WAUKEGAN, IL (March 20, 2020) – New Abbey Covenant Church is making and distributing hand sanitizer as a way to help their community.
The church decided on the idea when hand sanitizer was becoming scarce, said EJ Ravago, pastor of the congregation that launched in 2016.
The World Health Organization has a manual for making large batches of sanitizer, and Ravago found a YouTube video in which the presenter scaled the math for smaller batches.
“It’s fun and easy, actually,” Ravago said. “Thanks to some awesome label-making software programs, my wife made one with a ‘New Abbey’ touch!”
Ravago added, “With some reorienting of the heart and mind, you also begin to view it as a means to ‘love your neighbor.’ By killing the germs on your hands, you lessen the risk for your neighbor. This is the same reorientation it took to view quarantining oneself as an act of love.”
During the congregation’s final in-person meeting before the church canceled services, the members made bottles for each pew and invited families to take them home.
Then Ravago realized they could distribute the hand sanitizer to the community. “The same night we ordered 150 1-oz bottles to fill. It’s not a lot, but enough to show that there’s a little church that cares in town.”
The church has worked with a partner congregation, Christian Neighbors Church, to add the bottles to emergency food boxes being distributed. That church is using volunteers to deliver the boxes as people request assistance.