Thursday, October 30, 2008

Making a Difference

I was experiencing writer's block, so I went over to my livejournal account and looked at their writing starters for writer's block. One, from about a week ago, caught my eye:

"When it comes to making a difference, some people donate money and others volunteer their time. What cause gets your time or money?"

Apparently, October 25 was "Make a Difference Day." Well, I'm five days late to write on this, but I'll give it a go.

It's not surprising that our church and related organizations get the largest percentage of my time and my money. My largest charitable contribution is to our church, and I've only just started to increase my other charitable giving. Some of that is to denominational organizations I support: the UUA itself, Chalice Lighters, Meadville Lombard Theological School and Starr King School for the Ministry, and the UUSC. Sometimes I only give to these in little ways, like the "Guest at Your Table" effort that we'll be handing out boxes for in church this month.

The organizations I give my time to are largely through my work as a minister. In our community, I've been involved to greater or lesser degrees at various times over the past year with PFLAG, the United Way, the Jackson District Library and the Big Read program, Planned Parenthood, and others. Right now I am a board member for Family Services and Children's Aid.

Our church has a number of organizations we've voted to support. I've been involved with some of these, as well. That list (which you can read about here) includes:

  • AWARE SHELTER
  • BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS
  • BROOKLYN FOOD PANTRY
  • CHURCH WORLD SERVICE – CROP
  • COALITION FOR ADOPTION RIGHTS EQUALITY
  • DISABILITY CONNECTIONS CENTER FOR INDEPENDENT LIVING
  • JACKSON INTERFAITH PEACEKEEPERS
  • JACKSON INTERFAITH SHELTER
  • PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF LESBIAN AND GAYS (PFLAG) – JACKSON
  • PLANNED PARENTHOOD – JACKSON CLINIC
  • UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SERVICE COMMITTEE (UUSC)
  • JACKSON FOSTER CARE GRADUATION PROGRAM

If you're looking to "Make a Difference," I enourage you to find out more about these organizations. Often there are ways through the church to participate in them, or ways to get church members involved with you. And if you have an organization that you believe in, bring it to the church's attention and use our social justice process so that we can add it to the list!

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