Crates for Ukraine FAQ
Confused about the Crates for Ukraine effort? Not sure how to get started? Take a look at some frequently asked questions that may be the same as yours!
If you still have unanswered questions or concerns, don't hesitate to email us at [email protected]
I've decided to participate. What should I do first?
Register! You can register for the effort here. Hurry! Registration closes on March 1, 2023
When is the deadline for packing crates?
The need is urgent. Please pack and deliver your crates ASAP. You should register your participation immediately, and plan to deliver your crates no later than March 16, 2023. Registration will close on March 1, 2023.
How can I get my church involved?
- The best way to get going is to rally a few (or more) individuals at you church who are willing to help. A good way to do this may involve sharing this video on Ukraine Awareness Month, if you haven’t already.
- If you have multiple people willing to help, it may be good to split the work up by teams. You can designate a “buying team” (those willing to buy or collect necessary supplies), “packing team” (those who can gather together to pack the crates), and “transportation team” (those who are able to transport the crates to Dallas or Chattanooga).
- Tip: Make crate-packing into an activity for your whole church! Order pizza or bring snacks and encourage others to join you for a night of fellowship and service!
Can I pack a crate with my family?
Anyone can pack and send a crate! Individuals, families, and especially churches are encouraged to participate. Please keep in mind that Crates for Ukraine suggests packing no less than four crates in order to make your work and cost of transporting the crates financially worthwhile.
What should I pack in the crates?
- There are three different types of crates you can pack and send. Each type has a specific list of supplies you can include. You can find descriptions of the three types and their respective lists here
- It is important that you only include the supplies that are on these lists in your crates.
How should I gather the supplies for the crates?
- You can either ask individuals to buy and donate supplies, or consider asking your deacons or session if the church is able and willing to provide funding for the supplies.
- It is important to note the supplies needed are rather specific. It is best to familiarize yourself with the different types of crates and the specific supply lists for each in order to decide on what supplies you will need. You can find detailed instructions with that information here.
How much does it cost to pack a crate?
- There are three factors to consider when calculating the cost of packing crates: Supplies, totes, and transportation. Additionally, Crates for Ukraine suggests packing no less than four crates in order to make your work and cost of transporting the crates financially worthwhile.
- It costs approximately $100.00 to purchase four totes (see the question concerning totes below)
- The cost of pack a crate can vary widely depending on which type of crate you pack and what types of supplies you use to fill it. Here is a general budget for each crate type (your costs could be more or less depending on what you put in the crates).
- Basic Wound Care Crate #1 ~ $1,000 - $2,000 (highest priority and most needed)
- Basic Med Crate #2 ~ $900-$1,500
- Basic Care Crate #3 ~ $250-$850
- Consider partnering with other churches in your area to reach the 4 crate suggested minimum
Is there any assistance available to help me or my church cover the cost of packing a crate?
Yes. If your church is unable to cover the costs of packing a crate (or four), the Committee on Diaconal Ministries is offering financial aid. You can learn more and apply here.
What kind of crates should I use?
- Crates for Ukraine requests that you use IRIS 27 gallon heavy duty bins for your crates. Dimensions: 30.25"L x 20.25"W x 14.25"H. The links below direct you to various purchasing options. We ask that you do NOT buy lids with red or yellow tops (black and gray lids only).
- Walmart 4 pack (gray)
- Target 4 pack (black)
- Amazon 4 pack (black)
- This link gives you more instructions for packing crates.
Is there a specific way to pack the crates?
There are no specific rules on how you must arrange the supplies inside your totes. However, all liquid items (and items that can melt) should be placed in sealed plastic bags. Items that can be taken out of their boxes should be placed in Ziploc bags as well in order to save space and weight. Other guidelines and instructions can be found here.
Is there a weight limit for each crate?
No. Pack as much as you can in each crate and do not worry about the weight. The more you can fit into your crates, the better.
How will MTW know what is in the crates I pack?
- For every crate you pack, you should also complete a final crate inventory list, which you will upload to this form (make sure to turn in it the Monday before you plan to deliver it). It is very important that you closely follow the instructions for completing packing sheets for each crate you fill. Those instructions can be found here.
- If you are not delivering your crate directly to Dallas or Chattanooga, please email your inventory list(s) to the person who is transporting it to Dallas/Chattanooga, and they will upload it to the form.
What do I do with the crates once they are packed?
- Churches or individuals are asked to transport the crates to either Dallas or Chattanooga. If that is not possible, there are various local drop points you can drop them at instead. Local drop-off points are being added regularly! Check this list to see if one is near you.
- You can also reach out to Cindy Rhea ([email protected]), who may be able to connect you with other willing drivers.
- You are welcome to partner with other churches in your area or presbytery to get the crates to either of those locations. Feel free to email us at [email protected] to see if we know of any churches in your presbytery who are also participating.
What if my church is unable to transport our packed crates to Chattanooga or Dallas?
- If you or your church is unable to personally deliver your filled crates to Dallas or Chattanooga, there is a growing number of local drop-offs that you may be able to connect with. The (regularly updated) list of local drop-off points, along with contact information, can be found in the green box on this page.
- Another option is to partner with other OPC’s in your presbytery, or near-by PCA churches, to fill and deliver crates. If you’re unsure of how to arrange that, we can help you get in contact with nearby churches who may be interested in participating alongside you. Email us at [email protected] if you'd like us to assist you in coordinating something like this.
- You may also consider serving as a local drop point, yourself! Keep in mind, serving as a drop point does not mean that you have to personally haul crates. You can find someone in your church to help do that or even hire it out. Imagine the impact if you could serve as a drop point and collect 40+ crates that you transport with a U-haul trailer or by some other means! Contact Cindy Rhea ([email protected]) if that is an option you’re willing to consider.
- Finally, in extreme circumstances, it may be possible for your church to order supplies and have them shipped to a participating OPC closer to a local or national drop-off point. In this case, the “receiving church” would pack the supplies on behalf of the “sending church”. Although we want to encourage churches to be involved in packing their own crates, this may be a possibility for congregations for which transporting the crates discourages their participation at all. If this is the case for you or your church, contact us at [email protected].
Once I get to Dallas or Chattanooga, where do I take the crates?
When you are ready to plan your drop off trip, specific details on finding and accessing the warehouses can be found here. Please note the specific, limited drop-off times (and time zones!).
I would like to volunteer to transport other church's crates to either Dallas or Chattanooga.
We are very appreciative of your willingness to transport crates, as this is the most difficult step for most churches. Please contact Cindy Rhea at [email protected]
How will my crates get to Ukraine?
- Once they arrive in either Chattanooga or Dallas, the crates will be put on pallets, flown to Vienna, Austria, and then shipped to CFU’s local warehouse in Lviv, Ukraine. From there, the Ukrainian church receives the crates and distributes them across Ukraine to those in need.
- The cost to palletize crates and ship them to Lviv is being donated and/or covered by others. Two international companies are donating their costs to help and are providing their services at no cost to us.
Is this a denomination-wide effort?
Mission To the World, an agency of the Presbyterian Church in America, has launched an initiative called Crates for Ukraine with the goal of gathering and delivering basic supplies to the most needy communities in Ukraine. This is a practical and urgent opportunity to support to efforts aiding Ukraine and those trapped within its borders. The OPC is working with sister denomination, the PCA, in this endeavor. We, the OPC, hope to send 400 crates from our churches across the country. Can your church be one of them?
This information and much more can also be found at www.cratesforukraine.com, but don’t hesitate to let us know if anything is unclear or if we can be of help in any way. Thank you for your willingness to get involved with this Crates for Ukraine!