Greater Good Project
What is the Greater Good Project?
It's an all-church community endeavor, to bring meaning back to the holidays and tap into the strength and power of the spirit of the season. Each of us is asked to tally what we used to spend on the holiday season including presents, wrappings, trimmings, travel, food and entertainment. Then take that number and cut it in half, and contribute that amount to a project at the church - a gift to the Greater Good. The children of the church have voted on which (two) of several applicant charities will share the donated money. In 2006 we collected $79,000, in 2007 $72,500, in 2008 $62,500, in 2009 $58,000, and in both 2010 and 2011 $50,000 from members and friends of the church and members of the larger community. These contributions remind us of needs greater than our own and make "living simply so others can simply live" worth the effort and small sacrifice! You can view information on the projects funded for 2006 through 2011 using the menu at right.
This holiday season, we encourage you to live simply so that others may simply live. Checks may be brought to the Greater Good services December 15 and 16, or sent to the church office, and should be made payable to the First Unitarian Church, with "Greater Good" on the memo line. If you wish to honor someone by making a Greater Good contribution in his or her name, please use the form available through the link at upper right; you'll also find a link to a printable card you can use to inform them of your gift. (Print 2-sided, cut, and fold.)
2012 Project Recipients
The Honduras Partnership, well-known to First Unitarian congregants and children, has used previous Greater Good contributions to bring a variety of public health improvements and expanded educational opportunities to the people in several impoverished remote mountainous villages in southwestern San Jose, Honduras. The 2012 Greater Good project will enable continuation of both of these efforts. Water projects will include providing 42 pilas (large water-holding tanks), 60 latrines, and 89 water filters. Additionally 86 cook stoves can be provided (which reduce airborne particulates in the homes). This year's funds will also be put toward scholarship support for additional students to attend high school. These funds are needed for books and other materials, school and sports uniforms, and sometimes living expenses for students to board in town to avoid long commutes to the schools. Continuing this long-term partnership will further deepen and strengthen the bonds between First Unitarian and the people of Honduras.
RAIHN - the Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network - assists homeless families achieve sustainable independence by providing resources such as shelter, food, childcare, and personalized case management. First Unitarian is one of 15 host churches where the "guest" families are housed during evenings, hosted by congregation volunteers. All other services are provided at the Day Center, a house on Meigs Street. Greater Good funds will be used to make much-needed upgrades and repairs in the Day Center: replace bathroom tub, sink and tile; create a kid-friendly common room; upgrade computer area to better serve job-hunting and housing search efforts; refinish or replace various floors; and repaint / plaster where needed. These changes will result in a much safer, healthier, and more comfortable facility for guests to work on securing employment and housing.
Exploring the Relationship Between Meaning and Money: Resources
- Speaking of Faith Radio Show: "Money & Moral Balance"
- Sons and Material Girls: How Not to Be Your Child's ATM, a book by Nathan Dungan
- Money and the Meaning of Life, a book by Jacob Neeldeman
December 20 2012