Since September 2009, the Offering Outreach program has selected one charitable organization per month to receive half of the money from the collection plate each Sunday. By supporting organizations that address social justice and humanitarian needs at the local, state, national, and international levels, we demonstrate our values as Unitarian Universalists.
To contribute to the offering, either click on the button to the left, or send a text to 73256 with the message “mluc offering 10” (substitute your amount for the “10”).
Offering Outreach for February: Worthy Now
The Offering Outreach for February is Worthy Now, a UU virtual prison ministry that operates under the auspices of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. The Worthy Now Prison Ministry Network includes individuals, groups, and communities of faith called to prison ministry and justice.
The program’s aim is to ensure that all people who are imprisoned know they are inherently worthy of love and justice and have access to religious freedom. The Worthy Now Network is committed to strengthening our UU First Principle. It serves 1,474 members currently experiencing incarceration. Nine hundred are paired with pen pals.
During the past holiday season, volunteers sent more than 4,450 holiday messages to members of the network.
MLUC has had an interest in prison and prison reform for many years. The church has given money to Books through Bars, and the second-hand bookstore donates books to that program. We have seen movies and panel discussions about prison reform. MLUC has been sending holiday greeting cards to inmates for many years. Several members are pen pals with people who are imprisoned.
Our support will go to forwarding thousands of letters from volunteers to members and ensuring that each member receives Quest magazine and UU World. Many of the members of the network also receive a correspondence course.
For more information about the Worthy Now Network and about becoming a pen pal, click here.
How Organizations Are Selected
Do you volunteer for a charitable organization? Is there an organization that has helped you in the past? Have you recently stumbled upon a new and noteworthy nonprofit? We welcome any and all MLUC members to submit nominations!
Download the Offering Outreach Nomination Form (Microsoft Word)
Instructions: Open and complete the form, save to your desktop, then email as an attachment to Deirdre Gordon.
The Offering Outreach Committee will review the forms and select nominations based on the following criteria:
- The organization’s mission must be consistent with Unitarian Universalist principles.
- It must be registered as a 501(c)(3) corporation.
- The organization must demonstrate good stewardship of its finances.
- The size and budget of organizations are important, because we would like our donation to be meaningful and make a difference. We feel that we can have the greatest impact by supporting smaller organizations; however, a specific program within a larger organization can be considered.
- We welcome international nominations, as long as they have a Unitarian Universalist connection.
- To avoid a possible conflict of interest, we ask that church members refrain from nominating an organization where they are currently employed as a paid staff member.
- Sometimes the committee can also make a decision based on immediate needs, such as relief from natural disasters.
Qualified nominations are coordinated with sermons, related educational programming, or active service opportunities whenever possible. In order to support a wide variety of organizations, themes or categories of nominations are usually rotated from month to month. Examples of such themes are children and families, hunger, disabilities, prison, violence prevention, immigration, physical and mental health, and LGBTQ issues. Nominees not immediately selected will remain on file for future consideration.
Questions? Email Deirdre Gordon.
Paws and Affection
Paws and Affection (P&A) is an organization nominated by MLUC’s youth group. P&A dogs help children under 21 with disabilities and health conditions, including, but not limited to, mobility disabilities, balance problems, type 1 diabetes, narcolepsy, anxiety, and depression. P&A also provides facility dogs to professionals who work with children in therapeutic, educational, or health-related settings. Recipients must live within a one-hour driving distance of Merion.
P&A empowers the children it serves by giving them independence and confidence. The children are matched with amazing dogs that begin their service career as puppies. The puppies are raised with love and are given reward-based training and a heavy dose of socialization early in their lives. P&A offers assistance and support to the families the dogs are placed with for the life of the dog.
Paws and Affection is located in Narberth. Its website is https://www.pawsandaffection.org.
Philadelphia area Nationalities Service Center (NSC).
Our contrIbution will assist in providing housing for Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban. During December we will learn more about opportunities for volunteer involvement with NSC and its clients.
NSC’s work epitomizes the values of our Seven Principles. It is aligned with our First Principle (The inherent worth and dignity of every person); the Second (Justice, equity and compassion in human relations), and the Sixth (The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all). MLUC’s social justice programs, which involve outreach to peoples in need both locally and abroad, could benefit from an alliance with the broad spectrum of NSC activities. MLUC congregants are currently expressing a strong desire to support Afghan refugees resettling in the Philadelphia area, and NSC would offer a variety of opportunities.
Immigrants and refugees have always been part of the fabric of life in the United States. UUs share the NSC’s vision that all immigrants and refugees achieve a life of dignity, safety, stability and connections to their communities. NSC provides comprehensive services to immigrants and refugees, including legal protections, community integration, access to health and wellness services, and opportunities to achieve English language proficiency. For more information, visit the NSC website at https://nscphila.org.
A Better Chance
A Better Chance (ABC) in Lower Merion seeks to change the lives of young men of color through educational opportunities that will provide them with tools to assume positions of responsibility and leadership in American society.
ABC is an all-male boarding program with a house that can currently house up to eight scholars. The scholars attend Lower Merion High School. Students are supported by their guidance counselors at the high school and by individual academic advisers, tutors, and college advisers to maximize their future opportunities for higher education. All of the program’s graduates have gone on to graduate from highly ranked colleges and universities, and over 95 percent have graduated within five years.
In addition to the high school, ABC has a small staff of three resident tutors, an activities coordinator, a director, and a cook. This team is augmented by volunteers. For more information, see www.abclowermerion.com.
