What opportunities does your congregation provide for volunteering in the community?

1st Unitarian Church of Chicago

  • Packing bags for the local food pantry
  • serve on the Boards or help in other ways, organizations such as the Hyde Park Transitional Housing Project
  • serve on the Boards or help in other ways, organizations such as the Hyde Park & Kenwood Interfaith Council
  • Ushering at the community Thanksgiving service

2nd Unitarian Church of Chicago
Community Building Initiatives: 2U members volunteer to be active leaders in the following community organizing and grassroots policy advocacy groups:

  • Lakeview Action Coalition Taskforces: 1) Healthcare, 2) Affordable Housing, 3) Homeless Youth/Police Relations, 4) Environmental Justice
  • Community Renewal Society Issue Teams: 1) Criminal Justice Reform, 2) Education Funding Reform, 3) Government Reform
  • Illinois Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry: The freedom to marry is a civil rights issue: this civil right is the access to the civil institution of marriage.
  • Jane Addams Senior Caucus: The Jane Addams Senior Caucus is a membership based organization of Chicago area older adults organizing to play a central role in determining their quality of life

Social Justice - Direct Engagement: 2U Members volunteer to be active leaders in the following justice work:

  • Night Ministry: The Night Ministry provides direct service by helping prepare, deliver, and serve meals to a community of homeless youth in Chicago. Activities would involve preparing food for the Night Ministry's and then serve the youths on a monthly basis

Social Justice - Building our Church Community: 2U members volunteer to be active in expanding our church's capacity in living out our values to one another:

  • W.I.D.E (Welcoming, Inclusive, Diverse, Equitable) - This ministry works toward enhancing Second Unitarian Church's capacity to be a faith community where each of us is held in a Welcoming, Inclusive, Diverse and Equitable embrace.

Beverly Unitarian Church

  • Volunteering with PADS on fifth Thursdays
  • Tutoring at-risk youth
  • Quarterly collection of hazardous and electronic waste for community

Countryside Church UU

  • We post sign up sheets for opportunities such as CROP Walk, Habitat for Humanity. We have bulletin boards to announce these activities.
  • We also have a dedicated large social action bulletin board, which includes listings for various volunteer opportunities.
  • Community leader meetings for health care reform organizing
  • The GS committee also publicizes the activities of some of the local environmental groups through the use of email lists, GS bulletin board, church newsletter and order of worship inserts

Northshore Unitarian Church

  • We cook a meal monthly for PADS
  • We walk in the PADS walk and get sponsors for that
  • We deliver food monthly to 4 different food banks

Unitarian Church of Evanston

  • There are many opportunities for volunteering such as with Faith in Action, the Crop Walk, tutoring at a local school, etc.
  • We have a monthly contribution to Hilda's Place, a homeless shelter that UCE has been supporting for many years. We bring food and toiletries for 2nd Helping Sunday and also now have a special coat drive.
  • Every fall, we help out with local soup kitchen nights. We usually serve about 100 people in need with these dinners and try to make it a positive experience for all.
  • Additionally, members are fundraising for different causes by doing marathons, etc. and appeals are sent out to the congregation to help with those activities
  • The membership committee is trying to create a database that would link up those who want to do more volunteering with those who are in need of assistance. That would make this process more efficient.

UU Church of Elgin

  • CROP Walk
  • Highway Cleanup program
  • Various R.E. Projects

UU Society of Geneva

  • YRUU students make annual 1-week trip to another state to help construct Habitat for Humanity houses
  • We prepare lunch and dinner and someone to spend the night on the 1st Saturday of each month for the local homeless shelter
  • We get sponsors for CROP walk
  • On the 2nd Sunday of each month people gather to knit shawls or dolls which are given to people who "need a hug" in crisis situations around the world.
  • Each month we recruit about 20 volunteers for Recruiting Service Volunteer Participants (RSVP). On the 3rd Saturday of the month, they spend a couple hours assisting at organizations such as the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Feed My Starving Children, Habitat for Humanity, or a Retirement community. Other months they have assembled gift bags for the Humanitarian Service Project, hosted a Christmas party for boys incarcerated at the Illinois Youth Center, or arranged parts of the AIDs quilt for display.
  • Once a year we sponsor a team in the Fox Valley Literacy Trivia Bee
  • We asked people to respond to Action Alerts focusing on Ceasefire, Civil Unions, Registering all gun sales, Health Care for all