Upcoming Events and Announcements
Sunday, September 10, 12 noon: Social Justice Committee meeting: Meet in person after the service in the church library or look for the link in the UCS Calendar to join via Zoom. All are welcome; please join us as we look for opportunities and challenges to work together as we make a difference in the world.
June Brown Envelope donations were split between two funds to support trans people. Each group received $750. The first fund is housed at First Parish Malden, our neighbor UU congregation who is serving as fiscal sponsor to partner organizations of Side With Love (our UUA’s justice campaign). These partners are working behind the scenes at this time due to security concerns. First Parish Malden is accepting donations on their behalf, which will go directly to building direct support, mutual aid, and travel networks for trans people and their families who are either traveling to seek care that is no longer available where they live or relocating entirely. The second fund is the Transgender Emergency Fund – MA (transemergencyfund.org), the only organization dedicated to supporting low income and homeless Transgender individuals in Massachusetts. The Transgender Emergency Fund assists with homelessness prevention, shelter assistance, nutrition assistance, prescription co-pay assistance, transportation and escort to medical appointments, and other needs.
In May, Brown Envelope donations supported the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute and their 27th annual Mother’s Day Walk for Peace. Many members of our congregation joined Rev. Jolie for this event on Sunday, May 14th. Our combined total of BE donations and direct donations for our team, Sharon Walks for Peace, was $3074.
April Brown Envelope donations of $994 (plus the $300 donation of the honorarium offered to our Earth Day guest speaker, Ricky Stern) supported two organizations supporting Climate Justice efforts: the Sustainable Sharon Coalition (sustainablesharon.org) works to “inspire, educate, connect, and catalyze our community to protect the planet.” We also ask for support for the Neponset River Watershed Association (neponset.org), whose mission focus includes “Climate change affects Neponset land, water, people and wildlife, changing what we view as normal. We can reduce our contribution to climate change as well as help natural communities to adapt.” Both organizations work to support habitat restoration of native trees and plants, and invasive species controls, among their many programs. Your donations are greatly appreciated.
March Brown Envelope donations raised $1049 to support the work of UTEC (United Teen Equality Center, utecinc.org), a youth empowerment program based in Lowell, MA. Their mission and promise is “to ignite and nurture the ambition of the most disconnected young people to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.”
February Brown Envelope donations of $1787, plus an additional $1063 in ongoing donations, were used to purchase grocery store gift cards for distribution at local food pantries in Sharon (Congregational Church), Sharon/Stoughton (Ilse Marks Food Pantry), Foxboro, Norwood, Canton, and Walpole.
Our January 2023 Brown Envelope collections raised $1712 to support World Central Kitchen (www.wck.org), with a focus on their efforts to feed those suffering in Ukraine.
December 2022 Brown Envelope donations totaling $1189 went to support the UU Urban Ministry (uuum.org), a social justice organization based in Roxbury, at the First Church Roxbury Meetinghouse.
During our single Christmas Eve service this year, all donations totaling $377 were given to support the work of Father Bills & MainSpring House, offering shelter and resources to the homeless communities of Brockton and Quincy. The SJC voted to round up this amount to $400 from our Shopping For Justice grocery card fund.
The November 2022 Brown Envelope donations totaling $903 went to support Youth On Fire , a program of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, a drop-in center for homeless and street-involved youth, ages 14-24, located in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Since opening its doors in 2000, over 3,000 youth have benefitted from YOF programs. In the last two years, the number of clients served has doubled, while funding has decreased. Your support for their important work will be greatly appreciated.
Food Pantry Donations: Our ongoing special collection for the Sharon/Stoughton Food Pantry (and now including the Community Food Pantry managed by the Congregational Church of Sharon), plus 4 other local pantries in adjacent towns, has raised over $58,000 in the 2 ½ years since the economic impact of Covid began to take hold. As the pandemic evolves, the needs at our local food pantries continue, and they are grateful for our support. Donations by check to the church are converted to Shopping for Justice grocery cards (and that means that we can increase your donation by the 5% discount that we get from the stores, equaling more than a $2,680 boost to date), which the pantries then distribute to their guests. And we of course continue to accept canned and other staple food items in the collection bins at church: kid snacks, canned soups and ready-to-eat cereal are especially requested. As we endure the 3rd year of the Covid pandemic and related economic uncertainty, this ongoing effort by our community is making a real difference in the lives of our neighbors. Thank you for your generosity!
For more social justice updates,see past issues of our church newsletter The Chalice.