Congregation President’s Message
For November 2018 Chalice Newsletter
Why I Support the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)
“The Hebrew word for charity tzedakah simply means justice, and as this suggests giving to the poor is no optional extra but an essential part of living a just life.” Peter Singer
The UUSC began as the Unitarian Services Committee in 1940 inspired by Unitarian minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife Martha Sharp’s work helping refugees escape Nazi persecution.
Charity Navigator gives UUSC 4 stars, it’s highest rating for transparency and accountability. As stated in the Charity Navigator website: “Guided by UU principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UUSC strives to advance human rights, dismantle systems of oppression, and uplift and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of all people. We center the voices and experiences of those most affected and strengthen those grassroots groups and movements who are organizing themselves to advance these goals. To accomplish this, we offer justice education and leadership development, engagement and mobilization for advocacy, and partner support and grantmaking assistance. UUSC aims to leverage our particular strategic assets and strengths to: disrupt criminalization and systemic oppression of people based on their identities; support self-determination and defend the rights of people who are or may be forced to leave the places they call home due to climate, conflict, or economic hardship, and address the root causes of forced displacement; and respond to humanitarian crises where people have limited access to aid.”
From the UUSC’s website: UUSC has about $30 million in total assets and in 2017 spent around $8 million on program services such as fighting ethnic cleansing in Burma, defending refugees fleeing the middle east, ending criminalization of refugees in the US, defending communities on the front lines of climate change, and fighting exploitation of low-wage workers. Since 2015, UUSC has raised $800,000 for their Refugee Crisis Relief Fund- partnering with 18 grassroots organizations in 8 countries. The UUSC is also focused on Central American Migrant Justice, a most important issue for me.
I appreciate the UUSC approach, collaborating with grassroots organizations focusing on human rights work. In a political climate obsessed with personality, wealth, and greed I’m happy to support an organization working to build a better world.
My own family escaped anti-Semitic persecution in the 20th Century. By supporting UUSC, I feel connected my Jewish heritage and my UU faith. Please consider donating to this wonderful nonprofit, nonsectarian organization advancing human rights.
And as Lincoln said: “To ease another’s heartache is to forget your own.”