Helping others when they are unable to help themselves … 

Gifts for the Nations - A Christian Humanitarian Ministry located in southeast Kansas, is all about helping others. GFTN is self-described as existing to "equip those who preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ by offering gifts of medical supplies, educational material, various supplies and equipment to equip a church and open up the door for good news." This humanitarian ministry gathers needed supplies — or gifts — to help locally, statewide, nationally and overseas. 

The group is now on a mission to assist Nebraska citizens as they face catastrophic flooding. Debbie Cramer and several members of the group headed north Wednesday with a truck and trailer loaded full of supplies needed to begin clean up from the historic flooding up north, the first load traveled to Nebraska Monday. Cramer said they have partnered with Church of Christ in Nebraska to set up a building which will host recovery teams and provide showers for residents. 

Cramer spoke with IDR as she was traveling to Nebraska. "Gifts for the Nations is equipped so we can respond to different stages of disasters and on this one with the magnitude of this disaster, we knew there would be a long-time recovery effort," she said. "We have mattresses and bedding on hand to set up churches to receive relief workers. We are headed up to help set up a site for relief workers."

Their next stop is Plattsmouth, Neb. "It's where two rivers come together so there is major, major damage in that area," Cramer noted. "That is the town we are trying to make it to Wednesday night." The group from GFTN will also be delivering the supplies they collected from donors all over southeast Kansas and northeast Oklahoma. "They will go to a distribution center through the churches," she explained. "Those will be distributed by individuals."

She said Coffeyville really came through with donations toward the effort. "Preacher Dave Bycroft, who is on the east side of Bartlesville, and Tyro Christian Church had supplies ready for me Monday and we picked those up in Coffeyville. And last night I met Jo Falkner, from Coffeyville, who picked up [donations] in Coffeyville and met me," Cramer stated. "The ones in Coffeyville who are picking up supplies are Ford, Wulf, Bruns Funeral Home and Utopia."

Cramer explained that on Monday some Nebraska residents were able to begin entering areas they hadn't been able to reach at all and many roads were finally opening back up. 

GFTN is still collecting supplies for Nebraska which may be dropped off at Tyro Christian Church, Ford Wulf Bruns Funeral Home, 2405 Woodland Ave., and Utopia, 206 W. 10th St., both in Coffeyville. Supplies being collected include household items, buckets, mops, bleach, cleaning supplies, cleaning rags, disinfectant wipes, Playtex-type gloves, work supplies, tarps and nails to hold them, shovels, work gloves, food items, snacks for work crews, cups, plastic ware, coffee, tea, sugar and sports drinks. The group accepts monetary donations so they may purchase the items.

"We will be gathering supplies for the next three weeks, at least," Cramer said. "We will make one more trip up, at least, and we will adjust from there. I will be meeting with some of our people who are heading up these relief efforts, actually see what kind of needs there are and then we may go up in a totally different phase."

Cramer said they do not need donations of bottled water and clothing. Check the Gifts for the Nations Facebook page to stay up to date as she will adjust the donation list as soon as she finds out what is most needed when visiting with Nebraska residents.

"We stopped off at G and W Foods in Independence Wednesday morning before we left for Nebraska and picked up a load of water," Cramer remarked. She made sure to mention, they do not need donations of water or clothing or things like that — stick to the list. She said the reason being, "I've done disaster relief in the past and you can get way to much of certain things."

"We are so thankful to the Lord for all the supplies and for rising up individuals to help me help others," Cramer said. She concluded by stressing her thanks to the many churches and organizations who have made considerable donations to the Nebraska relief mission including the First Baptist Church of Independence and St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Coffeyville, and all the other donors. If you would like to become a collection site, message the group through their Facebook page, or call Cramer at 620-313-0386.