ACTION INC’S EMERGENCY HOMELESS SHELTER
Action Inc provides a limited number of beds and hot meals to homeless adults (ages 18 and older) on a nightly basis. Prior to leaving the shelter in the morning, guests are also provided with bag lunches. Members of the UUSR prepare over 40 of these bag lunches on Wednesdays, twice monthly. This adds up to more than 700 bag lunches a year for the homeless and others in need at the Action Shelter.
Members (and sometimes their children) meet twice monthly, on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 4 pm, to prepare the lunches and deliver them to the Action shelter. The food continues to be paid for by generous donations from a wide range of parishioners, while 10-20 members actually make the lunches. If you would like to make a donation, please send a check payable to the UUSR with Action Lunches in the memo line to UUSR, 4 Cleaves St, Rockport, MA 01966.
Members of the UUSR are involved with The Open Door in two areas:
1. Meals: Four Saturdays a year, members of the UUSR prepare and serve dinner to anyone who is hungry or lonely. Residents of Gloucester, Manchester, Rockport, Essex, and Ipswich are served free dinners in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere. Joe Rukeyser is in charge of organizing the volunteers, should you wish to contact her. Open Door (which includes the Food Bank), is located at 28 Emerson Avenue in Gloucester.
2. Food Bank: We coordinate, collect, and deliver contributions of non-perishable food. Members are sometimes told of dire circumstances and the following Sunday, the basket is full to overflowing.
The UUSR has agreed to be a support church to the Rockport First Congregational host church, for this program for homeless families. About 20 of the UUSR’s members have been trained to help with hospitality at our neighbor church. Scott DeLuca is the coordinator for our church. For a week, the “host” church houses homeless families and volunteers from several religious institutions help with food preparation and service, childcare, employment and housing help, etc. See www.familypromisensb.org for more information.
Every year around the winter holidays and into early January, the members and friends of the UUSR bring in winter mittens/gloves, hats and coats to be donated to Pathways for Children.
HELP FOR HAITI
The UUSR continues to collect goods and give aid to support Mary Ann Camp’s work with Partners in Development. UUSR Member, Mary Ann Camp, takes the donations to Haiti with her on her annual volunteer trips.
Mary Ann is a volunteer nurse at a Partners in Development medical clinic in Blanchard, Haiti. Partners in Development (PID) is a nonprofit organization that provides child sponsorships, employment opportunities, adequate housing, medical care, clean water and sanitation to thousands of people each year in Haiti and Guatemala. Since the earthquake in Haiti in January, 2010, PID’s medical clinic has been transformed from a quiet outpatient facility to a bustling emergency room/triage/care center.
In the wake of an outbreak of cholera in Haiti, Mary Ann organized efforts to collect such much-needed items as soap and hand sanitizer, which she arranged to be sent to the clinic. She also created a network of knitters in Gloucester and Rockport who have created hundreds of hand-knit “comfort dolls.” These small, cuddly dolls, knit in colorful Haitian clothes, have been “adopted” by many Cape Ann residents for a donation of $5. The dolls are distributed to Haitian children and the money is used to buy supplies for the clinic. Dolls are available for adoption and contributions of soap and/or hand-sanitizer are welcome.
FAIR TRADE PROGRAM
The UUSR supports the Fair Trade cause by only using fairly traded and organic coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolates.
We sell Equal Exchange coffees, teas, cocoa, chocolate, and olive oil in the vestry. Ten percent of our purchase cost goes to support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), with the remainder going directly to the growers, by-passing the middle-men and helping the growers sustain both themselves and the environment as they utilize organic farming practices.
The UUSR sponsors various speakers to come give lectures from time to time. There are also times that we are moved to write letters to the local papers.
The UUSR also sponsors several special events throughout the year, including our annual Peace Fest, and our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march.