Giving Beyond Our Walls

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.

To learn more about each organization please click on the link on the organization’s name.

Current GBOW Recipient for This Month:

October 2018: Bread of Life, Capital Campaign, “Under One Roof”

In order to combat the hunger crisis in our country and our region, Bread of Life is embarking on a Capital Campaign to construct a new facility to better meet the needs of their clients and communities they serve. Their new facility will not only meet the needs of their clients and communities but will also provide fourteen low-income studio housing units through a collaboration with Metro North Housing Corp (MNHC) which will own and manage that portion of the facility. By clicking on the link provided you will also see a link for a list of generous donors who have help BOL reach nearly 50% of its’ goal so far.

Additional Recipients for 2018 coming up:

November 2018: Greater Lawrence Disaster Relief Fund

In response to the natural gas pipeline explosion, this fund was launched to provide short-term assistance for things like shelter, food and health services, as thousands of residents in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover who have been without gas since Sept. 13 cope with the circumstances until the planned Nov. 19 restoration of service. Please note! The link provided above is the legitimate website for this fund, administered by the Essex County Community Foundation. Sadly, there are those that set up bogus websites. 

December 2018: Make-A-Wish (Mass/Rhode Island)

Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. According to information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 500 children in Massachusetts and Rhode Island are newly diagnosed with critical illnesses each year. Make-A-Wish’s vision is to grant the wish of every medically eligible child. 

January 2019: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. What started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation’s leading voice on mental health.

February 2019: FINCA (micro-financing)

FINCA International was founded in 1984 on a radical notion: giving small loans to the poor has the power to transform entire communities in a sustainable way. After impacting tens of millions of lives with responsible financial services, they are widening their focus to catalyze further economic growth and alleviate poverty in underserved markets around the world. They remain boldly committed to market-based solutions, and are supporting the rise of social enterprises delivering basic service and financial innovation to help low-income families and communities achieve a better standard of living.

March 2019: Uncommon Threads

Uncommon Threads takes a unique “outside-in/inside-out” approach to lifting women up by using clothes and style as tools for increasing self-worth. To access services, clients must be low-income and referred by a social service or health professional. The clients include domestic violence survivors, disabled women, female veterans, homeless women, women in recovery, and the elderly. Uncommon Threads is evolving into a “women’s center”. Monthly self-esteem focused workshops and groups provide women with information as well as a place to connect with other women (breaking the feeling of isolation). Future plans include a mentoring program (called Uncommon Friends), as well as stress management and beauty services.

April 2019: (Wholeness) Nevins Farm MSPCA-Angell

The mission of the MSPCA-Angell is to protect animals, relieve their suffering, advance their health and welfare, prevent cruelty, and work for a just and compassionate society.” Nevins Farm houses animals who are cared-for and ready for adoption, including farm animals such as horses and goats, in addition to dogs and cats and bunnies. Nevins cares for animals rescued from emergency hoarding situations, and also assisted the Greater Lawrence Community when the natural gas pipeline explosion left many people unable to care for their animals at home.

May 2019: (CURIOSITY) United Negro College Fund

UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation. UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that our network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.

June 2019: (BEAUTY) Trustees Of Reservations Massachusetts

The Trustees of Reservations preserve, for public use and enjoyment, properties of exceptional scenic, historic, and ecological value in Massachusetts.” This organization includes more than 100,000 people like you who love the outdoors, who love the distinctive charms of New England, and who believe in celebrating and protecting them, for everyone, forever. Together with neighbors, they protect the distinct character of our communities and inspire a commitment to our special places. Their passion is to share with everyone the irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures we care for.

Past Recipients for this year:

September 2018: Minister’s Discretionary Fund

Our minister often receives requests for emergency aid, from both within and outside our walls. This fund gives her the means to assist our friends and neighbors in their time of need.

Recipients in Previous Years:

*The Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)*Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES), *Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU), *Year Up, *North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (nAGLY), *VISIONS (promotes diversity)Bread of Life, Elizabeth Stone House, Melrose Mayor’s 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 GleanersUU Urban MinistryImmigrant Learning CenterHomes for Our TroopsChange Is SimpleCommunity Legal Services and Counseling Center, MUUC Minister’s Discretionary Fund

Each item marked by an asterisk * above was a Diversity Topic Team selection, part of our “Exploring Diversity: On the Path to Understanding” 2017-2018 inititative. For BLUU there was a financial challenge to commit to donating $10 for every church member. Melrose UU Church far exceeded the challenge, and BLUU has received millions in grants and endowments as a result of the efforts of many UU Churches and individuals and the commitment of the UUA Board of Trustees.