Maternal and Child Health Consortium
The Maternal and Child Health Consortium (MCHC) was created in 1991 to serve low-income families with young children in Chester County and its suburbs. MCHC offers access to healthcare, education, and resources so children can start healthy, stay healthy, and succeed in school. MCHC serves an average of 5,000 individuals each year through its programs. Most of the clients are Hispanic and Black/African American women and children.
The October outreach offering is MCHC’s Healthy Start Program, a prenatal case management program that reduces incidence of low birth weight (less than 5.5 lbs.) and improves maternal and infant health outcomes among high-risk pregnant and parenting women and their children ages 0–18 months old.
Healthy Start serves 300+ individuals each year: 120 women, their infants, and additional family members. Bilingual, bicultural community health workers provide socioemotional strengthening and support. They offer mothers education in health and early childhood development and support parental involvement and learning.
Volunteer opportunities include reading to children in the summer Kindergarten Transition Program and participating in donation drives for toys, winter coats, hygiene products, and healthful, nonperishable foods for families with young children.
For more information about Healthy Start, click here.
Attic Youth Center
MLUC’s September Offering Outreach recipient is the Attic Youth Center, a services and support program for LGBTQ youth serving the Philadelphia area. The center creates opportunities for LGBTQ youth to develop into healthy, independent, civic-minded adults within a safe and supportive community. Its aim is to promote the acceptance of LGBTQ youth into society. The center provides LGBTQ youth support services and community sensitivity training. This can include a program at MLUC if we wish. The program was started by Daren Wade and Carrie Jacobs in 1993 as an after-school support group. It has grown from a once-a-week support group to a nationally recognized, multi-service youth organization. It takes its name from the site where they began meeting, the attic of Voyage House, a Philadelphia-based social service organization.
Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line
July and August 2021
Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line (IHN-ML) has been selected as the Offering Outreach recipient for July and August 2021. IHN-ML provides a caring and positive environment for homeless families while they design and implement a plan to break the cycle of homelessness in their lives. With the involvement of area congregations and the energy of several hundred community volunteers, IHN-ML is dedicated to helping families strive for a better tomorrow. MLUC is one of 12 host congregations that periodically provide homeless families with home-cooked meals and a place to sleep and feel safe.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the families have stayed overnight at IHN-ML’s Day Center in Norristown. Many costly adaptations have been made, and the needs of the organization continue as they work to ensure safe accommodation for families. Meanwhile, the organization is responding to an unprecedented number of calls from graduates and community members who have lost their jobs and need immediate financial assistance to pay their phone bills, purchase daily necessities, and pay their rent. Funds donated through Offering Outreach will enable IHN-ML to continue their vital work to connect families to community resources and empower them to achieve and maintain affordable housing.
Martin’s Home is one of four locations operated by the Sisters of Saint Joseph to provide transitional housing for refugees and asylum seekers while they await work papers, a Social Security card, and food stamps. Residents come from many parts of the world, including Africa, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, and the Americas. The plight of refugees and asylum seekers is one of the major problems facing the entire world. Martin’s Home provides a safe, welcoming place for women and children to stay until they can obtain permanent housing.
Support for Martin’s Home is consistent with the UU values of respecting the dignity and worth of each person and the need for justice and compassion. Because of the safety and confidentiality essential to housing refugees and asylum seekers, Martin’s Home has no website. For the protection of the residents, pictures and markers of them or their location are not made known.
Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program (UUH Outreach)
Unitarian Universalist House Outreach Program (UUH Outreach) is the recipient of Offering Outreach for May 2021. UUH Outreach is a nondenominational, community-based program for older adults who are living independently in Northwest Philadelphia. Confidential services are provided at no cost by UUH Program’s small multidisciplinary team (social work and nursing). Program staff partner with adults age 60+ to support them in their efforts to age safely with dignity in their own homes and communities.
UUH Outreach staff take time to fully understand an older person’s situation and concerns and respond with tailored information and access to resources in the community. UUH Outreach actively collaborates with other service organizations to expedite getting older adults the support they need. The organization also has a Client Assistance Fund to support specific needs, such as safety equipment and essential small home repairs.
Four UU congregations, including MLUC, are currently represented on the UUH Outreach Board.
Rock to the Future
Rock to the Future was founded in Philadelphia in 2010 to combat the effects of poverty and violence in neighborhoods that have been stripped of funding and resources. It provides student-driven music programs in a safe and supportive environment at no cost to Philadelphia youth. The staff and volunteers at Rock to the Future believe in the power of music to improve lives, and they help their students unlock their fullest potential through the benefits of learning music. The organization started in Kensington and is now serving hundreds of students in 40 zip codes. The programs have switched to online during the COVID pandemic and will soon expand to include Norristown and Chester. There are no auditions required and all instruments and supplies are provided. The program provides direct academic support, meals, and transportation. With its focus on original song writing, peer collaboration, and live performance, Rock to the Future prepares the next generation for every stage.
West Chester Food Cupboard
This month’s recipient of our Offering Outreach funds is the West Chester Food Cupboard. Established in 2009, this nonprofit organization operates with volunteers and has no paid staff. It is the primary source of food assistance for low-income residents in the West Chester Area School District. During the COVID crisis, the Cupboard expanded its territory to all Pennsylvania residents in need. The motto of the Cupboard is, “. . . because no one should go hungry!” An average of 626 households are served each month; 1,200,000 pounds of food and personal care items were distributed to those in need last year.
