December Social Justice News
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our Holiday Family this year. Your generosity made this holiday time special for the women at the Ohio Reformatory for Women (ORW) who are participating in the Horizon Prison Initiative program. We collected $841.95 in checks and Loose Change! NUUC members also donated adult coloring books, colored pencils and markers for Praying in Color. Some of the money we collected was used to purchase materials to make 78 prayer beads, booklets describing the 9 faith traditions from the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, 78 weekly planners for each of the participants, and food for a holiday meal. NUUC members also made bookmarks with inspirational quotes on Green Friday and signed holiday greeting cards after church. On December 23rd, Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, Eileen Watters, Erin Fisher-Kenny, Theresa Kempker, and Pam Patsch served a lasagna dinner to the Horizon women and staff. The women were very appreciative of the delicious food and the generosity of our congregation. Thanks to those who donated food, beverages, paper products, cookies, and reindeer chow for the meal. We will be working with the Horizon staff to use the remaining donations for needed materials for the program at ORW.
JANUARY LOOSE CHANGE
Our Loose Change donations on Sunday, January 8h will be going to Deaf Dogs Rock (DDR) https://deafdogsrock.com/. Deaf Dogs Rock, Inc. is a non-profit corporation formed in 2012 in the state of Virginia. The mission of Deaf Dogs Rock is to promote the care and well being of deaf dogs. This charitable and educational purpose is done through the education of the public regarding the adoption, care, and training of deaf dogs, and through financial support of the shelter, medical, and transportation needs of deaf dogs. Additionally, Deaf Dogs Rock is a national resource for information serving perspective and current deaf dog owners, and the shelters and rescues that have deaf dogs available for adoption. This organization works across state lines to help get deaf dogs the special training they need to become great pets. They have helped several dogs from Franklin County Dog Shelter through I Have a Dream Rescue (IHADRO).
HORIZON INFORMATION MEETING
on January 22, 2017: Horizon Prison Initiative is a multifaith program whose mission is to transform prisoners who then transform the prison and community. To participate in the nine month program, inmates make a commitment to live together in family units in the Horizon dorm and complete extensive coursework that addresses spirituality, trauma, character development, and building community. Horizon's belief that "honor, respect, and dignity are due to each and every human being, not because of the greatness of their achievements nor how the have behaved, but because they are home to a soul that is inherently holy" is closely aligned with our UU principles. Due to the generous donations by Unitarian Universalists at General Assembly in June 2016, Horizon was able to open the first program for women in September 2016. If you would like to learn more about the Horizon program and opportunities to volunteer at the Ohio Reformatory for Women or the London Correctional Institute, come to an information meeting on Sunday, January 22, 2017 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the North Broadway United Methodist Church, 48 E. North Broadway, Columbus, OH 43214. Please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is a great opportunity to find out how you can make a difference in the lives of others. If you are interested in volunteering at ORW, contact Pam Patsch at email@example.com for more information and to schedule a visit to the Outside Sisters program on Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm.
You can find more information about Horizon's program on the bulletin board in Fellowship Hall or the Horizon Facebook page and website http://horizonprisoninitiative.org/.
REPURPOSING PLASTIC BAGS
Sometimes we forget to bring our reusable bags to the store and end up with plastic bags. Now you can donate your plastic bags to the Ohio Reformatory for Women where inmates are making sleeping mats for homeless people. To make the mats, inmates cut the bags into strips, link those strips into circles, then roll them into a yarn-like ball. They knit the strips into chains, and then link all the chains together. It can take up to 90 hours and 600 to 800 bags to complete a mat. The Vineyard, a Columbus church, distributes the mats to homeless people living in camps through its urban ministry program. Crocheting the mats gives the women purpose and meaningful activity by teaching them they can take care of someone else and the Earth. You can leave your plastic bags in the designated bin next to the office in Fellowship Hall.
DONATING YARN AND SCRAPS OF MATERIAL FOR PROJECT LINUS
Some of the women in Horizon are working on service projects including knitting or crocheting items for charitable groups or making quilts. One of their projects will be to make blankets for NUUC's Project Linus in March 2017. They greatly appreciate donations of yarn, scraps of material, or patterns that you no longer need.
UUSC FAIR TRADE COFFEE: Shop for delicious Fair Trade coffee, tea, cocoa, and chocolate after the service on January 15, 2017. Your purchase of Fair Trade products means that workers along the supply chain are provided a living wage. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) supports a number of worker-owned, local producers who are in danger of being replaced with multinational corporations that have little respect for workers' rights. Making consumer choices that are aligned with our UU Principles is one way to help create a more just world community.