Tagged: “Outreach”

Sound Improvement

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.

Support Women’s Food Forests in Guatemala

Why Contribute to this Project? Communities that produce their own food are independent, resilient, and powerful. They are also far healthier – both their bodies and their lands, with women playing a critical role in the food security, health, and nutrition of their families. By donating, you will enhance the participation of women and girls in biodiversity regeneration and conservation processes, forging a food-sovereign, equitable, healthy, and environmentally sustainable future. 

What Will the Funds Be Used for? Your support will expand tree planting through women’s associations in Caxlanpom and Chinabenque, indigenous communities in mountainous northeastern Guatemala. A historically persecuted group, the Q’eqchiʼ Maya have been actively resisting a foreign-owned mine that has polluted nearby waterways. 23 Q’eqchiʼ households will receive 3 progressive rounds of diverse fruit trees during the year-long project, plus field training on tree maintenance and the use of contour planting to manage erosion. 

What Are the Expected Outcomes? Families in the two Q’eqchiʼ communities will have planted 2,300 fruit trees and strengthened their capacities to use and maintain biodiversity for food and economic security. Increased use of agroforestry species has profound environmental benefits and makes a significant contribution to improving the communities’ nutritional status and health.


This project is organized by the International Women’s Convocation (IWC), a global partnership of Unitarian* Universalists who work for women’s empowerment through U*U connections around the world. We are living our U*U values by demonstrating our respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part as well as commitment to a just, compassionate, and sustainable world.

Project Partners

Ecosystem Restoration Camps is a growing network of ecological restoration efforts around the world that are working to repair the relationship between people and healthy ecosystems. Erin Beasley, Executive Director of Ecosystems Restoration Camps USA, is a UU who has been closely involved with IWC since 2015. 

Contour Lines leads reforestation programs in Guatemala to integrate productive (food and fiber) trees with annual agricultural crops. The results are resilient, diversified farms with full, local ownership and benefits to the local ecosystems such as improved soil health, increased tree cover, and maintained biodiversity. Their family-focused approach engages participants in successive rounds of planting to get more fruit trees into the hands of the most committed participants. Since 2018, the organization has planted over 120,000 trees in degraded land with 1,200 local residents in 37 communities. 


Project Endorsements

Herlinda Xo Caal, leader of the women’s associations of the two communities: “I’m looking forward to this project because I want to secure the future of my family to have healthy food. I believe that our community can produce our own food, and we should have the right to choose what we eat, and be able to eventually sell food that is free of chemicals. The increased use of land without conservation practices has been a problem in my community. This project will bring multiple benefits, including workshops on soil conservation, how to diversify our crops, and the use of organic products that won’t harm the environment. We’re working together to reforest the land and take care of the environment.”

Fund The VUU: A Unitarian Universalist Talk Show

The VUU is a weekly Unitarian Universalist talk show discussing important faith-based topics from an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural perspective. Every Thursday for the past 7 years, the hosts of The VUU have welcomed guests from every corner of Unitarian Universalism. Our guest lineup includes scholars, writers, activists, and religious thought-leaders who are shaping Unitarian Universalism for the 21st century and beyond.  The VUU has been committed to bringing you episodes that are newsworthy and entertaining!


Over 320 episodes,

with more than 800 guests,

and countless hours of research, preparation, and production.

We need your help to keep The VUU going!


Since 2013, the Church of the Larger Fellowship has dedicated thousands of staff and volunteer hours to producing and streaming episodes of The VUU. Each one-hour episode requires several hours of preparation. It takes time and resources to find qualified guests, outline a script and set up the technological requirements to stream live to Facebook and YouTube. After each episode is aired, a staff member or Learning Fellow allocates time from their work schedule to edit, re-master, and upload The VUU episode as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more.

When you donate to this campaign, you support:

  • In-depth topic curation and research
  • Qualified and knowledgeable guests
  • Increased accessibility (such as captioning)
  • Staff hours to prep and produce each episode
  • Resources to make each episode available after it is aired live
  • Graphic design needs
  • Educational material for viewers

The VUU has been downloaded over 95,000 times,

with hundreds of weekly viewers,

and thousands of monthly listeners.