The DMAX Foundation is the recipient of MLUC’s Offering Outreach for February. The organization’s purpose is to strengthen the mental health and emotional well-being of young people. It serves college students by establishing DMAX clubs on college campuses, where students meet to have open and honest conversations about how they are doing, how their friends are doing, and how they can help each other. DMAX also sponsors educational forums, such as the virtual presentation Racism and Mental Health scheduled for April 22. The DMAX Foundation was founded by Lee and Laurie Maxwell in response to the loss of their son, Dan, to suicide in 2013 and their vow to help other families and young people. The name DMAX stems from Dan’s high school nickname. Lee is a member of MLUC.
The Pennsylvania Innocence Project is the Offering Outreach recipient for January 2021. Founded in 2009, this organization works to exonerate those convicted of crimes they did not commit, and to prevent innocent people from being convicted. Since 2009, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project and its pro bono partners have freed and secured exoneration for 19 people. Additionally, they have helped four people come home on parole, while continuing to fight for their exoneration. The Innocence Project also assists the exonerated citizens with supports to restore them to society, provides clinical training, collaborates with law enforcement agencies and the courts to address systemic causes of wrongful convictions, and works to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of the criminal justice system through public education and advocacy.
Ryan’s Case for Smiles is one of the few volunteer organizations solely dedicated to helping sick children cope with the stress of life changing illnesses and injuries. They provide children with whimsical pillowcases that give them an emotional boost and remind them that they are not defined by their illnesses. This simple gift provides proven stress relievers, including distraction and hope, that enhance the emotional well- being of the children and their families. Pillow cases are sewn by volunteers and delivered to hospitals.
The organization was founded by a local woman, Cindy Kerr, who began making pillowcases for her son, Ryan, to brighten up his hospital room and put a smile on his face during cancer treatment. While Ryan is no longer with us physically, his legacy lives on in Ryan’s Case for Smiles.
Norristown Hospitality Center
The November 2020 recipient for Offering Outreach was the Norristown Hospitality Center (NHC). NHC is a home during the day for people who otherwise would be left hungry, weary or living on the streets. Their mission is to provide basic needs and social services to empower those who experience homelessness and poverty. They provide breakfast, a day shelter, lockers, showers, phone, fax , mail service, notary and social service referrals. NHC was started in 1992 by religious leaders from 24 local Catholic, Protestant and Jewish congregations, who were joined by 14 community organizations.
Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin Eastown
FLITE is a nonprofit educational foundation that serves preschool through high school students in Tredyffrin and Easttown Townships. FLITE funds programs to help ensure that all students, especially those who face financial or environmental barriers to educational success, have the academic tools, opportunities, and support they need to succeed in school. This means providing preschool assistance to students who meet financial criteria, an afterschool homework program, computers for children, financial assistance for summer learning opportunities, and funding for backpacks, school supplies, and musical instrument rentals.During the COVID-19 pandemic, FLITE has committed funds to cover the cost of academic support and supervision programs for financially disadvantaged students who are distance learning while their parents are at work. This new program will partner with the Upper Main Line YMCA, A Child’s Place, and the Cambridge School to support students in the days they are learning remotely. FLITE continues to supply gift cards to families in need of food and essential items and provides home computers and WiFi access.
Interfaith Hospitality Network
June, July, and August 2020
Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line (IHN) has been selected as the Offering Outreach recipient for summer 2020. IHN provides a caring and positive environment for homeless families while they design and implement a plan to break the cycle of homelessness in their lives. Using area congregations and the energy of several hundred community volunteers, IHN is dedicated to helping families strive for a better tomorrow. MLUC is one of ten host congregations that periodically provide homeless families with home cooked meals and a place to sleep. You can sign up to help with our next hosting here.
UUA COVID-19 Response Fund
Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light
We are living in a time of frightening climate change, and our faith demands that we respond—but we don’t have to respond alone. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light is our April Outreach. PA IPL is a statewide community of congregations, faith-based organizations, and individuals of faith responding to climate change as an ethical and moral issue. Believing we are stronger together than alone, PA IPL brings together concerned individuals and faith-based groups to engage in advocacy, education, energy conservation, stewardship, and the use and promotion of clean, renewable energy. Recent activities with MLUC participants have included an online workshop, Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy; the presentation and discussion of the film Paris to Pittsburgh; and just launched, Main Line Faith-Based Climate Action group.
No More Secrets, Mind Body Spirit
Located in Philadelphia, No More Secrets, Mind Body Spirit, is fighting to end period poverty and period stigma in school -aged youth and their families though their Period or Not Respect the Dot Period Poverty Campaign and Initiative. They provide a three month supply of free feminine products and a strength -based menses awareness program. They believe that menstrual hygiene is a right not a privilege. Lack of access to menstrual products can create a barrier to equal opportunity in education and even causes students to miss school or be late to class. No More secrets, Mind Body Spirit has created the only feminine hygiene bank in the City of Philadelphia and the only in- home and community -based delivery services in the nation for school-aged youth and their families.
Arts Holding Hands and Hearts
Serving Kennett Square, Coatesville and West Chester, Arts Holding Hands and Hearts (AHHAH) seeks to empower youth and strengthen their families thorough literacy, mindfulness practices and expressive arts. They serve ages preschool through high school and provide yoga, arts and other classes. AHHAH provides services within a youth detention center and a child welfare shelter as well as out in the community. They also provide Pop Up Lending Libraries for children in places such as laundromats and restaurants. Their programs increase resiliency for children and create positive pathways toward productive and fulfilling futures for youth.
