Giving Beyond Our Walls 2016-2017

By: Ken Bosma

Photo by: Ken Bosma

Over a decade ago ( !!) the MUUC Board proposed an initiative titled “Giving Beyond Our Walls”. Each month we share 50% of the Sunday non-pledge Plate Offerings. Through this initiative we have supported the work of many worthy causes in our community and beyond.

Thanks to all who have contributed their time and dollars in prior months and years. MUUC has donated thousands of dollars to worthy organizations, putting our 7 principles into action and working on behalf of the dignity of all people.


2017-2018 Recipients

TBD – Check back in September for a new list of recipient organizations

Recipients in Previous Fiscal Year 2016-2017:

September 2016: UUSC/UUA Refugee Crisis Fund

Donations to the UUSC-UUA Refugee Crisis Fund will go directly to our partners operating on the ground in countries receiving immigrants refugees. Their work will focus on providing humanitarian aid, ensuring the safe passage of those seeking safety and helping them access their rights in host countries. They also work to mitigate the root causes of the violence that compels people to leave their homes, and remove barriers to employment.

October 2016: Melrose Alliance Against Violence

Formed in 1995, Melrose Alliance Against Violence (MAAV) is a non-profit, community-based organization that focuses on outreach, education and community collaboration in order to raise awareness of the problems of bullying, teen dating and domestic violence. Their programs include community awareness activities, outreach and support for victims, training for parents and professionals, and education and prevention programs for youth.

November 2016: Bread of Life

Bread of Life (BOL) is a faith-based ministry, serving the communities north of Boston by feeding the hungry, homeless, needy and isolated; offering spiritual nurture, support, and hospitality; promoting greater peace and justice by addressing broader issues of hunger, poverty, and need; and conducting their work in a spirit of respect and nonviolence. Several times each year, MUUC members shop for, prepare, and serve meals sponsored by Bread of Life. See our Hunger Ministries page for more details about the dates and schedules when MUUC participates.

December 2016: Melrose Mayor’s Emergency Fund

The purpose of the fund is to provide one-time help to Melrose residents experiencing financial emergencies. “Our goal is to provide help with immediate needs, so the family can resolve the crisis and move on,” said Mayor Dolan. Most of the help the fund provides is basic needs – food, fuel, and utilities. “My goal is that no one in Melrose will go cold or hungry.”

Christmas Eve 2016: MUUC Minister’s Discretionary Fund

Like the Melrose Mayor’s Emergency Fund (GBOW recipient for December 2016), the Melrose Unitarian Universalist Church has a discretionary fund, to be used as our Minister sees fit, to help those who need help getting through difficult times. The Minister’s Discretionary Fund is used to help people facing an immediate need. Often it is a stop-gap measure, while the regular relief services (insurance, food stamps, delayed reimbursements, etc.) are being accessed. It might be a gift card to a supermarket, or help with the co-pay for medicine or medical care. It could be to help with a rent payment or a utility bill. While priority is given to members and friends of the congregation, occasionally a need comes to the attention of the minister that is from outside the congregation which the minister deems appropriate for these funds. Adding to this fund will provide our minister with the opportunity to assist a wider group of people in need.

January 2017: Housing Families

Housing Families provides safe, temporary shelter and quality affordable housing to homeless and at-risk families. They offer individualized supportive services to enrich children’s lives including after-school programs, nurture the potential of each family member, and help families maintain permanent housing.

February 2017: Community Legal Services and Counseling Center

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center (CLSACC) provides free civil legal assistance and affordable psychological counseling for people with low incomes. Since their inception, they have been sustained by the commitment and dedication of volunteer lawyers and mental health professionals. Their services combat the effects of poverty and violence by helping clients and their children meet basic human needs for safety, income, health and housing.

March 2017: Change Is Simple

Change is Simple (CiS) inspires elementary students to adopt lifelong environmental and social responsibility through a comprehensive environmental science and sustainability curriculum. The CiS education model transforms classrooms into construction zones and ecosystems, and students into engineers and scientists. It integrates relevant science and sustainability into classrooms, enabling students to apply math, English, and social studies to address critical world issues.

April 2017: Homes for Our Troops

The mission of Homes For Our Troops is to build mortgage-free specially adapted homes nationwide for severely injured veterans, post-9/11, to enable them to re-build their lives. HFOT builds homes as a departure point for these Veterans to rebuild their lives, and once again become highly productive members of society. Despite their life-altering injuries, many of our Veterans have embarked on new careers, completed their college degrees, or started families. Empowered by the freedom a mortgage-free and specially adapted home brings, these Veterans can now focus on their recovery and returning to their life’s work of serving others.

May 2017: Immigrant Learning Center

The Immigrant Learning Center (“ILC”) is a non-profit free school that teaches English lessons, computer use, citizenship, business for would-be entrepreneurs, and has a drama class where students write and act in their own plays. The school’s philosophy is based on the premise that English is the vehicle of opportunity for new Americans in order to attain economic and social stability. Therefore, classes are very intensive and use an immersion approach. The ILC offers immigrants and refugees the means to gain higher education, employment and U.S. citizenship.

June 2017: Believe In Success/UU Urban Ministry

A new program has started at the UU Urban Ministry: “Believe In Success”. This program, which replaces Bethany House and starts in September, is a “new bi-lingual (Spanish and English) job- and educational-readiness program for low-income women/LGBTQ persons who have experienced domestic violence or other trauma“, according to the job-description for the recently-hired Director of the program. We will be providing some “seed money” to the UU Urban Ministry to support this and other programs.

Recipients in Previous Years:

Bread of Life, Elizabeth Stone House, Melrose Emergency Fund, Habitat For Humanity, Housing Families, HomeStart, Refugee Immigration Ministry (RIM), Project COPE, Educated Canines Assisting with Disabilities (ECAD), Lucy’s Love Bus, Friends of the Fells, Melrose Humane Society, Melrose Alliance Against Violence, The Children’s Room, ROCA, Papaye Peasant Movement, Hope For Our Sisters, National Alliance on Mental Illness, MassBike, UUSC/UUA Refugee Crisis Fund, UU Ministry Bethany House, UU Church Of The Philippines, Extras for Creative Reuse, Gulf Coast Volunteers for the Long Haul, Center for Coastal Studies (Cape Cod & surrounding ecosystems), Boston Area Gleaners