Worthy Now: Sponsor an Incarcerated UU
This Faithify campaign is so essential to the incarcerated Unitarian Universalists who are members of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. What we’re asking you to do is support the membership of our over 1,300 incarcerated members who live behind prison walls all across the country.
Through our Worthy Now Prison Network, we are able to provide programming for UU’s who live in various forms of incarceration. In practice and on principle, we do not ask for financial stewardship from any of our incarcerated members. The programming we offer to our incarcerated UU’s comes in the form of receiving a variety of printed material which includes:
- Two prison ministry newsletters a year
- A printed copy of the UU World magazine
- A printed copy of the monthly CLF Quest magazine.
Additionally, with your help, we can offer our UU incarcerated members a number of the Tapestry of Faith classes which we have converted into correspondence format. These rich materials supply valuable religious education to our incarcerated siblings.
Every dollar you donate today goes TWICE as far.
Thanks to the generosity of the Unitarian Universalist Funding program, every donation will be matched dollar for dollar.
Perhaps our most popular program, after becoming members and completing the New UU Class, they are eligible to receive a pen pal connection with a free-world person (that’s you and me who live our lives outside of prison walls).
Eileen Raymond, a free-world pen pal, details her experience exchanging letters with a UU in prison. CLICK HERE TO WATCH.
These pen pal relationships are often the lifeline for giving and sustaining hope within prison walls. It is the connection to the Power of We that is so vital to our Unitarian Universalist faith. Can you imagine hearing that you’re worthy of love and justice inside a system that often dehumanizes your very presence?
The cost of all this programming is about $150 per person. It would mean so much to the lives of these members if you, your friends, and your congregation could sponsor an incarcerated Unitarian Universalist (or several!) That is less than 50 cents a day to fund this spirit-sustaining ministry.
And we know that perhaps a different gift amount may be more in your range. The truth is, whatever you can give, every dollar counts; every dollar helps bring programming and the message of hope and Love to Unitarian Universalists living in prisons all across this country.
Being loud and proud about our faith comes in many forms, so we invite you to consider if this is the way you can bless someone’s life with the hope of Unitarian Universalism. Sponsor a sibling UU who is living behind prison walls!
“What we ‘long-haulers’ [referring to COVID] need is a ministry of hope, of love, of a celebration of life that teems all around us. My CLF writing partner, Quest, CLF, and the denomination and its ministry brings this to us if we but open ourselves to what is before us. Thank you for all of you and especially folks like you, who take time to drop a line to us when we need it so much. To show we are persons and not just numbers, not just faceless addresses on the mailing list means so very much to each of us.”
—Jack, incarcerated in Texas
One of the incredible benefits that we can offer our CLF incarcerated members is our reading packet program. In a fantastic partnership with Beacon Press and Skinner House Books, we can send reading materials to our members in prison. Because of the many rules and regulations surrounding books in prisons, we can only do this by the generous sharing of text from Beacon Press and Skinner House Books of UU-identified books. The Church of the Larger Fellowship has permission to print a chapter at a time and share them in letter form. This way, people like Jack in Texas have access to beautiful books filled with learning and faith.
But we need your help!
There are significant paper, printing, and postage costs that go into this program.
By funding all or part of the $150 per person program, you amplify our important message that people living in prison
are Worthy Now of Love and Justice.
Last year we sent over 2,600 mailings to our members!
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to send books? Possibly, but prison regulations across the country are diverse. The rules around books are so complex that this is the best way to share Unitarian Universalism with our CLF members living in prison. Books such as Testimony; UU Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism; Amethyst Beach: Meditations; Our Seven Principles in Story and Verse; and Everyday Spiritual Practice ~ Simple Pathways for Enriching Your Life are bringing Unitarian Universalism to Church of the Larger Fellowship members experiencing incarceration.
We have over 1,200 incarcerated UU’s depending on us.
Can you give $50 or more to fund our Worthy Now ministry?
Thanks to the generous challenge grants supported by the Unitarian Universalist Funding Program, every dollar given to this Faithify campaign will be matched.
The UU Church in Meriden, Connecticut is a small congregation with a small residential home as a church building. We need a portable sound system with enough power and volume to use for outdoor services and concerts. We are currently holding worship services outdoors on our front porch and front lawn due to the Delta variant of COVID-19 and the recent increase in severity of the virus and updated public health recommendations.
Our church building is on a residential street that gets a modest amount of traffic, but behind our property is a major Interstate highway with a constant rumble (at best) and roar (at worst) of traffic noise.
