Looking Back at Social Action

By Diana Smith

Our EUU members are active in a wide range of charities within their communities as well as globally. Many of us respond to the needs we perceive in society by contributing our time, guidance, expertise, clothing, food, money, etc. Service may also consist of teaching, tutoring, nourishing, assisting with administration, or house-hunting … the list is long.

As outgoing Social Action Coordinators, Jodi Stolzenbach and I have aimed at fruitful exchanges of innovative ideas and best practices in developing fellowships and local communities. This has included working with our former President, Carolyn Burlingame-Goff, on her goals for fellowship development, with Gevene Hertz,  responsible for timely communications and Social Action webpages, with Adrienne Brayman, the tireless Social Action editor for the Unifier and our Captain Cat-Herder, and others.

Jodi devoted five years to coordinating Social Action. Co-coordinating with such a caring, sharing, brilliant human being was a wonderful experience.

During our time as coordinators, the Social Action budget was trimmed, yet your generosity has continued to grow. There has been much appreciation from those who have received eyeglasses, school bags, backpacks, stamps, financial support, and counsel, and many thanks to those who distributed the donations. This includes Betty Abu-Gheida, who initiated the eyeglasses collection for Burkina Faso, as well as Aude van Lidth de Jeude, who personally takes glasses for children and adults to dispensaries in Egypt. And although used stamps are just a small piece of paper no longer valid for their original use, Laura from Hamburg delivers them to a group working with people with disabilities.

EUU has also supported a variety of charities in different countries for several years. Due to budget cuts and members suggesting they could donate directly to such organizations, we focused elsewhere the past two years.

Our goals evolved from supporting partnerships (see building partnerships) to supporting fellowships and community organizations with whom members were involved (see grants proposed by fellowships). If you, as an EUU member of a fellowship or an At-Large member, would like to support a local organization or project with a social action grant, please apply as described here.

Networking makes our work so much more effective, so please let the social action team know how you would like EUU’s social action activities to evolve.

Smooth sailing to Terri Michos, who has hit the ground running as our new Social Action Coordinator!