CHATHAM, Ill. – The United Methodist-related Midwest Mission Distribution Center in Chatham is collecting 17,000 health kits for distribution in Japan to assist relief efforts.

Here is what goes into a health kit:

  • 1 hand towel (15” x 25” up to 17” x 27”, no kitchen towels)
  • 1 washcloth
  • 1 comb (large & sturdy, not pocket size or pic)
  • 1 nail file or fingernail clipper (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap (3 oz. or larger, in original wrapper)
  • 1 toothbrush (single brushes only-in original wrapper, no child-size brushes) (no multiple packs) (no dentist name or phone number)
  • 1 tube of toothpaste (6.4 oz or larger. Check expiration dates – must be at least ONE YEAR ahead.) (You may leave out and send $1.)
  • Adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages (regular size and wrapped in a rubber band)

Wrap all the items in the hand towel and place in a new, one-gallon plastic zip-closure bag. Please make sure all items are correct sizes. If they are not the correct size, they are unusable.

In addition, health kit items in bulk are very desirable as well. All emergency kits are carefully planned to make them usable in the greatest number of situations. Since strict rules often govern product entry into international countries, it is important that kits contain only the requested items – nothing more. Do NOT include any personal notes, money or additional materials in the kits. These things must be painstakingly removed and will delay the shipment.

The Conference Mission Team encourages local churches to collect and ship these items as a cluster. There is no conference-wide plan for sending health kits to MMDC in Illinois. Ship or deliver health kits to the Midwest Mission Distribution Center, 1022 New City Road in Chatham, IL 62629, phone 217-483-7911. If you have questions please e-mail or call 217-483-7911. In addition, please check MMDC’s website: or its Facebook page at for updates.

In addition, you can donate money for health kits using a major credit card at

Again, please pray for all of those in Japan affected by this disaster. Thank you for your support.