Each week this month we are featuring social justice stories from various congregations. First Unitarian Rochester, New York
The relationship between First Unitarian’s Honduras Project Task Force, the Global Health Program of the University of Rochester Department of Family Medicine, and the people of San Jose, Honduras, has yielded many transformations in quality of life for our Honduran partners: new water systems, cook stoves, scholarships, health care brigades, and tutoring, among others.
One element of this ongoing relational life is a yearly educational exchange of a lesson and an activity that both do. This year, First Unitarian’s children and youth designed 5 parachutes (one for each school) with words in Spanish and English for colors and colorful ties around the edges. In addition, Youth Group put together individual parachute kits for each child to decorate with colors and words to play with, in an effort to help kids have fun and learn basic English which they will need if they advance beyond 6th grade. Honduran children sent a parachute for RE with their pictures and words on it! Youth Group also hosted a Souper Sunday and will host a bake sale in the spring to continue their commitment to one student’s advancement to high school which they have sponsored for many years.
Syracuse, New York
Every month First UU Syracuse and May Memorial host a Family UU Night (FUUN) where we do some sort of social justice or community service activity. These events are open to anyone of any age from either church or from the community. We started this in August and so far we have stuffed backpacks for a back to school event, made care kits and collected socks to hand out to homeless people in our community, picked over 100 pounds of apples to donate to the food pantry, hosted a guest at your table potluck to raise money for the UUSC and helped the Eastern Farm Workers fulfill the Christmas wishes of families they serve. These events regularly draw 20-40 people and are a great way for newcomers to come try us out and meet new people. And, our teens spent a day volunteering to fix bikes for our city's annual Christmas bike give away.
Evin Carvill-Ziemer, Congregational Life Staff