Category: “FAITHIFY News”

Save Chrisma from...

Unitarian Universalists believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person.

Chrisma is a 29-year-old asylum seeker from Republic of Congo (ROC). He speaks French, Lingala, and his English is improving every day. Now he is living in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester New Hampshire and he is being hosted by the congregation.

Before that, Chrisma survived thirteen months in detention.

In the ROC, Chrisma was part of a large extended family. After several of his family members were victims of violent killings, Chrisma fled for his safety. He first arrived in South America, then made his way to Mexico, and finally to Texas, where he applied for asylum.

Chrisma is intelligent, sociable, and very adaptable. Back in the ROC, Chrisma studied Computer Science. Someday, he hopes to work in this field in the United States. Tragically, Chrisma’s asylum appeal was denied and now he is facing a deportation hearing that will send him back to the country from which he fled. Luckily, we – his hosts at UU Manchester – found an Immigration Attorney experienced in Removal Defense.

We have already raised enough money for Chrisma’s case to begin. However, we still need to raise another $4,000 to complete the case. Any excess funds from this campaign will be used to assist legal fees for other asylum seekers.

Please help Chrisma who is facing this existential threat of being returned to an extremely unstable and dangerous situation in his home country.

Summertime Can Be Hunger Time

In the United States, 22 million kids get free or reduced-price lunch during the school year. The programs are an essential source of food for many children. However, during summer vacation, only 16 percent of kids who need USDA-funded summer meals can access them, making summer the hungriest time of year for too many children, resulting in long-term consequences.

Many of us remember fondly summer vacations living easy, breezy, carefree days. However, for too many children, summertime can be hunger time. Even though schools are back in session and kids have access to free and reduced-cost lunch programs again, teachers and social workers are seeing firsthand how challenging it is for many parents to feed their families, especially those still out of work and struggling to recover from the pandemic’s economic consequences.

This summer, No Child Goes Hungry is committed to supporting local schools, community organizations, faith-based groups, and grassroots non-profits committed to providing childhood hunger relief in their communities. We’ll be reaching out to little free pantry owners, backpack programs, and other generous organizations to help keep them stocked with the food and supplies they need to keep our children fed until schools re-open their doors this fall.

NCGH is dedicated to the elimination of childhood hunger, one kid, one meal at a time. With funds donated by churches, private organizations, and individuals, NCGH works with faith communities and other organizations to alleviate hunger locally.

Over the past several months, we have begun partnering with heroic organizations to make preparations to ensure continual student meal support over the summer. Some of our current partner programs include:

Peyton Randolph  Elementary School PTA’s Food Pantry

NCGH provided a grant of $1,500 to the Payton Randolph Elementary School to use in a match fundraising drive that raised $4,000 more for a total of $6,500 for the program. With the dollars raised, the PTA now has enough funds to offer food weekly for several months. Rev. Kären Rasmussen first heard of the Randolph Elementary School from her colleague, the Reverend Amanda Poppei. Amanda is the senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington, Virginia. Amanda heard about the much-needed work to feed kids in Arlington from Bethany Zecher Sutton, the Randolph Elementary School PTA’s Food Pantry Coordinator, and made the introductions all around. Read More.

“I’ve known Kären for years and have watched her organization grow—especially in the way that she is able to support hyper-local groups as well as bigger non-profits,” said Rev. Poppei. “When Bethany told me about the growing need to feed kids right in her own neighborhood, I just had a feeling these two could collaborate and combine their efforts.”

NCGH Helps Sponsor Intern at Blackburn Community Outreach

NCGH provided a $1,000 grant to Blackburn Community Outreach in Todd, North Carolina, a non-profit 501(c)(3) with a mission to engage and mobilize the Todd Community for social, economic, and environmental vitality. The grant will help financially support the season’s youth apprentice in the organization’s Beatitude Garden. This year’s summer intern, a 16-year old young man named Bebo, who is of Cherokee heritage, will work as an intern in the gardens for ten hours a week for 20 weeks this season.

