Every year, Northern California is impacted by major wildfires, floods, and other disasters, frequently impacting our churches and congregations. In the initial phases of a disaster, the bishop, clergy and congregations provide generous financial support (often in the form of gift cards) to help victims meet immediate needs such as food, gas, and medications. As disasters transition from rescue to recovery to rebuilding, victims need everyday goods to adapt to temporary housing while homes and lives are being rebuilt.

Project (Re)Start is an initiative by the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California to develop standardized bins containing essential household and personal goods to help victims after the initial days of a disaster. These bins are distributed free of charge to anybody who has been displaced, is establishing a household in a rebuilt residence, or has experienced forced relocation. This provides interested congregations a way to provide tangible support to victims.

Here’s how it works: There are five types of bins (bedroom, bathroom, cleaning, kitchen, and infant). Congregations are invited to
commit to assembling and storing ten complete bins of one type, strategically sited in each deanery of the diocese. Parish A might have bedroom bins, while Parish B would have bathroom bins, etc. Each deanery of the diocese is encouraged to have 10 complete sets of bins (a total of 50).

 Click photo to download.

When disaster strikes, the Office of the Bishop coordinates delivery of the bins where needed. The materials which make up each bin are donated by members of participating congregations and packing can be a community event to build cohesion within the congregations. Once deployed, the congregation would then restock their inventory to ten bins for the next disaster.

Project (Re)Start is designed to do the following:
• Inspire congregations to join forces in the ministry
• Prepare for disaster response
• Respond to disasters in a meaningful way, with clearly identified needs
• Establish a ready reserve of supplies without draining local communities during a disaster
• Help those in need across the diocese

Project (Re)Start info sheet PDF | Project (Re)Start Poster 

Cleaning Bin

Liquid Dish soap
Dish Towel
Spray cleaner
Utility rags
13 gallon trash bags
Hand brush & dust pan
Laundry detergent
Toilet brush
Toilet cleaner
Paper towels

Kitchen Bin

Plates for four
Cups for four
Bowls for four
Flatware for four
Frying pan
Cooking pot/Sauce pan
Baking dish
Mixing/Serving bowl
Small trash can
Pack of trash bags
Can opener
Set of cooking utensils

Bathroom Bin

Bath Towels
Hand Towels
Toilet Paper
Men’s deodorant
Women’s deodorant
Hand soap
Bar soap
Disposable Razors
Shower curtain / hooks
Sanitary pads

Bedroom Bin

Twin size sheet set
Twin size blanket
Full size sheet set
Full size blanket

Infant Bin

Mid-sized diapers
Flushable baby wipes
Baby bottle with nipple
Sippy cup
Baby blanket
Gender neutral stuffed

Shopping lists for each of the bin types, customizable gift cards, and labels for the bins are available from The Office of The Bishop.
For more information contact Mark G. Dibelka, Missioner for Disaster Resilience | 916-442-6918

Project (Re)Start Q&A’s

Project (Re)Start with Holy Trinity, Ukiah

What is it like for people to receive (Re)Start bins and why are they so important? | St. James, Lincoln/ St. John’s, Chico

With the help of Project (Re)start, how does the Diocese of Northern California respond to disasters? | St. James, Lincoln/ St. John’s, Chico

Sherry Wallmark and Jean Derum reflect on the impact of Project (Re)Start on their spiritual life. | St. James, Lincoln/ St. John’s, Chico