EUU Social Action
If you’d like to see your social action activities in the Unifier and on the website, please get in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org) with social action coordinators Diana Smith and Jodi Stolzenbach or with social action editor Adrienne Brayman. We realize that many of our fellowships don’t have fellowship-wide coordination, but we know that a lot of people are working with NGOs and charities individually, and we would love to hear from you!
The goals of EUU Social Action (SA) are to:
- Foster a culture of social engagement within the EUU;
- Encourage members to find ways to engage in Social Action projects in local, European and global communities;
- Support charitable organizations at existing and new retreat sites through Sunday collection donations collected during retreat weekends;
- Build partnerships based on service with other UU organizations and congregations;
- Serve as a central information platform and networking point for members interested in Social Action;
- Help members share information about and interests in Social Action.
At the Spring Retreat in Dijon
Social Action would like to thank everyone who so generously contributed to the Sunday collection and book swap at the Dijon retreat.
A total of €936.49 was transferred to the Maison Verte in Paris, which provides a range of programs, including tutoring for children, a food cooperative, film screenings, handing out used clothing to those in need, and much more. It is also where the Paris fellowship holds its services, and they have since received a letter from the director of La Maison Verte with her thanks. If interested, you can find more information (in French) on its website: http://blog.lamaisonverte.org.
Our other collections were quite successful, as well. Ten pairs of eyeglasses went to the Brussels fellowship, and Aude van Lidth de Jeude, who was recently in Egypt, has donated them to a government ophthalmology office there that provides free consultations to the very poor. The lenses and frames will be separated and the glass recut to fit frames for specific patients; even if the fit is not perfect, this means that people will enjoy much better vision than they could otherwise afford. Another 66 pairs of adult eyeglasses were also collected, to be donated to Burkina Faso through Optic 2000 in Paris. Seven backpacks were collected for donation to refugees in Paris, and the hundreds of stamps collected will be donated by Laura Keller to a Hamburg charity that works with those with disabilities. Thank you to everyone for your generosity!
A Culture of Engagement
Social Action starts with the individual. EUU Social Action would like to foster a culture of social engagement and personal development within the EUU, empowering members to find their way to action in their own communities.
One way SA can do this is to coordinate retreat and online workshops around topics of social engagement and intercultural communication. These workshops are by nature specific and participatory, with at least one element that participants can take away and implement at home.
Another important function of the SA is to help socially active members share their experiences through talks at retreats and online, Unifier articles, and maintaining a list of organizations members are currently engaged with.
Through these efforts, SA hopes to network EUU members committed to social action on an individual level to each other and to external organizations, partners and opportunities, helping to create a stronger overall effort. SA hopes to foster continuous dialogue across several platforms, create a support network for members, helping to inspire them to take action.