A donation of any amount helps continue this ministry.


The VUU streams live on Facebook & YouTube every Thursday at 12:00 p.m. ET // 9:00 a.m. PT. The VUU aims to get people informed, inspired, and connected. Thousands of people have fallen in love with The VUU‘s inclusive, conversational format and enjoy that the show focuses on inviting a new guest each week to discuss issues that they are passionate about and matters that are close to their heart. The passion and commitment of both the hosts and the guests is tangibly felt, even though the screen. The Church of the Larger Fellowship is proud of the past 7 years of producing The VUU and hope, with your help, we can continue to air episodes of The VUU long into the future.


“As a Religious Professional working outside of a congregation, The VUU keeps me up to date with what’s going on in UUism–but more than that–it’s the “water cooler” experience I miss with my colleagues! Feeling like I’m getting to sit in on conversations between The VUU hosts, and participate via chat, is the collegial community I need.”–Janine Gelsinger, Executive Director of UU Justice Arizona & Supporter of The VUU


If you haven’t already, we hope you visit our YouTube channel to watch a few episodes of The VUU. After you fall in love with the show, we know you will, we hope we can count on your support to keep this program alive.

For more about The VUU and our upcoming shows, visit questformeaning.org/vuu.

Due to the generosity of the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock, every dollar you donate will be matched.

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 […]

Uptown Community Podcast

The Uptown Community Podcast (UCP) raises Unitarian Universalism and its values in discussing the legacy and future of its community. UCP has recently doubled its listenership across generations. Although this podcast is called the “Uptown” community podcast, the ideas expressed have much broader appeal.

The UCP is a program of The Peoples Church and Preston Bradley Center. The building also houses a transitional housing shelter, artist studios, performance spaces, and other churches. The content of UCP is similarly active in its promotion of the arts, culture, and the inherent value of every person.

The building is named for Rev. Dr. Preston Bradley and is located in Uptown, Chicago. He led one of the first broadcast ministries in the country and also provided radio stations with short inspirational messages. His charismatic preaching helped Chicago through The Great Depression and WWII. The UCP offers contemporary commentary on his messages and Unitarian faith. The UCP reviews these short inspirational messages in-between conversations with Uptown’s own inspirational community. 

The UCP is a recipient of the Unitarian Universalist Funding program. Additional funding is needed for updated hardware, simultaneous recording, and costs for streaming and hosting digital content. Would you give generously to spread the good news of Unitarian Universalism in Uptown?

Enabling Culturally Relevant Prison Ministry

Due to special circumstances Dr Quick Hall has closed this fundraiser; no pledges made to this project will be processed.

Champaign County COVID-19 Relief

DISASTER RELIEF CAMPAIGN:

ALL donations will be processed immediately

(NO ALL-OR NOTHING GOAL FOR THIS CAMPAIGN)

Food insecurity has skyrocketed in Champaign County as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. The Social Action Committee of the Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign has created a Faithify crowdfunding campaign to help ease the suffering and uncertainties of families in our community experiencing hardship.

We have selected three organizations whose outreach to families in our community are both reliable and effective. They are

  • CU Better Together
  • CU FAIR’s Pandemic Response Fund
  • Channing Murray’s Bucket Brigade

Funds during this campaign will be shared equally among these organizations. Our goal is to collect at least $10,000 in this initial round of fundraising. We will continue to offer this as rolling 30 day campaigns to meet the ongoing needs of these organizations.

Many of us have, or will be receiving checks from the government as part of the recent relief package passed by Congress.  Would you be willing to donate some – or potentially all – of those funds to our campaign?

Even if you aren’t receiving a stimulus check, but are looking for the best way to help those in our community who are in need, this campaign will target the funds where they are needed. In Illinois the peak of the virus impact is going to be mid-May to mid-Jun so now is a critical time to act.

Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Social Action Committee
Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign

CU-Better Together

CU-Better Together is a combined effort of several organizations to support families with school-aged children who are suffering from food insecurity during the pandemic. This project is designed to work within the food distribution structure set up by the Champaign and Urbana School Districts. It utilizes the large spaces available at the Stone Creek Church and the Vineyard Church for organizing food. Large initial donations came from United Way, the Community Foundation, the Stephens Family YMCA, and the C-U Schools Foundation. Several local churches and other organizations are supporting this project.

CU FAIR Pandemic Response Fund

Thousands of undocumented immigrants in our community do not qualify for unemployment benefits, and they are among those who need our help. Champaign Urbana Friends and Allies of Immigrants and Refugees (CU FAIR) has established a Pandemic Response Fund.  They are working with local organizations such as the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the PTA Council of Champaign, and the Immigration Justice Task Force of the Unitarian Church of Urbana-Champaign to provide food and other support to our immigrant and refugee families.

Your funds will be used to purchase and deliver groceries and hygiene and health supplies, free of charge. Information about COVID-19 and how to access healthcare resources that has been translated into Spanish, French and English will be inserted into grocery bags, and emergency cash assistance is provided to those most in need.

Channing Murray Bucket Brigade

Channing-Murray has been preparing a #bucketbrigade of essential grocery deliveries for extremely low-income families in Urbana who are recommended by staff at the Champaign Township Office and the Cunningham Township Supervisor’s Office. These buckets have beans, rice, cereal, soup, eggs, and often some prepared meals.  Each and every item is sanitized, then delivered to the doorsteps of the families served.

Channing-Murray has been C-U’s home for social justice programming over many years, and now there is no better time to put our values into action!  Your contributions will be considered a part of a local movement, to provide aid, to be courageous, and to choose a spirit of generosity over scarcity.

Social Differencing, No Child Goes Hungry Making a Difference during COVID-19

According to NPR, as of April 23, 26 Million Americans have lost their jobs due to the novel coronavirus. Also, nearly 35 million children who rely on school-based nutrition and financial assistance lost access to vital services when COVID-19 forced states to shut school doors. As a result, millions of American families are being forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on their table, and critical financial and health aid resources are being rapidly depleted.

No Child Goes Hungry is committed to filling the gaps for food-insecure families across the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic by partnering with local non-profits to launch innovative programs that ensure that families are getting enough nutritious food and that no child goes to bed hungry.

Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), we have received over 17 requests for funding of community-based hunger advocacy initiatives. Many of the applications represent new partnerships with innovative, passionate, and persistent community leaders looking to make a difference in society and fill the hunger gap caused by COVID-19.

So far during the pandemic, NCGH has already funded several grant requests, totaling $8,500 which include such initiatives as:

  • The addition of a Little Free Pantry on the grounds of All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington, DC.
  • Both food for the immediate need and funds for the startup of a new community garden with The Good News Community Kitchen in Occoquan, VA.
  • Funds to the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists to build a Little Free Pantry.
  • Partnering with Food for Neighbors located in Reston, VA, to help them as they supplement breakfasts and lunches to school children in need.
  • Funded a Little Free Pantry in Tylertown, Mississippi, which will be placed on the property of Velma Jeans Chicken and Waffle House.
  • Partnered with So What Else to provide both funds for food for its Little Free Pantry in Rockville, MD, and also to help provide bags of food for kids in the inner city of Baltimore, MD.
  • Sent funding to the Children’s Learning Center in Jackson, WY, which is using their van to drop off bags of food for their kids in need. So many of their parents are out of work.
  • Supplied a grant to help My Why in Cincinnati, OH, as they raise funds for a van to drive much needed donated fruit and vegetables to their inner-city families.

While these partnerships are creating an impact in communities in need and helping us make a social difference, we aren’t nearly ready to stop. With more requests being received monthly, we need your help raising more funds to share with non-profit organizations across the nation that are ready to roll up their sleeves and ideate and execute grassroots solutions to the exacerbated issue of hunger caused by COVID-19.