Laurel House, was established in 1980 as a domestic violence shelter and hotline. Over the years, it has expanded to become the only comprehensive domestic violence agency in Montgomery County, now offering transitional housing, crisis intervention, and legal services. The organization also provides dating-violence and domestic-violence prevention, education, and training. Donated funds will go to Laurel House’s Client Assistance Fund, which helps clients in crisis who are in need of special help, such as a hotel room (when the shelter is full), transportation, or home security costs.
New Day to Stop Trafficking Program’s Drop-in Center
New Day to Stop Trafficking Program’s Drop-in Center. Located on Kensington Avenue in Philadelphia, the center serves women, and those who present as women, who are experiencing a combination of sex trafficking/commercial sexual exploitation, substance abuse, and homelessness. The women served are from Philadelphia and surrounding counties, as well as from other states and countries. Up to 120 women are served each day. The center offers a place to shower, a safe place to sit for awhile, food, social services, and exit strategies. Using a trauma-informed approach and the Sanctuary Model’s principles of nonviolence, equality, and open and honest communication, the center seeks to build rapport, to provide an environment of dignity and respect, and to walk alongside women in their unique journeys in order to leave them in a better place.
Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia
The Offering Outreach recipient for November is Compeer of Suburban Philadelphia. The goal of Compeer is to improve the health of people managing challenges related to mental health and addiction. Serving Delaware County, trained and caring volunteers provide one-on- one support, friendship and mentoring to individuals being actively treated for addiction and mental health issues. Compeer utilizes an evidenced-based model which improves social support, builds self-confidence, develops life skills and creates community engagement while increasing the general well-being of the participants. Participants report feeling less lonely and isolated as well as experiencing an improvement in mental health.
Our recipient is Feeding Thousands. MLUC will again join with a sponsoring church, St Luke’s in Devon, to package food for people in need. The money collected during October will be used to purchase food for Feeding Thousands. Volunteers from MLUC will join with members of St Luke’s congregation and other community volunteers to prepare food packages on October 20 at St. Luke’s. This is MLUC’s third time participating. Sign up in the Atrium following any September Sunday service for a one-hour shift at St Luke’s on October 20. Have fun while volunteering for a worthy cause.
Social FUNdraising and Gatherings
This month’s recipient is Social FUNdraising and Gatherings (SFG), an organization founded in 2011 by a group of local suburban moms who decided to provide inner city children with educational experiences similar to those of their own children in suburban schools. They do this by raising funds through social gatherings and volunteer activities. SFG partners with three public schools in Philadelphia to address some of the educational inequities that exist in impoverished communities. They have no paid staff and work with volunteers to support staff and students in three of the most underserved schools in Philadelphia. SFG filled a school library with 80,000 books, organized and shelved the books, arranged for contributions of library furnishings, and provided volunteers to run the library. They’ve organized annual teacher/staff appreciation luncheons and school fairs, a used musical instruments drive, a school food pantry, and more.
Women’s Medical Fund
July & August 2019
Founded in 1985, the Women‘s Medical Fund (WMF) provides emergency financial support for women living in poverty who are unable to afford an abortion.WMF believes that everyone should have access to safe abortion regardless of income or zip code. Last year, counseling, information, support, and referrals were provided to 3,273 women. In addition, 2,504 women received financial support. All were living in deep poverty, earning less than $8000 per year. Most already had one or two children at home, and 12% reported that pregnancy resulted from non-consensual sex and/or they were dealing with partner abuse.
Teach Anti Bullying
Founded in 2011, the purpose of Teach Anti Bullying (TAB) is to raise awareness and support families and children who are impacted by bullying issues in their school or community, and to encourage the collaboration of all stakeholders in the proactive intervention and prevention of bullying. The experience of bullying can lead to decreased school attendance and even suicidal behavior and violence. TAB conducts school assemblies for children and informational workshops for parents and communities to proactively address bullying. They also provide professional development training in bullying and violence prevention. teachantibulling.org
Interfaith Hospitality Network
Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Main Line (IHN) has been selected as the Offering Outreach recipient for May. IHN provides a caring and positive environment for homeless families while they design and implement a plan to break the cycle of homelessness in their lives. Using area congregations and the energy of several hundred community volunteers, IHN is dedicated to helping families strive for a better tomorrow. MLUC is one of ten host congregations that periodically provide homeless families with home cooked meals and a place to sleep.
Darby Creek Valley Association
Nominated by our Coming of Age class, The Darby Creek Valley Association (DCVA) is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of all Darby Creek Watershed’s resources, including water, wildlife, historical sites, and the floodplain. The organization works to prevent all forms of pollution in the creek and its tributaries through education, stream monitoring, advocacy, and clean up programs. The Darby Creek watershed encompasses three counties in southeastern Pennsylvania (Montgomery, Delaware, and Philadelphia), and the creek
eventually flows into the Delaware River in Tinicum, PA. The creek can be seen near MLUC at Saw Mill Park in Newtown Township, Skunk Hollow in Radnor Township, and at Waterloo Mills (Brandywine Conservancy) on Waterloo Rd near Church Rd. DVCA’s 35th Annual Clean Up event will be held on April 13 with volunteers at 40 locations. Visit dcva.org and click “events” for details.
NAMI PA Main Line
NAMI PA Main Line is an affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI provides information and support to people with mental health challenges and their family and friends. Services include support groups, educational events, guides to services in southeastern PA, and Family to Family – an education and support group for family members. All services are provided free of charge. NAMI Main Line served over 1,600 local individuals and their families in 2017.
