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from the Legacy Newsletter

Chuck Forester knows the satisfaction of giving and the power of youth ministry firsthand. At eighteen, he was president of Liberal Religious Youth, now called Young Religious Unitarian Universalists, the UUA's program for people age 14 to 20.

Mr. Forester believes ministry to young people is crucial to our Association's work, and to help keep these efforts strong, he's arranged a gift from his charitable trust for youth and young adult ministry as part of the Campaign for Unitarian Universalism.

"I consider it a small gift in comparison to what I received," he says. "What I gained from LRY and Unitarian Universalism in high school was invaluable. It's an integral part of who I am."

He hopes congregations will reach out to young people and keep them active in our movement. He describes his trust gift with a simple word: "joyful."
"It makes perfect sense, because this movement made an enormous investment in me."

Growing up in Wausau, Wisconsin, Chuck began attending UU youth conferences as a sophomore. Soon, he was planning those conferences.

"I discovered I was an organizer," he says, laughing.

Social justice has been a central part of his life. He chaired the board of a human rights organization, served on the board of San Francisco's public television station and helped raise over three million dollars to establish a gay and lesbian center at the San Francisco Public Library.

"Having been nurtured in a community of Unitarian Universalist youth and advisors, social action came naturally-it was a natural response to being honest about myself, and what was happening in the world around me. I credit my LRY experience for that honesty."

It's clear that youth ministry makes a difference in people's lives. Chuck's trust gift completes the circle-having been supported in his youth, he can now help others. His gift will strengthen the UUA's work to help congregations and campus groups serve youth and young adults, and welcome many more.

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