Please know that any donation in any amount makes a significant impact. The average cost to feed a child a school lunch is only $3.41. Our commitment is to end childhood hunger one child, one meal at a time, and our pledge to our donors is to use every dollar raised in this campaign to fund our community grants.

Please, help us make a difference during COVID-19.

Let’s feed some kids!

Volunteers cancel, Guatemala town struggles

Named after the Brazilian environmental activist, Chico Mendes, who lost his life protecting the rainforests, the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project was started in 1998, when the loss of forests and its consequences were evident to those living in Pachaj, Guatemala. This community is located near Quetzaltenango, in the Northwest Highlands of Guatemala.  Jorge Armando Lopez Pocol, a respected forester, and his family established a nursery and organizes the village as well as international volunteers to plant seeds, grow seedlings, and protect trees. The average number of trees planted each year in the last five years is 15,000. Currently, Jorge Armando has 40,000 trees ready to be planted.

One of Jorge Armando’s main goals is to plant the pinabete tree on the mountainside near his community.  The pinabete is the one tree where the rare Quetzal, national bird of Guatemala, will nest.  Planting the pinabete thwarts mining companies from destroying the mountainsides and will ensure good water quality for the village.

See the Chico Mendes website:  https://www.chicomendesguatemala.org

Because of the pandemic, nine volunteer groups scheduled to plant trees in Guatemala for The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project have canceled. This is devastating for a community that is living on the edge.  The Project depends on volunteer groups to transfer seedlings and to plant young trees, which in turn helps support the reforesting of the mountainsides.  In addition, income for the community is generated when volunteers pay to stay with families and take Spanish language classes. Without this income, the families and Spanish teachers will lack funds to feed their families.

From the three service-learning trips, many in our congregation have ties to the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project and have been supportive in past fundraisers.  Our UU accreditation as a Green Sanctuary congregation was due in part from this partnership.  In addition, we are knowledgeable about other groups who have traveled or were planning to travel there this spring and summer.  We are also well connected to various environmental groups and will communicate the needs of this project to them.

The funds raised will go for seeds, fertilizer, tools, supplies, and staff salaries to maintain the young trees and protect the forests.  Families who provide homestays and Spanish teachers will be compensated.

Contributions and support now will ensure the continuation and survival of the Chico Mendes Reforestation project.  The welfare of these community members and the protection of fragile ecosystems in the Guatemala Highlands also depend on contributions to weather the current crisis caused by the pandemic.  In the future groups will again take trips and plant trees with the villagers of Pachaj, hosted by Jorge Armando.

Testimonials:

“When I was in Guatemala, I observed the Chico Mendes group grow healthy seedlings and plant trees where they had been cut down.  Reforestation is an important job for humanity in terms of climate change.”  -Dr. John Hartman, Plant Pathologist Emeritus, University of Kentucky

“The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project not only provides clean air and water for the local people, but it also sends the message that sustainability is possible if everyone contributes.  By donating to this cause, you will be improving the local people’s quality of life and showing the world how vital sustainability is for our well being”.  -Justine Reschly, High School senior

“What most impressed me about the Chico Mendes Reforestation Project in Guatemala was the engagement and investment in youth.  They didn’t just work on reforestation, but they educated, hired, and mentored youth to participate in their work.  They understand the importance of youth education and involvement to bring change in future generations. “ -Meredith Gall, parent and participant

“The Chico Mendes Reforestation Project is as much a community and social justice effort as it is an environmental justice organization. Planting trees and protecting the environment is intimately related to protecting and providing for the local community. The connection with the local community both supports Chico Mendes and also provides a community stake in both the project and their environment. Our family’s connection with the community was good for us, them and, I firmly believe, the wider world.” -Dan Gall, parent and participant

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.

The Basics on Backers

Backers: Who are they and how many do you need for a successful campaign?

5 Characteristics of...

Most people who create Faithify campaigns are new to the world of online fundraising. Read on tips to Connect with Your Crowd.