Women’s Resource Center
The mission of the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is to help women and girls successfully navigate life’s transitions and inspire others to do the same. By providing resources, tools and support for today, the organization creates hope for tomorrow. Located in Wayne, the WRC was founded in 1975. It currently provides an Information and Referral Helpline 5 days per week, family law legal consultations at 5 sites, the Ladies in Charge Program at the Domestic Abuse Project in Delaware County, the Girls Lead Program at 11 schools, and a Divorce Resource event and Divorce Support Group. Most of the women served are from Delaware, Montgomery and Chester Counties. They are a diverse clientele with an average age of 56. Over 70% of clients have a household income of less than $25,000. Women often contact WRC in dire straits at the end of a marriage, termination of a job, loss of a loved one, or change in health. A significant number have experienced financial abuse by a partner. The organization has a small staff and benefits from the work of 200 volunteers, including pro bono professionals who support their programs.
Radnor Township Civic Association
Founded in 1937 as a relief organization to serve poor and working class African Americans, the Radnor Township Civic Association (RTCA), is located on Highland Avenue in Wayne. Historically, it provided space for African American residents of the Main Line to hold weddings and events when they were not welcome elsewhere. It’s purpose is to provide needed services to the community. The building fell into disrepair, but in the last few years it has undergone extensive renovations in part as a result of contributions by several churches and volunteer work by contractors. This building renovation provides new opportunities for programs for children and seniors, as well as continued use as a community hall and venue.
Attic Youth Center
The Attic Youth Center is the only organization in Philadelphia exclusively serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. All Attic programming is based on a youth development model and aims to build community, reduce isolation, combat homophobia, promote knowledge and life skills, and develop future leaders. Funds donated through Offering Outreach will be used for services in support of LBGTQ youth who are experiencing homelessness. The Attic intends to fill the gap caused by family and community rejection through an innovative program that helps prevent homelessness and strengthens the independent living skills youth need to secure and maintain housing.
The Bridge Way School
Bridge Way is an addiction recovery high school located in northeast Philadelphia. Their mission is to offer a strong academic program to students in grades 9 to 12 who are in recovery from substance abuse. The program allows students to focus on learning in an environment in which sobriety is required and supported. While the paramount objective of the Bridge Way School is to provide a meaningful and challenging educational program, the school recognizes that students need time during the school day to develop strategies for maintaining sobriety. Visit thebridgewayschool.org.
The Patrician Society
Located in Norristown, TPS meets the needs of the economically disadvantaged. It provides a food bank and emergency financial assistance for housing, utility bills, and medical aid. It serves elderly people on fixed incomes, homeless persons, parents who receive public assistance while caring for children, residents of hoarding homes, the recently unemployed/underemployed, and others in need in the greater Norristown area. The Society also runs a summer camp for children ages 5 to 11. Founded 35 years ago at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, the Society is an independent, nonsectarian, and nondiscriminatory nonprofit.
MLUC will join with a local sponsoring church – Saint Luke’s in Devon – to package food for people in need. The money collected for Offering Outreach during the month of September will be used to purchase food for Feeding Thousands. Volunteers from MLUC will join members of Saint Luke’s congregation and other community volunteers to prepare food packages on October 20 at St. Luke’s. This is MLUC’s third time participating in Feeding Thousands.
Radnor-A Better Chance (ABC)
Radnor-A Better Chance (ABC), located in Wayne, is a community school of the national ABC program. The goal of Radnor-ABC is to develop leaders of tomorrow by providing students of color – who show strong academic and leadership potential in under-served communities – with a home away from home while they attend Radnor High School. Students complete a rigorous admissions process, are selected as eighth graders, and receive invitations to attend Radnor High School on a four-year scholarship. 94% of graduates go on to college. These scholars are a testament to the premise that high quality academic mentoring in a nurturing environment leads to a better life.
Neighborhood Bike Works
Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW) is on a mission to inspire youth and strengthen Philadelphia communities by providing equitable access to bicycling and bike repair through education, recreation, leadership, and career-building activities. There are programs for youth and adults, designed to encourage more people to ride and maintain their bikes. NBW makes use of the joy and freedom inspired by bikes to bring about personal growth, community-building, and learning. Every year hundreds of youth earn bikes. They learn to repair donated bikes and are able to take a bike home. NBW runs a community bike shop that sells refurbished donated bikes and uses all proceeds to fund free or low-cost programs.
The Volunteer English Program
Located in West Chester, The Volunteer English Program (VEP) serves immigrants and refugees in Chester County who seek to empower themselves through English language skills and American cultural understanding. VEP has a unique one-to-one approach and provides services in the community rather than in a classroom. The program supports speakers of all languages and has served people speaking at least 30 different languages. VEP meets students wherever they are on the path of literacy and proficiency, regardless of income or residency status. VEP recruits and trains more than 100 volunteers each year to take on this important work. BR<BR<> This month’s recipient is Outside, an organization run by former prison inmates and formed to support prisoners who are returning to the community. Located in Philadelphia, the mission of Outside is to support and further returning citizens’ dignity and potential with education, coaching and programs to strengthen their lives. Persons in prison are interviewed and selected by former inmates and provided with mentors – former inmates who have been out of prison for at least three years. The mentors work with the prisoners through out the difficult period of reentry. Outside is a new organization that has three part-time employees. Outside benefits from the involvement of employers who provide training and well-paying jobs in the construction industry.
Outside is an organization run by former prison inmates and formed to support prisoners who are returning to the community. Located in Philadelphia, the mission of Outside is to support and further returning citizens’ dignity and potential with education, coaching, and programs to strengthen their lives. Persons in prison are interviewed and selected by former inmates and provided with mentors – former inmates who have been out of prison for at least 3 years. The mentors work with the prisoners throughout the difficult period of reentry. Outside is a new organization that has three part-time employees. Outside benefits from the involvement of employers who provide training and well-paying jobs in the construction industry.
