Local Service Project for General Assembly
2018 Service Project
This year’s service project is Communities Creating Opportunity (CCO), a bi-state, social justice organization focused on affirming the dignity of all people especially those in communities least likely to have access to hope and opportunity. Established in 1977 in response to the rapid racial transition and financial disinvestment in Kansas City’s southeast neighborhoods throughout the 1970s.
As it has since its inception, CCO trains community leaders in effective community engagement techniques that enable them to successfully advocate for their families and communities. During nearly four decades of service to local communities, CCO has focused intently on building the capacity of local residents to successfully tackle persistent challenges (e.g., healthcare access, economic equity, civic participation and racial equity).
CCO’s mission seeks to develop strong leaders, unite cross-sector partners to identify solutions to our connected challenges. To learn more, please visit Booth #812 in the Exhibit Hall.
2017 Service Projects
The Service Project collection taken at the Sunday Morning Worship during General Assembly 2017 will benefit the Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC). The mission of the FFLIC is to create a better life for all of Louisiana’s youth, especially those involved in or targeted by the juvenile justice system. FFLIC is also a partner in the Onsite Drop-in service project to prepare messages that will be sent to incarcerated persons (see below).
The scope of their work includes Transformative Leadership Development, Juvenile Justice Reform, and Stopping the School to Prison Pipeline.
Hands-on Projects During General Assembly
General Assembly attendees are invited to participate in service projects that will benefit over 1,000 persons. Advance registration is required for the onsite assembly line and for any projects that will take place off-site.
Registration for hands-on service projects is separate from registration for General Assembly. You may complete service project registration prior to GA registration, but you must be registered for GA to participate in the service projects. Space is limited.
Three service projects will be held at venues within two miles of the convention center. Bus transportation will be provided to and from the service project venues. You may register for one of the off-site service projects below:
- In the Big Easy / Real Life: An Immersion Experience, participants will work on a rebuilding project that helps families displaced by Hurricane Katrina, or recent tornado, to return home. With support from Long Haul staff and Starr King School for the Ministry faculty, participants will immerse themselves in the culture and history of New Orleans and learn more about local movements for racial, economic and climate justice. Attendance at preparation workshop, Thursday June 22, 3:15 - 4:30 p.m., is mandatory (see Program Book for location). Age 18 minimum (16 if parent is present).
- The Red Flame Hunters and the Flaming Chalice Keepers Create! Members of the unique all-youth Black Mardi Gras Indian Tribe will share the history of their art and celebrations and demonstrate how they create their performances and costumes rich with beadwork and feathers. The morning begins with a short guided tour through the neighborhood that inspires the creativity and growth of the Hunters. Then Hunters will train UUs— “Flaming Chalice Keepers” for this day—to sew beadwork, to assemble bead patches into one creation to lead chants, and to move as the “Hunters” move. A beaded globe featuring UU and Mardi Gras Indians’ symbols will emerge from the collective work. UUs will be enabled to carry the lessons and stories home. Please indicate when you register if you have a special interest or ability in sewing, chants and song, or dance.
- Ubuntu Village and UUs, Embracing Youth Away in Juvenile Detention. Ubuntu Village is an organization whose program areas comprise many services for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and their families. The morning begins with a short guided tour to provide context, showing the resources and challenges in the built environment of the Ubuntu Village area. Next, leaders of Ubuntu Village will describe the group’s work, and then UUs will assemble care packages for the 48 youth currently in pretrial detention in the City of New Orleans. We will be mentored by Ubuntu Village staff and leaders including formerly incarcerated young adults as we prepare notes of encouragement to be included in the care packages.
Onsite Assembly Line
“Days for Girls” Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Kits fight Poverty and Isolation. An assembly line of volunteers will package kits to distribute to girls in New Orleans and around the world.
Those who register for the assembly line are encouraged to attend the Days for Girls Workshop on Friday at 3:15 p.m. The workshop will cover the mission of Days for Girls, the activities of its chapters, how the kits afford girls the freedom to attend school, and how to assemble the kits.
The assembly line will form in the GA Exhibit Hall beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 24. You may register for one of the four time slots below:
- Kit Assembly Shift One: 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
- Kit Assembly Shift Two: 10:45 AM - 11:30 AM
- Kit Assembly Shift Three: 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
- Kit Assembly Shift Four: 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM
Onsite Drop-In (pre-registration not required)
Participants will send postcards and personal messages in other formats to incarcerated children and incarcerated members of Church of the Larger Fellowship in Louisiana and around the country. The Collection beneficiary Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC) is partnering with CLF in this communications project. The project will take place in the GA Exhibit Hall from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 22.
Past Service Projects
The 2016 Service Project was to support the Horizon Prison Initiative. Horizon’s mission is to “transforms prisoners who transform prisons and communities”. Horizon works to restore the incarcerated to purposeful living through mentoring, education, and spiritual growth.
The 2015 Service Project focused on the challenges faced by people returning to our communities from incarceration. The Reentry Transition Center is one of several reentry programs operated by Mercy Corps Northwest.
The 2014 Service Project addressed hunger and homelessness in Rhode Island. Local organizers conducted an Empty Bowls project during General Assembly. Collections benefiedt two local organizations, Housing First RI and McAuley House.
The Sunday Morning Collection for General Assembly 2013 was given to the Kentucky Branch of Interfaith Power and Light, a national organization that has local and state chapters that provides an interfaith religious response to global warming. This campaign intends to protect the earth’s ecosystems, safeguard the health of all creation, and ensure sufficient, sustainable energy for all.
The 2012 Service Project was a Naturalization/Citizenship Fair, where Unitarian Universalist (UU) Volunteers assisted permanent residents who were eligible for citizenship in completing their final citizenship applications, while others performed support tasks.
The “Beat the Heat” Backpack Project provided the children of the Dysart Community Center with books, hats, water bottles, other necessities, and treats, packed into a backpack for each of them. Area children spend much time indoors during the summer heat, and the backpacks will help them through the summer.
Donations from the Sunday morning service at GA were shared between two Phoenix-area recipient organizations this year. The two organizations are: the Comités de Defensa del Barrio (CDBs) and Puente AZ.
The 2011 Service Project was In Our Own Back Yards youth summer camp. Over $32,000 was raised in donations. In Our Own Back Yards is an interfaith, service-based summer camp experience designed to open the eyes of campers to the harsh reality of poverty in the Charlotte Mecklenburg community.
Our 2010 Service Project with nearby Hope Community offered opportunities for hands-on service as well as donations. General Assembly attendees participated in a wide range of tasks including gardening, landscaping and painting. In addition, over $40,000 was raised in donations.
The 2009 service project raised $30,000 for the Utah Pride Center. The Utah Pride Center provides support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, adults, and families through a variety of programs. With the money raised from Unitarian Universalists at General Assembly, the Utah Pride Center will expand their services for LGBT youth.
Hispanic Unity was selected as the 2008 service project; $23,000 was raised. The purpose of Hispanic Unity of Florida is to serve immigrants and their families from varying ethnicities, by empowering them to be successful in the United States.
In 2007, General Assembly raised $42,000 for Village Gardens, a sustainable urban agriculture program in Portland, OR.