The YMCA of Walla Walla, WA

NCGH provided a $1000 donation to the Young Men’s Christian Association of Walla Walla (the “Walla Walla Y”). The funds will be used to purchase snacks and juice for children participating in its newest summer enrichment program in Athena, Oregon. The Walla Walla Y serves 13 rural communities in Washington and nearby Oregon, where over 15 percent of the families are below the poverty level, and over 60 percent of the children qualify for free and reduced lunch programs. For seven to nine weeks each summer, when school is not in session, the Walla Walla Y offers week-long enrichment programs that nurture children ages 5 to 14 and support their cognitive, social, and physical wellbeing. The Walla Walla Y provides nutritious snacks and meals for the children during each day of the program. Read More.

Camelot Elementary School

NCGH supplied non-perishable food items and a shelving storage unit to Camelot Elementary School in Annandale, Virginia. Some may say, “practice what you preach,” but when NCGH Founder and Director Rev. Kären Rasmussen says it, she takes it to heart. When Rev. Rasmussen leads worship in her community, her sermon’s message invites listeners to connect with their local school and see what they need to help feed their kids. Rev. Rasmussen decided she needed to practice what she preaches, so she reached out to the school two blocks from her home to ask how she could help support the food insecurity needs of students’ families. She worked with Rebecca Stebbins of the Camelot Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) Food Pantry on behalf of No Child Goes Hungry to provide much-needed food and new shelving for their school’s food pantry. Read More.

Still, more help is desperately needed. The need is vast, and it continues to grow. We feed kids, one meal at a time. It matters. Every meal matters.

NCGH provides grant money and mentorship opportunities so that community organizations can build hunger advocacy programs that will thrive and grow as their communities continue to tackle the problem of local food insecurity. Such sustainable programs include afterschool backpack programs, little free pantries, community food pantries, and donation programs.

NCGH also strives to educate the community on food insecurity issues and arm people with the knowledge to help. NCGH offers age-appropriate lesson plans to help local organizations to talk to people of all ages about the issue of food insecurity, helping to fuel future generations of childhood hunger advocates. The lesson plans are designed for schools, churches, or any group that would like to learn more about what they can do to eliminate childhood hunger in their community and are available to use at no cost. Lesson plans are available for Preschool-Kindergarten, Grades 1-3, Grades 4-7, Grades 8-12, and Adults.

Let’s Feed Some Kids!

New Goal Exempt...

Now all UU Religious Professionals can raise funds for education, credentialing, and development exempt from the goal threshold.

Project Update: Student...

The UU Congregation of the Lowcountry (Bluffton, SC) sends us an update on their successfully funded project, Student Tech Connect: Our Faithify campaign raised $4,100 for Student Tech Connect. These funds came from generous donations of UU Congregation of the Lowcountry (UUCL) members and friends, and from UU friends across the country. Hear inspiring stories […]

The Joy (and...

What would it look like if teams were rooted in JOY, play, problem solving, and collaboration?

Project Update: Uptown...

Uptown Community Podcast shows off some of the tech they've purchased to reach out into the community!

Risking in Community

Uncertainty can feel really horrible. Uncertainty can feel invigorating. It depends on what is at risk, how grounded we feel in the moment, and what we have to lose.

Faithify Campaigns and COVID-19

In March, we created new policies to help our Faithify community weather the uncertainties of fundraising when everything is changing so quickly.

Project Update: FirstSteps Opens

Their first resident came to live at FirstSteps House just before Christmas.

Chalice Lighters &...

MidAmerica has a new way of supporting congregations with their Chalice Lighters program and Faithify.

Project Update: I...

"We will continue this important work, as we at the NH Bail and Bond fund believe that no one should stay in jail because they can’t afford bond."

Rough Waters Teach...

What lessons can come out of a "failed" crowdfunding campaign?