We have a sound system built into the sanctuary with speakers and multimedia throughout the building. This is wonderful when we can use the sanctuary, but the sanctuary is small with a capacity of 50 people. Public health recommendations currently have us holding services outside as meeting indoors with masks and social distancing would severely limit our capacity.
The only sound system we have that we can use outside is an old 25-watt guitar amplifier with a microphone. It’s far from ideal and far from loud enough, so we have been borrowing small portable sound systems. It looks like outdoor services will be the norm for the fall. Given the pandemic, we may need to be outdoors in the spring as well. Many of our members are having trouble hearing due to competing noise and lack of amplification power.
During the last year we produced a successful series of online concerts and in person outdoor concerts as fund-raisers. The live, in person concerts have required artists to bring their own sound system. It would help us continue this small but important income stream if we had a portable sound system with enough power to get over the traffic noise.
We are looking at the Electro-Voice Evolve 30M Portable Column PA System – 1000-watt Portable Powered Column System with 8-channel Digital Mixer, 10″ LF Driver, 6 x 2.8″ HF Drivers, DSP, Onboard Effects, and Bluetooth. Retail price is $1299.
Our board of trustees has approved a grant from our Memorial Fund and along with some fundraising last year, we already have $600. We need to raise $700 more. Your kind gift will help us reach our goal!
The UU Church in Meriden began as a Universalist congregation in the 19th century. We are the only Unitarian Universalist congregation between Hartford and New Haven along route 91. We promote Unitarian Universalism and represent our tradition in our social justice work, which includes raising thousands of dollars to assist our undocumented neighbors during the pandemic, support of Moral Mondays Connecticut, and housing an undocumented scholar from Indonesia and his wife in sanctuary. A sound system of our own is a necessity to keep the voice of our liberal faith alive in central Connecticut.
Mattatuck UU Society Keyboard
The Mattatuck UU Society is moving. Our upright piano is not worth keeping. We are buying an electric piano/keyboard. We have a small but growing congregation and music ministry. The keyboard costs less to buy and maintain, is easier to move, has a variety of tones, is easier to record with, and can be used outside.
The Mattatuck UU Society (MUUS) took advantage of quarantine and online worship services to begin the search for new, more permanent space to house the congregation. We stopped renting from a local congregational church and are zeroing in on our next location. While renting over the last few years, we were able to use the piano and keyboard in the sanctuary of the church where we rented. Our own upright piano was kept in the church office (one of our rented rooms). As we prepare to move into a new location, we realized that our piano is not in good shape. We also realized that we may be having services outside for a while until it is safe for everyone to gather inside together and that requires a portable keyboard. We decided to replace our upright and fill our needs for a portable keyboard with a new instrument that will meet both needs. Our first outdoor service was May 23, 2021 and we are borrowing keyboards from other local congregations. We are hoping to have our own instrument when we begin the next program year in September 2021.
Our Keyboard project stakes its claim to our faith in the uniqueness of Unitarian Universalist worship. Our living tradition has it’s own hymnals, music for the most part not found in standard Christian hymnals. UU music makes use of secular, folk, gospel, world and other traditions as well as hymns in a more traditional style. A new keyboard is able to replace the piano with a digitally reproduced sound indistinguishable from a real piano and at the same time is able to sound like an organ or other instruments, giving our music program the range it needs for various styles in one instrument.
Choral singing is widely recognized as being good for the body, mind and soul. It is a ministry not only to those listening, but to those singing. Our UU tradition seeks to be ever more broadly inclusive and music breaks down barriers. Our UU tradition is becoming ever more cooperative as groups work together to share resources and even staff. During the pandemic, MUUS produced joint service along with our congregation in Meriden, CT. Part of this collaboration included a choir comprised of members of both churches, both accompanists, and even participants from the local community who didn’t belong to either congregation or any congregation. Our UUOne cooperative, community choir helped us reach out to local musicians. One singer has spoken with the minister about getting involved more in the cooperative music program as in person worship resumes.
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.
Help Jon Sallée Attend Seminary
Jon Sallée, currently a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vermont, and previously of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva, Illinois, has been called to serve should-to-shoulder, ministering to the soldiers and families of the Vermont Army National Guard (VTARNG) as their chaplain. Jon seeks to bring peace to soldiers as they contemplate purpose and meaning, navigating the moral complexities of citizen soldiership.
