UUFP’s New Share-the-Basket Partners (2021 – 2022)

In this article, we share the background, rationale and goals of UUFP's Share-the-Basket program, and we announce the line-up of community organizations with whom we are working this year. In particular, we will keep three of our five programs and rotate in two new programs. As our list of recipients changes annually, we are, at this time, rotating off support of Planned Parenthood and the Food & Shelter Ministries, including PORT. If you have set up recurring payments through Vanco with previous years’ charity partners, in particular Planned Parenthood or our Food & Shelter Ministries, including PORT, please adjust your giving for the new fiscal year. In the future we will be funding Food & Shelter Ministries through the annual budget.

Until our return to the sanctuary, contributions may be made online or by check sent to the UUFP office. Our treasurer, Jeanne Nailor Farthing (treasurer@uufp.org), is happy to assist you with setting up or editing online payments.


Background:

The UUFP’s Share-the-Basket program began in 2010, with the goal of promoting greater community outreach by sharing our collection with outside charitable organizations aligned with our values and purposes. The UUFP’s official Share-the-Basket policy states that eligible organizations must:

  • be 501(c)(3) charities;
  • offer services compatible with Unitarian Universalist values;
  • provide opportunities to educate and/or engage the Fellowship in activities promoting social and/or environmental justice; and
  • have no greater than 20% administrative overhead (unless a reasonable argument can be made for a higher overhead).

In the words of our policy, “Unitarian Universalism calls on us to work for justice and humanity; by reaching out into the community, we show who we are and for what we stand.” The Social & Environmental Justice Committee is responsible for soliciting nominations for Share-the-Basket partners from the congregation. The nominees may be organizations we are currently supporting through our Share-the-Basket offerings, or they may be entirely new. The Policy Board uses the Social & Environmental Justice Committee’s recommendations to decide which of the nominated organizations will become Share-the-Basket partners for the new church year. One of the committee’s goals for this year was to promote organizations that explicitly work against structural racism in American society.


For the 2021-22 church year, we have three continuing community organization partners and two new ones:

First Sundays – Downtown Hampton Child Development Center/DHCDC (new)
Affordable, quality early childhood education is as important now as when the DHCDC was founded over 50 years ago. Studies show that 44% of Virginia’s children enter kindergarten not ready to learn in several critical areas. As of 2020, 217 children were provided affordable, high-quality preschool with 84% of the families served living at or close to the federal poverty line. Plans are underway to open a second location in Newport News. The DHCDC relies on community support to provide our neighbors’ children with the care they need to become happy, healthy adults.

Virginia Power & Light-002

Second Sundays – Virginia Interfaith Power and Light/VAIPL (continuing)
VAIPL works with faith communities across the Commonwealth of Virginia to achieve sustainable living. Reaching across sectarian lines, participating congregations collaborate with other people of faith to grow healthy communities and advance climate justice through education, advocacy and worship.

Third Sundays – Living Interfaith Network of Hampton Roads/LINK (continuing)
Founded to break the cycle of poverty, LINK helps people help themselves through effective programs of education, advocacy and outreach. These programs include the PORT winter shelter. LINK provides food, clothing and housing to people with immediate unmet needs and connects those people with other social service organizations that can offer support on a continuing basis. LINK has been our third Sunday Share-the-Basket partner since the program’s inception. This reflects the UUFP’s role in helping to create LINK and our strong ties to it.

Fourth Sundays – Virginia Organizing (new)
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan state-wide grassroots organization founded in 1995 dedicated to promoting social and economic justice for all Virginians. Representatives of this organization have spoken to Newport News City Council, written letters to the editor, and lobbied state representatives both in local meetings and in Richmond. The local chapter has worked on improving bus service for Newport News and Hampton residents and advocates for raising the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour. Virginia Organizing has also supported the restoration of voting rights for felons.

Fifth Sundays – UUFP Parishioner Assistance Fund (continuing)
This fund is used to help those in need within our membership. The money is distributed confidentially, so if you are facing serious financial difficulty, please get in touch with Rev. Andrew.

 

We hope that you will be generous in support of our 2021 – 22 UUFP Share-the-Basket partners. If you have questions about any of them or would like to be involved in the work they do, please email the Social & Environmental Justice Committee at socialjustice@uufp.org.

 

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