UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF BEAUFORT
A Commitment of Love, Volunteerism, and Financial Support
Each week willing UUFB members and friends pledge to be “activists for social justice and stewards of the natural world”. Our Fellowship provides many opportunities to fulfill this pledge. We regularly volunteer and financially support organizations that meet our objectives. Thus, our work is a clear reflection of UUFB’s principle: “Many Beliefs – One Light”. The following represent the current non-profit organizations that we enthusiastically support. How might YOU be an activist sharing UU’s values within our world?
CITIZENS’ CLIMATE LOBBY
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a international grassroots environmental group that trains and supports volunteers to build relationships with their elected representatives in order to influence climate policy.
Family Promise provides safe shelter, meals, and companionship to homeless families by partnering with congregations of all faiths. During the days, while the children attend school or day care, the parents may be working at a job and/or working with the Family Promise staff to find the services and knowledge they need “to sustain lasting independence in a home of their own.”
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) is an international nonprofit housing organization dedicated to building homes, and communities of hope. They are committed to eliminating substandard housing through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. Our local affiliate is LowCountry Habitat for Humanity, which operates throughout northern Beaufort County. UUFB volunteers can work locally on new construction of affordable homes, ReStore staffing, and administration/education for the new home owners.
Hopeful Horizons is a children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center with a goal of creating safer communities by protecting people from abuse, treating survivors of abuse and preventing abuse from occurring. It is a difficult topic to talk about, but as we work together to raise awareness and advocate for those who are victims of abuse, we are making a difference.
Center: Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone
Marshview Community Organic Farm on St. Helena Island is a nonprofit enterprise where local students learn to grow, harvest, sell, and cook fresh organic foods. Since March 2019, fourteen students have been engaged in hands-on farming and cooking twice weekly for 5 hours each session. They’ve enjoyed 5 mini-markets days and have taken home to their families a portion of their harvest, both cooked and raw. A total of 35 students were mentored in 2018.
In July the students cooked and served food at the welcoming ceremony held at the Penn Center for the visiting Mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone. By invitation of Beaufort Mayor Billy they will participate in Reconstruction Era Beaufort’s Storycatchers/Backpack Journalist program beginning Tuesday, July 30.
Two recent graduates of the cooking class are now employed at the Gullah Grub Restaurant. The Farm also donates vegetables to the St. Helena Senior Center and the elderly in our community.
Penn Center was founded as Penn School during the Civil War by Unitarian Laura Towne. It was the first school established in the southern United States specifically to educate African-Americans as they emerged from slavery. Even after Penn School closed in 1949, Penn Center continued to serve the community to the present day, while promoting the unique history and culture of the Gullah people and their descendants. In January 2017, President Barack Obama included two facilities on the Penn campus, Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church, as part of the newly-designated Reconstruction Era National Monument.
Second Helpings is a food rescue and distribution network, helping to eliminate hunger in the Lowcountry. Food surplus gets from the grocery stores to the people that need help. Second Helpings volunteers supply food to over 60 food pantries, soup kitchens, nonprofit agencies, and churches in Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton Counties. There are volunteer opportunities at the Penn Center food distribution center every Friday, and also on board the Second Helpings trucks several days per month.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (PPFA), consists of 159 medical and non-medical affiliates, which operate over 600 health clinics in the U.S. Among other services, the organization provides reproductive health care in the United States and globally.
Thumbs Up is a year-round Beaufort based children’s support program established in 1995. They provide holistic, social, academic and emotional support and guidance to children of at-risk families living below the poverty level. All program amenities, including transportation, snacks & dinner, are at no cost to the parents. During the school year, their after-school program hosts volunteer tutors who work with elementary and middle school students on their homework assignments and other activities from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Living Our Values Through Community Events
Our fellowship members also regularly participate in activities and events which highlight our values and benefit our community and our world at large.
Annual Peace Vigil
Every January 1st, members of UUFB have gathered by the Beaufort River to remember those individuals harmed by war and to pray for peace.
UUFB is proud to participate in the annual Charleston’s Pride Parade. In addition, we have demonstrated for marriage equality in both Beaufort and Columbia, SC. Our Fellowship also sponsors other activities, which promote inclusion, including our Welcoming Congregation program.
Martin Luther King Day Parade
Every year the MLK Observance Day Association celebrates the National Holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Communities throughout the world participate in activities in honor of this American hero. We at UUFB are proud to march in this annual parade through downtown Beaufort,SC.
Penn Center Heritage Day and Parade
Penn Center Heritage Day is an annual event celebrating the founding of the Penn School. This exciting three-day event includes food, music, educational seminars, arts and crafts, a parade, and the cultural traditions of the Gullah people. Our UU congregation has a place in the parade each year to celebrate and support our connection with Penn Center.
Penn Center Gala
This annual Spring time event is Penn Center’s major fundraiser. In honor of our association with the Penn School, UUFB provides refreshments and financial support for the reception the evening before the GALA.
Race For Love
The annual Race for Love is a fundraising event for Hopeful Horizons. It is a fundraising event which brings people together for our cause.
Walk for Water
Our UU fellowship participates in this annual fundraiser which raises money for projects that supply clean drinking water throughout third world countries. Annually, our Fellowship has enthusiastically participated in the walk and raised money for this worthy cause.
For more information or questions about the work of the Social & Environmental Justice Committee, please contact one of our co-chairs – Barbara Banus or Kathleen Hubbard-Ismail. We can be reached through the Fellowship Office email.
THANK YOU and we look forward to your participation.