The Scoop: Holiday Giving Changes Lives

During the holiday season this year, we did a lot of giving here at UUCA! We’re happy to report that there were many successful opportunities for generosity. In addition to our regular Share-the-Plate collections, we helped our neighbors to have gifts, gave donations to worthy organizations instead of material gifts, and we collected food and other essentials. Here’s a recap:

SockTree-webThe Sock Tree turned into the GIVING TREE!
Thanks to the generosity of our congregation, 261 pairs of socks + three hats and one pair of gloves were collected during the month of January and donated to the homeless. Thanks to you our neighbors in need will have warm, dry feet!

GivingTreeSetup-webAlternative Giving and Angel Tree
Gifts to the Alternative Gift Fair totaled $450, and was distributed to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, Just Economics, Children First/Communities in Schools, BeLoved House, and Room in the Inn, while $1200 in Holiday Giving was distributed to UUCA members in need. The Angel tree collected $1350, making donations of gift cards and other essentials to Helpmate and Mary Benson House.

Heifer-DrinkingWaterChange, for Good
We had a great program on December 28 in Religious Education!  Without knowing how much money we had to donate via Heifer Project from Alternative Gift Fair donations, we split into four groups, each group learning about the benefits of one possible choice for our donation Heifer-GirlReadingfunds. One group researched the advantages of donating funds for an efficient water pump to give clean drinking water and irrigation water for crops to a community; a second group learned the benefits of donating a flock of chickens and rabbits to a family; a third group examined how sending a girl to school could change lives; and the last group learned all about how donating trees and bees could impact a family and a community.

Heifer-BeesIn each case we learned that the consequences of helping one family could actually make differences in many lives, and change the opportunities of the children and adults in that family for good. The web of life was definitely discussed–we are all connected! The groups came back together and shared with everyone the advantages of donating to their specific cause, and finally we voted on which of the four donations we wanted to give. Each choice got votes, so we needed to narrow it down. This half of the project helped kids see democracy in action, and how each person having a vote (after gathering information and learning about our choices) really mattered. We opened the envelope telling us how much money we had to spend, and were delighted to find we had enough–$610–to get ALL FOUR items we were considering.
“Change, for Good” photo credits: heifer.org

Thank you to the congregation, the Earth & Social Justice Ministry, and the kids in making this such a fun learning experience. We all felt GREAT about giving so much, in ways that could make such a big difference!

YRUU-Food-Drive-2014-webYouth Food Collection
The YRUU Group collected nearly 1,250 pounds of food goods for donation to Manna food bank in November.

Many thanks to all who participated in some or all of these initiatives. What an important and inspiring part of our life together!