bag.  Finish by straight stitching around the top twice (once near the top of the bag and once near the bottom edge of the handle).  Back stitch over the handles to reinforce.  Finished bag is 14” by 16” with 19” handles.

HEALTH KITS.  Toothbrushes must be adult sized and should not be too flimsy.  Combs have to have at least 6 inches of teeth and be of sturdy material (not thin plastic).  Soap must be in a wrapper, be at least 3 oz. and NOT Jergens or Ivory (they are too soft and melt too easily).

LAYETTES.  Diapers can be made as long as the material is unwashed.  Receiving blankets can also be made as long at they are made of flannel.  For the IOWA-NIGERIA LAYETTES, do not use onesies.  They need undershirts up to 6 month size as the snaps tend to rust.  You CAN buy onesies and then cut them off and hem the edge.  The diaper pins must have the protective plastic closures—no regular safety pins.

UMCOR does not need any birthing kits.  Nigeria still is requesting them. 

Be sure to label the layettes for Nigeria or UMCOR as they are very different kits.  Also label the Birthing kits as being for Nigeria.

If you want more specific instruction for the UMCOR kits, go to  There are written instructions and videos on how to make items and how to assemble the kits.

It seems like there are a lot of “rules and regulations” for the UMCOR kits, but these are sent all over the world and different governments have different stipulations.  Also, UMCOR has been doing this for a long, long time and they know what works and what doesn't.  Remember, we don't make these kits to feel good about ourselves, but to help our sisters and brothers here in this country and around the world.

For specific questions about UMCOR kits, contact Iola Chickering, 515-295-7519 or  For questions about Iowa-Nigeria kits, contact Sue Kromminga,