Unitarian Universalism, as a liberal theological tradition, is uniquely situated to meet both the spiritual needs of soldiers in the least religious state in the US as well as the interfaith orientation of the Chaplain Corps. Jon also has affiliation with Buddhism (through the Fo Guang Shan Chicago temple, in the Chan tradition), a frequently-requested topic of inquiry from religiously-unaffiliated soldiers.
His current status as a Chaplain Candidate and Second Lieutenant allows Jon to serve in the Guard while completing seminary, and while there are normally tuition benefits, none will apply in his specific situation. While Meadville Lombard Theological School has granted Jon a generous named scholarship, the remaining balance and related expenses are still significant.
Worthy Now: Sponsor an Incarcerated Unitarian Universalist
Stretch Goal Added!
see details below
We are both excited and distressed to report that the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s incarcerated membership continues to grow each year. Excited about the prospects of sharing our life-saving and hope building faith as well as distressed that our sibling Unitarian Universalists are caged within the prison industrial complex. We now serve over 1,200 prison members and with that comes an increase in costs, both material and spiritual. It costs the Church of the Larger Fellowship at least $150 per person to provide hope in the form of Unitarian Universalist programming and services to incarcerated individuals. Many people living in prison learn about the UU message of liberation and inclusivity through Church of the Larger Fellowship’s Worthy Now prison ministry outreach.
Every dollar you donate will be doubled!
Can you give $50 to fund hope today?
By contributing to the success of this Faithify Campaign,
you will be helping over 1,200 UUs living in prison.
Your financial support of the Church of the Larger Fellowship Prison Ministry provides vital programming and services to over 1,200 incarcerated Unitarian Universalists:
- Pastoral Care
- UU World
- Quest Monthly
- Worthy Now Prison Ministry Newsletters
- Reading Materials from Skinner House and Beacon Press
- New UU Classes
- Pen Pals
- Tapestry of Faith Religious Education Correspondence Classes
Your generous contributions help the Church of the Larger Fellowship run our letter writing ministry. This program provides one-on-one contact between UUs in the free-world (that’s you) and one of your Unitarian Universalist siblings living in prison. We have over 300 letter writing partnerships. Every year thousands of letters are forwarded through the Church of the Larger Fellowship’s office to our members living in prison. This program is the heart of our ministry—and is a lifeline to many of our members.
“Part of my ministerial calling is focused on making sure that our incarcerated members are seen in the fullness of their humanity. And for that to happen we in the “free” world need to realize that this is not an us vs. them situation because, as Fannie Lou Hamer said, not one of us is free until we all are free.”
—Christina Rivera, Minister of the Worthy Now Prison Network powered by the Church of the Larger Fellowship
This year we are pleased to participate in a partnership with Melchor-Quick Meeting House and The African American Education & Research Organization. We’re collaborating to determine the racial and ethnic identities of our incarcerated members in order to provide more culturally appropriate ministry.
Melchor-Quick Meeting House was created to foster the preservation of African American history and culture. In this project, The African American Education & Research Organization (AAERO) is working with Melchor-Quick Meeting House to improve access of incarcerated African Americans to culturally appropriate materials for the exploration of ethical and moral values and practices.
Currently, the racial and ethnic identities of our incarcerated members are unknown. Our collaboration with these organizations will add race and ethnic identity to our database of nearly 1,200 members.
The cost of all this programming is about $150 per person. It would mean so much to the lives of these members if you, your friends, and/or your congregation could sponsor an incarcerated Unitarian Universalist (or several!) That is less than 50 cents a day to fund this spirit sustaining ministry. And we know that perhaps a different gift amount may be more in your range. The truth is, whatever you can give, every dollar counts; every dollar helps bring programming and the message of hope and Love to Unitarian Universalists living in prison all across this country.Being loud and proud about our faith comes in many forms, so we invite you to consider if this is the way you can bless someone’s life with the hope of Unitarian Universalism. Sponsor a sibling UU who is living behind prison walls!
Click on the FAQ tab to learn more!
Nashua Host Home Network
STRETCH GOAL ADDED! SEE DETAILS BELOW
Help Inna stay in the US and escape persecution
Inna is from Cameroon and has been in the US since 2015. She is currently in deportation proceedings and is seeking asylum.
In Cameroon, a local chief asked Inna to marry him. He already had more than ten wives and many children. Inna refused. As a result of her refusal she was subsequently the victim of physical assaults by masked men, loyal to the chief. During one of the assaults, masked men threatened to rape her daughter. In 2015, Inna fled to the US.
