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September 2018 Social Justice and Outreach

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Our shared offering for the month of September is Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS). VIPS provides individualized reading assistance for first, second and third grade students who read below grade level. VIPS recruits, orients and places volunteer Reading Friends in public schools to share the joy of reading and improve reading skills. As this new school year begins, consider offering your services to the children who need a reading or math friend in our public schools. Information is available at vipsbr.org. Please give generously to help this rewarding work that  contributes to the success of so many of our students in public schools.

The first of our Central Cluster TBR Civic Academies was a great success at Beth Shalom Synagogue. Kudos to the team of UCBR Together Baton Rouge members who worked to assist the Synagogue with this undertaking. The second Civic Academy on Public Education and Educator Salaries is scheduled for Tuesday, September 18 at 6:30pm. St. Mary Baptist Church on N. Acadian Thruway is the location.

For the love of all people, our church theme for 2019, UCBR ladies, through the efforts of Sylvia Martinez and Susan Fogleman, purchased a sponsorship for us with Habitat for Humanity's Pink Tool Belt Bash on August 28 at the Renaissance Hotel. UCBR attendees were decked out in pink and ready to celebrate with the group, particularly the ladies from University Presbyterian who had challenged us to step up, show up, and make a splash equal to theirs!  A grand pink time was had by all, especially the 16 from UCBR: Susanne Besse, Maxine Broemmelsiek, Betty Brousseau, Susan Fogleman, JoAnn Fryling, Nancy Gilbert, Karen Giradot, MaryElyn Hale, Liz Hamlin, Lenore Heavey, Nicole Johnson, Sylvia Martinez, Janet Moulder, Leslie Todd, Jane Webb, and Donna Yelverton. The next step on this project will be the actual Women Build. Consider signing up for that when we have the date.

The Hunger Walk is scheduled for Sunday, September16. We had the largest group last year, but it was not large enough to suit our reputation. Let's try to increase those numbers across the entire congregation as well as looking for other groups to join this fundraising project for a very worthy cause. Look for further information from Becky Cureau's Outreach article. Social Justice will work with her to expand our involvement this year.

The standard involvements of Social Justice over this fall will be the Walls Project Planning sessions for a 2019 event, the September Hunger Walk, the Women Build for Habitat, the December Kids Cafe Christmas gifts and party, and the development of a list of shared offerings possibilities for 2019. There are other projects in the works presently, but if you have something for us to consider and develop, please contact Jane Webb to have a presentation spot on one of the fall meetings.

The next Social Justice Team meeting will be Sunday, October 14, at 12:45 in Room 1 of the Fellowship Hall.

~ Jane Webb, Director of Social Justice

 

Our team of volunteers dished out food along with smiles as they served the lunch time  meal and handed out "Bags of Hope'  in our  service at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room on August 22. The lunch time meal is provided seven days a week to more than 250 homeless and others who rely on this daily hot meal, along with  a  "Bag of Hope, " which provides an evening meal or snack. Our volunteers,  who enjoyed both the camaraderie of working together and interacting with the diners,  included Delores Dyer, Liz Hamlin,  Ron Juneau, Bryan McDaniel,  Gwen Pine, Melonie Pryer, MiJa Thompson, and Jane Webb. Thanks, volunteers, for serving on behalf of our church and maintaining our reputation as "the church that shows up..." to serve with cheerfulness and joy. The picture of the smiling team and a candid shot are shown below.

The Annual Greater Baton Rouge Hunger Walk will take place on Sunday, September 16 at the Catholic Life Center, 1800 South Acadian Thruway. The Hunger Walk raises funds to feed the hungry in our local area,  with all of the proceeds  supporting the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank and Holy Grill, a longtime  lunch-time program of the Interfaith Federation of Greater Baton Rouge.  Registration and hunger awareness activities and music begin at 1:30 pm. and the two-mile walk begins at 2:30. A donation of $10.00 per walker is suggested. Sign up to walk or to donate to the team in Fellowship Hall after Sunday services.

~Becky Cureau, Director of Outreach