The Clinic, located in Phoenixville, is a free outpatient medical clinic for uninsured people with low incomes. Founded in 2001, the clinic is not funded by government or private insurance programs and relies on donations and grants. The typical patient presents with a myriad of medical issues, making their treatment quite complex. Those served by the clinic are often stressed by poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and legal problems. The clinic provides patients who meet federal poverty guidelines and who do not have prescription coverage, with free medications from a national organization. In 2017, 113 patients were provided with 96 different medications and refills for a total patient benefit of $433,451 in free medications. Donations will be used toward the clinic’s program costs for the pharmacy program.
Norristown Hospitality Center
Norristown Hospitality Center, the only daytime shelter in downtown Norristown, is a daytime home for anyone who would otherwise be left hungry, weary, or on the streets of Norristown. It was founded in 1992 by Norristown Ministries, Inc, a group of 38 founding partner organizations, consisting of 24 Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish congregations and 14 community organizations out of true and simple love for people. The Center provides breakfast six days per week to 80-90 people, as well as access to showers, lockers, computers, and local phone service. In addition to helping with basic needs, the Center provides social services to empower those experiencing homelessness and poverty. The Norristown Hospitality Center is funded entirely without governmental funds, and is supported by contributions from congregations, foundations, corporations, groups, and individuals.
The Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Ministry (UUPALM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide educational opportunities, guidance, and support to Unitarian Universalist congregations throughout Pennsylvania on how to, “Bring Unitarian Universalist voices into the public square.” There are over 6,000 Unitarian Universalists in Pennsylvania and UUPALM provides training and education to our congregations on how to unite and bring our UU voices, principles, and values to our state legislators in Harrisburg. UUPALM works in conjunction with its sister organization, the Unitarian Universalist Pennsylvania Legislative Advocacy Network, a 501(c)(4) organization which many UUs in Pennsylvania, including many MLUC members, have joined.
Delaware Valley Children’s Charity
Delaware Valley Children’s Charity (DVCC) is located in West Chester, PA. This organization is dedicated to bringing relief and assistance to children and families in need throughout the Delaware Valley. DVCC started with a holiday program thirty-one years ago, providing warm clothing, food, and gifts to a small number of children. In 1991, it was formally made into a nonprofit organization, and activities were extended to provide for emergency needs throughout the calendar year. Staffed by volunteers only, DVCC has responded to requests for heating oil, food, clothing, housing, utilities, hearing aids, furniture, camp, daycare, preschool costs, and other needs for children and their families. They continue to have a large holiday program where sponsors provide a huge volume of warm clothing, food, and toys to underprivileged children and families.
Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER) is an organization of more than forty religious congregations around Philadelphia and southeast and central Pennsylvania. POWER uses their belief in God’s goodness and compassion to organize and empower people to work together and transform the conditions of their neighborhoods so that life flourishes for all. POWER focuses on jobs, education, safety, housing, and health. They make the connection between economic and environmental justice to include advocacy for green jobs in the solar power industry. In October, they convened two days of workshops on building a climate justice movement that is multi-racial, across classes, and includes urban, suburban, and rural coalitions. POWER published, Black Work Matters: Green Jobs Report, which identifies how green jobs can be a gateway to a just and moral economy, one in which children’s health, living-wage jobs, and a life-sustaining planet are prioritized.
Women’s Law Project
The Women’s Law Project (WLP) is the only public interest law center in Pennsylvania that is devoted to the rights of women and girls. Established in 1974, WLP works across a spectrum of issues that affect women’s legal status, health, and economic security. WLP does this through high-impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education with a particular focus on reproductive rights, improving the institutional response to violence against women, challenging sex and gender discrimination, and advocating for workplace equality. WLP offers a telephone counseling service which provides information and referrals to thousands of women every year, on issues such as restraining orders, child custody, divorce, sexual harassment, and discrimination.
Main Line Mentoring
Located in the Mt. Pleasant section of Wayne, Main Line Mentoring provides activities for children and youth that encourage academic, social, and cultural growth. The Mt. Pleasant Chapel/Carr School is open four nights each week for children to work on homework and school projects, to read, and to pursue other educational interests. Two retired school teachers and volunteers from local universities and the community provide individual and small group assistance and instruction. Computer and internet access is available. Social and cultural opportunities are offered to include college tours, art classes, sporting events, and trips to museums and theaters.
New Day’s New Home
The Salvation Army has been a leader in fighting the horrors of human trafficking. They opened the New Day Drop-In Center in Kensington in 2014 and have now opened a home for young women, ages 18-26 at an undisclosed location (for safety and anonymity). The home serves women who were trafficked for sex as minors and are aging out of child protective services. The home helps survivors transition from a life of bondage and exploitation to one of freedom and self-sufficiency in an environment of dignity. The program provides comprehensive, holistic services including medical/psychological treatment, education, vocational training, and more.
Mount Zion AME Church
Our neighbor, Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the first recorded African American congregation of any denomination and the oldest AME church on the Main Line. The church is in desperate need of a new roof and has made progress in saving funds for this purpose but is still short of the required amount. Our collection for June will go toward helping them reach their goal. Mt. Zion was founded in 1849 and has a rich history. By assisting them with roof replacement funds, we help ensure that their church thrives for years to come.