In the US, she earned a Certificate as a Nursing Assistant in September 2016 and started to work in an assisted living community. She also volunteered at a nonprofit that runs a food pantry and secondhand store. In 2018 she began paralegal studies at Mount Wachusett Community College. In 2019, due to being misadvised regarding her deportation case, she did not attend a court hearing.
ICE detained her at the border, and put her in jail, where she spent the next 7 months.
A coalition of local New Hampshire immigration support groups and faith organizations, including UU Action NH, The NH Conference United Church of Christ, the American Friends Service Committee, and Never Again Action, are supporting Inna. They helped pay her bond. A local family invited her into their home, where she is now staying. Inna hopes to get a work permit, finish her paralegal studies, win asylum, become a US permanent resident and eventually become a US citizen. She also wants to bring her daughter to the US.
After her experience with incarceration, she also wants to devote herself to helping people in jail. But to accomplish her goals, she needs to resume her asylum case, and eventually win.
Inna’s legal fees will exceed $10,000. Local donors have stepped up with over $3000 already, but more is necessary in order to restart and complete her asylum case. Inna needs your help. We are compelled by our faith in peace, liberty, and justice for ALL, to support asylum seekers like Inna. Anything you can give would help greatly. Any money raised that goes beyond Inna’s needs will support other asylum seekers in New Hampshire.
Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Provincetown Sanctuary Restoration
Stretch Goal Added!
see details below
A pew and floor in the Sanctuary.
Sanctuary restoration and accessibility project at the Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse of Provincetown.
During this time when we cannot gather together in the UUMH of Provincetown, we want to use the time our temporarily going online affords to engage in stewardship of the historic interior of our Sanctuary. We have been entrusted with a beautiful and historic building, and we want to preserve, restore and steward it, as well as increasing accesses for all members of our congregation and guests, now and into the future.
We will also improve accessibly and inclusion for members of the congregation and guests who use wheelchairs or scooters, by carefully removing one row of pews to create more room while being mindful of the historic integrity of the Sanctuary.
We have a budget of $20,000 for this work with a match of $10,000. We are seeking to raise $10,000 from the congregation, UU’s worldwide, as well as friends and visitors. You can donate online by credit card here, or mail a check payable to UUMH of Provincetown to PO Box 817, Provincetown, MA 02657. Please make a note “Sanctuary Restoration” in the memo field if donating by check.
Center aisle of the Meetinghouse.
This project is being undertaken in consultation between the Board and a member of the congregation with a master’s degree in historic preservation to sensitively restore the Meetinghouse pews, floors, hymnal racks, handrails, etc in a historically appropriate way. We are keenly aware of both the emotional and historic significance of our building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and want to do our best to do this work in a historically appropriate way.
Gay For Good – Board Development
Gay For Good (G4G) is the nation’s leading LGBTQ volunteer service organization, mobilizing thousands of volunteers annually, to enhance LGBTQ visibility, cultivate understanding and build positive relationships between diverse groups of people, while helping the environment, animals and people in need. Gay For Good volunteers have logged thousands of hours with our sixteeen chapters throughout the USA and are steadily growing to become leaders in social impact.
Since 2018, the all-volunteer Gay For Good board has hired the organization’s first full-time employee, added five new board members, and grown the organization by adding six new chapters. Each summer the board meets for a retreat. This year, with COVID-19 travel restrictions, we are forgoing our in-person retreat. Instead we will dedicate time to further our own understanding of non-profit leadership with the assistance of a governance coach. We are in final stages of selecting from three very strong proposals, and this Faithify campaign will fund that training plus ongoing follow up.
So why does this matter? Why is this important?
While our nation is often celebrated as a cultural melting pot, made up of citizens from a variety of backgrounds, races, sexual orientations and beliefs, those differences can also be its greatest challenge to overcome. Many neighborhoods are formed by people of a shared familiarity: cultural identity, religious alignment, economic status or political viewpoints. These neighborhoods exist both geographically and virtually (online), where many people primarily interact with only those who share similar history and beliefs. Fear of those who are different is exacerbated by these divisions, leading to isolated groups of people living in proximity to each other geographically but miles apart in their understanding of their neighbors. Those who perceive themselves to be an “other” within these silos can feel isolated and may struggle to find a sense of belonging in their own backyard.
Gay For Good brings people together. Through interaction and shared goals, people of different backgrounds can foster new relationships with each other and discover through their shared experiences that they have more in common than they knew.
