“Everyone can be great because everyone can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t even have to make your subject and your verb agree… You only need a heart full of grace…a soul generated by love.” –MLK, Jr.
We are cooks, painters, pumpkin-haulers, teachers, and each of us, in our own unique way, reflect the compassion of Christ!
And we need your help, making a difference!
Major 2018 Activities:
- Second Year with Boston Area Gleaners – Our first recipient of the UPA Community Transformation Grant –
In 2017, the United Parish of Auburndale launched its partnership with Boston Area Gleaners, the grant recipient, a not-for-profit agency engaged in gleaning surplus local farm crops to those in need. Our grant has been used to help fund a new Volunteer Coordinator position at Gleaners. By all accounts, Jack has been an incredible asset to the Gleaners team and has helped to increase awareness of the program and increase volunteer sign-up and participation. As a result, Gleaners has been able to achieve significant increases in pounds of rescued crops in 2017 and 2018. Amazing! We are grateful for those of you who gleaned this year in September and on individual trips (over 20 of us!) and we encourage those of you who have thought about it to get involved in 2019.
- Appalachia Service Project Trip – in June 2018, 10 youth and 10 adults from the UPA embarked on a one-week trip to Tennessee to repair and rebuild 3 homes through the Appalachia Servi
ce Project program. Sleeping on the floor of a local elementary school, our group, along with about 60 folks from New Jersey spent a week of hard work, introspection, and fun.
- Maine Seacoast Mission trip – in August 2018 UPA parishioners attended a week- long mission trip to assist Maine Seacoast Mission with making repairs to homes in need in Downeast Maine.
- Bristol Lodge Cooking – Monthly – Led by Toni and Jim Miller with assistance from their core team of “chefs”, including Beth Whittum, Kathy Beckwith, Kevin and Karen Newman, Julie Redmond, Christine and Morgan Gallivan, Rebecca Doloff, Sonia Parker, Rich Franz, Eunice Kim, Nancy Clark and many others.
- Bristol Lodge Serving – In 2017 Outreach initiated a new effort to not only prepare meals for Bristol Lodge, but to also commit to serving those meals to deepen the relationship we have developed with the Bristol Lodge community. We continued this in 2018 and have had a solid core group of volunteers each month, and others who join when they can. Some “regulars” include Toni and Jim Miller, Kristin McGovern, Julie and Brian Redmond, Marilyn and Granville Harris, Bill Hoch, Eunice and John Kim, Sonia Parker, Sue and PJ Membrino, Sherri Chi, Christine and Morgan Gallivan, Doug Robinson Johnson and others.
- Rise Against Hunger – in November we undertook a new initiative, a meal packing event for international hunger relief. Generously funded by the Loudin/Epstein family in honor of Nick Epstein, over forty people participated in the fast-paced, high-energy activity in Parish Hall. We are planning to partner with this group again on the Sunday before Thanksgiving this year.
- REACH Mitten Tree – December – Annual event organized by Kristin McGovern to collect gifts for families who are victims of domestic violence. Much appreciated help as always from Toni and Jim Miller, the UPA Youth (for assembling the gift “mittens” in lightning speed) and for all of you who participated in the gift giving.
Est. total gifts given: 90 Est. total value of gifts: $3500+
- Service Sundays for Youth Group – during the winter/spring we organized service project activities during Sunday school once a month, including sorting for Nu Day Syria and partnering with Hope & Comfort, a Massachusetts organization which provides hygiene products through schools to youth living in poverty.
Looking forward in 2019:
- Continuing to base our work on the principles of Toxic Charity (if you haven’t read it, we encourage you to find a copy in the UPA library and check it out), we will explore our relationships with the agencies we support.
- We will work together in our final year of partnership with Gleaners to deepen the relationship and find ways to assist them in broadening their reach, as well as engage more of our own UPA community in activities.
- We will solicit applications for a new three-year Community Transformation Grant to partner with a new group starting in 2020.
- We will explore ways that we can effectively use the proceeds from the sale of 87/89 Grove St, earmarked for Outreach, in ways that will further drive our mission.
- We will continue to communicate to the UPA community the opportunities to get involved and keep the community up to date on our progress.
- Engagement –
- We will continue to offer and encourage participation in opportunities to lend a hand or get involved – not only with Boston Area Gleaners and Bristol Lodge, but with all of the organizations that we support.
- We will be encouraging increased participation in service trips in June and August, focusing on refugee support this work and continuing with the Maine Seacoast Mission.
- We will continue the Service Sundays program with the Board of Christian Education to offer monthly opportunities for youth to engage in service projects