Community Outreach Ministry

Charitable Giving for Dember 2014

The holiday season is a very important time to share our gifts with those in need. This month the recipients of the fifty percent (50%) of our Sunday plate collections will be East Hartford Community Shelter, Samaritan Shelter, and Tri-Town Shelter.

East Hartford Community Shelter serves men, women and children in well-separated quarters, and supports them through a wide variety of services, including employment readiness and domestic violence prevention groups, substance abuse counseling, and referrals to alcohol detoxification programs, when necessary.

Samaritan Shelter is operated by the Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC). It provides many services for those in need.

Tri-Town Shelter provides a home-like atmosphere for families who come primarily from Vernon, Ellington and Tolland. The building is open around the clock to accommodate the needs of these families.

Checks made out to Unitarian Universalist Society: East will be treated as follows:
If the memo line:
– is blank or “pledge” is written, all will go toward our pledge.
– has “COM” or the name of the charity is on the memo line, all will go the charity.
– has “1/2 pledge, 1/2 COM,” it will be divided equally.

The committee overseeing our community outreach efforts welcomes your comments and suggestions.

Contact our church office at 860-646-5151 or for more information on how you can contribute.

Community Outreach Ministry Significantly Increases Generosity

For the past nine years UUS:E has been donating 50% of our Sunday morning un-designated plate collection to local charitable organizations. This program has actually been in place for 10 years and grew out of the Social Justice

Committee’s initiative to support local groups in need and the Stewardship Committee’s desire to increase the spirit of generosity in the congregation.

Historically, our plate collections did not bring in much income—around $2,000 per year. Ten years ago, members of UUS:E attended a seminar on generosity as a spiritual practice, where the speaker advocated increasing charitable giving as a way for churches to express this aspect of spirituality. We began by donating the undesignated plate collection one Sunday a month but after a year increased it to 50%. We now take in about $20,000, giving away about $10,000 each year. The spirit of generosity at UUS:E is healthy and is validated by the appreciation of the recipients (see thank you letters on the bulletin board). A complete financial accounting is included in the Annual Report.

Our committee designates monthly recipients based on the following criteria: the organizations should be nonprofit, local, truly in need (our donation should make a difference), and fiscally responsible. Additionally, the values of the organizations selected are in alignment with the Social Justice goals of service, education, witness, advocacy, and/or transformation.

Members of the congregation are encouraged to suggest appropriate recipients to the committee.