As an incredible byproduct of our work, our volunteers have found community within our community. Often, volunteers lack family support and turn to the LGBTQ community to fill the void left by family rejection. Some face increased challenges connecting with like minds where marketing and traditional business models favor more lucrative social interactions like night clubs and parties. Gay For Good offers an alternative way for people to connect and our members have forged family-tight bonds.
What are the connections between Gay For Good and Unitarian Universalism?
When our board recently revised our non-discrimination policy, we used the policy on the UUA website as a guide to be sure that we created a policy that was as inclusive as possible. Our Boston chapter has a long-standing partnership with Arlington Street Church, which has given grants as part of their support of community programs and also provided space for our volunteer projects. Our current national board chair, Art Nava, has been a member of Arlington Street Church since 2004 and also serves as a lay leader at the regional and associational level. His leadership has been shaped by his Unitarian Universalism, and he brings his experience from UU settings to his work with our organization.
Photos: Rev. Kim K. Crawford Harvie and members of the Arlington Street Church worship team help build wagons at an annual Gay For Good project in Boston that has provided over 600 wagons to partner organization Toys4Joys.
Be sure to share this campaign using any of the icons near the top of the page. Take your pick from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or dozens of others. By sharing this campaign you will make it 3x more likely that we reach our goal!
Support Military Ministry
In World War II, the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) was founded to reach out to those who were serving our country both at home and abroad. Today, our Military Ministry program is one of the CLF’s leading outreach programs. There are over 25 Unitarian Universalist chaplains serving in all branches of the Military, located all over the United States and in Germany. The CLF supports UU military chaplaincy and active and returning military members.
Every dollar you donate will be tripled!
Can you give $50 to support the CLF Military Ministry today?
By contributing to the success of this Faithify Campaign,
you will be helping hundreds of service members across the globe.
Unitarian Universalists have served, and do serve, in the military (sometimes this feels like the best-kept secret in our denomination). In recognition of this, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has made strides towards welcoming military personnel and veterans into our congregations. In 2010, the UUA issued a Statement of Conscience entitled “Creating Peace” in which they declare:
“We bear witness to the right of individuals and nations to defend themselves, and acknowledge our responsibility to be in solidarity with others in countering aggression…We affirm a range of individual choices, including military service and conscientious objection…as fully compatible with Unitarian Universalism. For those among us who make a formal commitment to military service, we will honor their commitment, welcome them home, and offer pastoral support.”
Unitarian Universalist military members may have difficulty finding religious support that reflects their progressive values. These challenges often continue when UUs come home. Veterans may feel isolated and wonder how they will be welcomed back to their congregations.
That’s where the CLF Military Ministry comes in. We aim to provide spiritual support to service members and their families during active duty and when they come home. While educating and empowering the next generation of military chaplains to continue this crucial work.
“Marines would fall asleep in two minutes if I read a sermon to them. They expect 100% authenticity and 100% excellence, and if it’s not there, they don’t trust you. Preaching at the Church of the Larger Fellowship strengthened my instincts for creating sermons without writing a word. This has been an essential part of my success in chaplaincy.
—Susan Maginn, U.S. Navy Chaplain
Rev. Jake Morrill, former military chaplain, and current CLF Board Member, writes:
Whether in combat or not, a Service member’s duty involves ongoing decision-making, with high moral stakes. Promoting and supporting the capacity for ethical decision-making leads to an even more ethical, morally-grounded military culture. Military ministry is important because people in uniform, mostly young adults, are often encountering stressors different from stressors in civilian life…
In the military Unitarian Universalist ministry, in particular, plays an important role. As the military population, like the rest of the country, becomes steadily more secular and “un-churched,” a Unitarian Universalist military ministry can support meaning-making in the Humanist tradition. Unitarian Universalist ministry in the military celebrates GBLTQ Service members and their Families, and can provide vital programming, with an ethic of inclusion. When a Service member is Pagan or practices some other minority-status faith tradition or expression of spirituality, Unitarian Universalist ministry in the military doesn’t balk, but instead supports the free expression of that person’s faith, as upheld by the First Amendment.
When you donate $50, we receive $150.
Every single gift is being tripled.
The Church of the Larger Fellowship is crucial to the formation and support of military chaplains (MCs) around the world. We have built a sustainable pipeline to create and support the next generation of MCs. How do we do this?