UUH Client Assistance Fund
Since 1999, UUH Outreach has assisted adults ages 60+ in Northwest Philadelphia in remaining independent in their own homes. They take time to fully understand the situation and concerns of each individual, responding with tailored information and access to community resources. The organization formed when the Unitarian Universalist House, founded by member congregations of the Joseph Priestly District, closed in 2010 and merged with Lycoming House. The UUH Outreach office was moved to a nearby senior citizen apartment building, where it is staffed by a nurse, social workers, a case aide, and an executive director, who serve 300 adults throughout Germantown, Mt Airy, West Oak Lane, and part of East Falls. Their Client Assistance Fund makes small grants to address a variety of needs such as utility bills, prescription co-pays, emergency food, and minor home repairs.
The Neighborhood Gardens Trust
The Neighborhood Gardens Trust (NGT) acquires and preserves community gardens and shared open space to enhance the quality of life in Philadelphia neighborhoods. With more than thirty gardens, NGT is a leader in sustaining local green space and advancing community gardening. The organization empowers individuals within communities to turn vacant lots into productive gardens. The gardens are maintained by local residents and serve the needs of the local community.
Our March recipient was the Feeding Thousands project. Money collected in March will be used to purchase food for this event. Volunteers from MLUC, St Luke’s, and others in the community will meet at St. Luke’s to prepare food packages on March 25. This is MLUC’s second time participating in Feeding Thousands.
Chester County Futures
Chester County Futures provides comprehensive academic support, mentoring, and scholarships for motivated, economically disadvantaged youth to help them succeed in school, higher education, and life. CCF provides services to 450 middle school through post-secondary school students in Coatsville, Kennett, Oxford, and Phoenixville. All funds donated to CCF via Offering Outreach will be used toward the purchase of new Chromebook computers for seniors from the class of 2017 who are participants in the CCF program. A computer is an absolute necessity in post secondary education, yet many of these students would be heading to college without a personal computer if not for CCF. During the past fiscal year, 100% of high school seniors served by CCF graduated on time and 94% enrolled in post secondary education. The provision of computers, an essential academic tool, will assist this year’s seniors in achieving success.
Hurricane Matthew Relief Fund
In response to the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, the UUSC is partnering with a respected Haitian relief organization, GARR (Groupe d’ Appui au Repatries et Refugie’s), to provide humanitarian assistance for marginalized groups overlooked by other relief efforts. This includes cholera awareness and prevention, livelihood support, and human rights training for repatriated and stateless refugees living in camps in Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti. Learn more via the mluc.org homepage.
The Foundation for Learning in Tredyffrin/Easttown, FLITE, serves preschool through high school students in Tredyffrin/Easttown by funding programs that help ensure all students – especially those who face financial or environmental barriers to educational success – have the academic tools, opportunities, and support they need. FLITE funds 18 programs including preschool tuition assistance for students who meet financial criteria, an after-school homework program, computers for home usage, funding for musical instrument rentals for students who otherwise would not be able to participate in school music programs, and financial assistance for summer learning opportunities.
The Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia
The Interfaith Center was founded in 2004 as a regional response to the national tragedy of 9/11. The Center was founded by individuals from diverse backgrounds who wanted to transform the tragic event into a catalyst for positive change. Today, the Center strives to increase peace and understanding among people of all faiths and backgrounds in our region. Their aim is to replace hate and fear with harmony and acceptance. They work towards these goals through educational and leadership opportunities for youth, adults, and religious leaders. In this time of rancor towards various groups within our country, The Interfaith Center offers a safe place to learn and understand.
The Chester Children’s Chorus
The Chester Children’s Chorus (CCC) offers talented children, ages 8 to 18, the opportunity to achieve musical excellence, expand their intellectual and cultural horizons, and flourish as confident individuals. For younger children, the Chorus’ Sing-to-Learn program provides music instruction that reinforces academic objectives in twelve kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms in Chester. Inspired by his own experience in the Newark Boy’s Choir, Dr. John Alston founded the CCC in 1994 with seven boys from one school in Chester. Each year, the CCC performs 10 to 12 community concerts. On October 22 they will perform at MLUC.
The organization selected for this month is MLUC’s partner church in Várfalva, Romania, whose building needs extensive renovations. The church received a loan from their Bishop’s office to conduct a study/archeological dig to determine the condition of the historic building and steps needed for restoration. Based upon the findings, the congregation was awarded a European Union grant to proceed with the next phase of work, after they repay the Bishop’s loan of $5000. The Offering Outreach contribution will provide this rural church congregation with assistance toward repayment of the loan.
The Acquired Brain Injury Network of Pennsylvania
The Acquired Brain Injury Network of Pennsylvania (ABIN-PA). ABIN-PA eases the life-changing impact of brain injury by helping survivors and their families rebuild their lives. They provide support, education, information, advocacy, and other services for individuals with acquired brain injury and their families. The organization is run by individuals with brain injuries and their family members. Through their Infoline, PeerConnect program and events, survivors and family members are able to share their stories and encourage each other on the road to recovery.
Girls Justice League
Located in Philadelphia, the Girls Justice League, is a girl’s rights organization dedicated to taking action for social, political, educational, and economic justice with and for girls and young women. The League is a collective of young women and their allies, working to build and reinforce a culture where girls are fully empowered and where gender, race, and other disparities are identified and confronted in the systems which affect their futures. Girls participate in Saturday and Summer Institutes and develop skills in leadership, activism, and organizing. They identify issues that they care about and then launch campaigns to make change in their schools and neighborhoods.
Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association
Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds Association (CRC) is devoted to the protection of water resources of the Chester, Ridley and Crum Creek Valleys in Chester and Delaware Counties. Since 1970, CRC has been cleaning streams, restoring stream side forests, monitoring water quality and educating students and residents about stream protection. CRC organized stream clean up at multiple sites on April 30, including Smedley Park, the location for the MLUC Environmental Care Project.
Educating Communities for Parenting
Educating Communities for Parenting (ECP) is located in Philadelphia. Their mission is to provide parenting education and youth development programs that cultivate independence and responsibility, break the cycle of abuse and neglect, and build strong communities. The foundation for all ECP programs is a continuously updated, research-based curriculum. Programs are provided in foster care residences, homeless shelters, recovery facilities, childcare centers, and schools. Populations served include teen/young adult parents, adjudicated delinquent youth, young adults aging out of foster care, and preschoolers/children at risk of becoming victims or perpetrators of violence.
Daemion Counseling Center
Located in Berwyn, Daemion Counseling Center provides quality mental health counseling to those who cannot afford traditional therapy fees. The center serves individuals, couples, and families, ages 14+, from southeastern PA. The majority of clients come with symptoms of depression. 26% of those served have an income of less than $15,000 per year. Daemion Counseling Center helps those facing mental health and life challenges turn the corner toward hope. Visit daemioncounseling.org for more information.
Mighty Writers teaches Philadelphia children and teens to think and write with clarity so they can achieve success at school, at work, and in life. They offer after school academies, writing classes on nights and weekends, teen scholar programs, mentorships, SAT preparation, and college essay classes. In 2014-2015, the organization served 2,000 students at four centers in South, West, and North Philadelphia. Mighty Writers works with children who are struggling to read and write and who have the potential to be great readers and writers. They work with children who may be receiving little encouragement from teachers in overcrowded classrooms and who may not have books at home. Children and teens who participate in the programs improve their reading and writing skills, achieving proficiency at a much higher rate than their peers who are not in the program.
Hosts for Hospitals
Hosts for Hospitals is a unique, small nonprofit agency providing free or minimal cost lodging and support at volunteer host homes as a response to the housing needs of patients and families who come the Greater Philadelphia area for specialized medical care. Several MLUC families have participated as hosts and have welcomed medical patients and their families from all over the United States and the world. Hosts for Hospitals fills a unique niche in meeting the lodging needs of patients’ families. It is the only organization that provides lodging for the families of adult patients of whom the illness does not involve transplant or cancer. The organization accepts families of patients of all ages and all types of illness. There are no restrictions on family size or length of stay.
Philadelphia Veteran’s House
Located in West Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Veterans House (PVH) began in 1994 as a place for veterans commuting between the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Medical Center and their homes to live comfortably and have meals, free of charge, during weekdays. In 2012, PVH welcomed its first homeless guests. PVH accepts honorably discharged military personnel and gives homeless veterans a chance to start over and find employment and housing. PVH’s Operation Airdrop brings food and supplies to veterans on the streets during the fall and winter months. Operation Able Assist prevents homelessness by paying vital bills, while holiday open houses are held so that homeless veterans can spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter with good company, while receiving meals, showers, and an opportunity to do laundry.
Neighborhood Bike Works
Neighborhood Bike Works is an organization that provides educational, recreational, and career-building opportunities for urban youth in underserved neighborhoods in greater Philadelphia through bicycling. It promotes cycling as a healthy, affordable, and environment-friendly method of transportation. Their free or low-cost youth programs like Earn-a-Bike, Group Rides, and summer camp reach over 500 youth per year. Bike maintenance classes are also offered, leading to opportunities for apprenticeships and summer jobs. Visit neighborhoodbikeworks.org.
Tredyffrin and Easttown Care
Tredyffrin and Easttown Care (T & E Care) is a nonprofit organization that helps families who are facing difficult situations right in our community. T & E Care provides financial and other material assistance to persons in need of financial and other material assistance who reside in and around the Tredyffrin and Easttown township area. Assistance is provided for mortgage, rent and utility payments for people in need, school supplies, summer camp, computers, and for school lunches for families who don’t quite meet the criteria for the school lunch program but are struggling with lunch costs.
Additional recipients of MLUC’s Offering Outreach program are: The Ray of Hope Project, New Day Drop-In Center, Camp Dreamcatcher, Main Line Youth Alliance, Mindfulness Through Movement, Feeding Thousands, The Center for Creative Works, West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, Ebola Epidemic Relief Fund, Good Shepherd Mediation Program, Heeding God’s Call, The Center Foundation, DMAX Foundation, Treehouse Books, ArtWell, Interfaith Hospitality Network, CHOICE, Community Volunteers in Medicine, Back on My Feet, West Chester Food Cupboard, Life Beyond Abuse, Tredyffrin & Easttown Care, Friends Association for Care and Protection of Children, Green Belt Movement, The Anti-Violence Partnership of Philadelphia, Main Line Youth Alliance, Project Forward Leap, UUSC-UUA Pakistan Relief Fund, Chester County Food Bank, Books Through Bars, Peter’s Place, Nationalities Service Center, West Philadelphia Alliance for Children, Latinas Unidas, Community Volunteers in Medicine, Baker Industries, Hosts for Hospitals, Papaye Peasant Movement, Family Support Line, Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Heeding God’s Call, Every Child is Our Child, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Ardmore Food Pantry, Interfaith Hospitality Network, Mazzoni Center Ally Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Radnor A Better Chance, Prison Ministry at the Church of the Larger Fellowship, The Bridge Way School, The Ray of Hope Project, Surrey Services for Seniors, MusicWorks, Chester County Citizens for Climate Protection.