- We serve as the MCs home congregation
- We provide pastoral support to MCs
- We host monthly meetings for MCs
- We assess aspirant MCs
- We provide MCs a congregation to which they can officially affiliate as community ministers and receive support
In short, we give military chaplains (who move around frequently) a place to call their own.
Your donation will help us provide resources to service members around the globe.
With your funding we can provide our military personnel and their family with:
Online Community Gathering Space
Written Resources and Materials
Read more about our Military Ministry program at www.clfuu.org/military.
*Due to generosity from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock and a coalition of 12 individual donors, every dollar will be tripled.
Bounty for Babies Forever
Bounty for Babies Forever
A justice project of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ellsworth (UUCE)
In December 2019, after learning that families who needed food and supplies for babies were having to be turned away from the Loaves & Fishes food pantry due to inability to stock these products, UUCE launched a very successful Reverse Advent justice project in which the congregation was asked to donate specific foods and supplies for babies daily during Advent. The items were donated to Loaves & Fishes food pantry, and distributed as needed to the families served by the pantry. This project was a big success, and generated over $2000 in cash and goods. Our church has committed to continuing the project into perpetuity by asking congregants for weekly donations as baby items get used from the Loaves & Fishes stock. Our goal is to ensure that no family goes without obtaining the needed food, diapers and health care supplies for their babies. This project is run under the auspices of our Peace and Social Action committee and is managed by the Bounty for Babies Task Force.
Although the project has only been in existence for two months, we have already made a huge difference in the lives of families in our community. Since its inception, no one has had to be denied items they need for their babies. The program serves over 30 families each month and, at the request of the families served, has been expanded to include food and supplies for toddlers. Additionally, we provide Birthday Bags, which contain a small toy and the supplies needed to bake a birthday cake, to parents of children of any age.
To date, this project has been fully funded by UUCE. A very generous anonymous donor has now come forward with a proposal to match up to $5000 in donated funds to support the Bounty for Babies project, and to form the basis through which it can be sustained.
Please support us as we strive to raise the matching funds so that we can carry this project far into the future. In honor of this donation, and with the hope and expectation that we will reach our goal to match the funds, we are renaming the project Bounty for Babies Forever.
Help our MidMaine YoUUth service project team get to Safe Passage/Camino Seguro in Guatemala City this July!
UPDATE April 9, 2020: DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, THIS CAMPAIGN HAS BEEN CLOSED. ANY PLEDGES MADE WILL NOT BE PROCESSED. THANK YOU.
Safe Passage let us know they are canceling all visitors for 2020, so it’s off. Our general plan is to reschedule to next year. Thanks to those who were willing to donate!
Original Description follows for archive purposes.
Safe Passage/Camino Seguro is a top-rated charity working in Guatemala City since 1999 to bring hope, education, and opportunity to the children and families trying to make a living around the city’s garbage dump—one of the largest landfills in Central America. Their mission: “We help children in the Guatemala City garbage dump community break the cycle of poverty through education, emphasizing life skills and perseverance in order to thrive in work and contribute to their community.”
Our group of UU youth and adult leaders will serve as Support Teams at Safe Passage for a week, engaging with “affiliates of all ages – from the littlest learners in the Jardín to the women in Creamos.” We will learn about Safe Passage and their programs while we provide valuable assistance: in English classes, as classroom assistants, planning and leading activities in our Escuilita English classes, meeting and working with the women-artisans of Creamos (buying their fabulous jewelry), and supporting the operations team with much-needed tasks, etc. It is a hand-on opportunity to see how an organization clear in its mission can make a difference, and give us the opportunity to do so as well by showing up and helping out.
Our MidMaine YoUUth group has been preparing and fundraising for this trip for the last 18 mos. Last year, we studied about and engaged with our Wabanaki neighbors, learning about our shared, painful history. This year, as we prepare to go to Guatemala, the lessons from Maine are helping us understand more about the conditions for indigenous people in Guatemala, including discrimination, poverty, and lack of education. and opportunity. Our time with Safe Passage will change our lives.
The participants each make a personal contribution of $600, collected over two years to ensure it is affordable for any of the youth in our congregations who want to participate. These personal dues cover about 25% of the total cost. The rest we raise through an ask to our individual friends and family, as well as the members of our four congregations. This Faithify campaign is a way of extending the reach of our ask throughout our UU denomination, while spreading the word about Safe Passage/Camino Seguro (https://www.safepassage.org/) and our collaborative youth program. We are proud of what we have and will accomplish together!