In times of need, OCUUC and its members give tangible support to the needs of others. We divide half of the loose plate collected on Sundays to many different non-profits and communities in need. These organizations do great work in Orange County and beyond and we are proud to partner with them. If you are a Member or Friend of OCUUC, you may nominate a worthy organization by using the Plate Share form.
The OCUUC membership has expressed the desire to address the needs of homeless persons in Orange County. A “Homelessness Action” group was asked to explore ways our church can make a difference in our area. After considerable effort the Homelessness group determined that can best utilize our volunteerism and financial support by joining forces with an established organization with programs that would benefit an underserved portion of the homeless in our community.
January Plate Share Recipient
Mary’s Kitchen was founded in 1984 by 82 year old Mary McAnena after she began feeding a few homeless and hungry persons at Hart Park in Orange. The totally volunteer origination now serves more than 200 people each day, Monday through Saturday, with breakfast, a hot meal, showers and clothing. On Friday, September 9, 2016, a fire destroyed much of Mary’s Kitchen. Refrigeration, freezer units and perishable food were lost. Services are being provided as they seek financial help and alternate preparation sites. When Mary’s House is not able to meet its’ promise of food, someone goes hungry. It is appropriate that we pitch-in to help. For more information, contact the Kitchen at (714) 633-0444.
- December 2016: Share Our Selves provides support assistance to homeless individuals and families.
- October, November 2016: Stand Up For Kids – Orange County, established in 1990, serves homeless and at-risk youth and young adults 25 and younger.
- September 2016: South County Outreach was established in 1989 and has grown to meet the needs of people that are homeless and those persons needing health care services.
- August 2016: Laura’s House has provided shelter and supportive services for more than 4,000 abused women and children and counseling, life skills education and legal assistance to over 50,000 persons.
- July 2016: $677 was collected for the OCUUC Children and Youth Camp de Benneville Pines scholarship fund.
- June 2016: The Huntington Landmark Toymakers Club distributes colorful, child safe wooden toys to economically and physically challenged youngsters.
- May 2016: Build Futures gives homeless youth housing and one-on-one support to get job ready.
- April 2016: $753 was given to support the Shanti Strutters AIDS Walk Team's participation in AIDS Walk Orange County and 5K Fun Run to benefit the clients of Shanti OC.
- March 2016: Mary’s Kitchen in Orange serves three meals a day, along with shower services and clothing distribution
- February 2016: Caterina's Club: In 2005, Bruno and his mother, Caterina, feed nearly 1,200 children, 5 nights a week as well as providing support for qualified "motel families."
- January 2016: Off The Streets – Huntington Beach helps eligible homeless individuals and families in Orange County get into permanent housing.
- December 2015: The Motel Kids Outreach Program strives to keep children safe and offers hope for a positive future outside the cycle of poverty.
- November 2015: $587 was given to Bracken’s Kitchen to help them provide wholesome meals to the hungry.
- October 2015: Make-A-Wish Orange County and the Inland Empire received $658 to help grant wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
- September 2015: $861 was collected to assist Human Options work with people in crisis so they may begin to improve their lives
- August 2015: Helping Our Mentally Ill Experience Success (H.O.M.E.S. Inc.) received $803 to provide housing and support for people with psychiatric disabilities.
- July 2015: Casa Teresa received $672 to assist homeless pregnant women who are alone.
- June 2015: The OCUUC Camp de Benneville Pines Scholarship Fund received $676.
- May 2015: $989 was collected to assist the UUSC-UUA Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
- April 2015: Thomas House Family Shelter received $998 to resources for homeless families.
- March 2015: Team of Advocates for Special Kids (TASK) helps individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities.
- February 2015: School on Wheels has volunteer tutors & mentors for homeless children.
- January 2015: Community Service Programs Youth Shelters offers crisis intervention services to runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth.
Over the past six years, some 80+ deserving non-profit organizations have been identified and designated the recipients of one-half of the Sunday collections. We have been able to benefit the lives of many worthwhile and deserving causes. Recently, it was pointed-out that a number of the members of our congregation do more than just give money. They take a “hands-on” approach and work to help programs in a variety of ways.
From time to time, visitors and members at OCUUC ask about getting involved with community outreach and volunteering to be of service to others. To this end, we would like to be able to provide a listing of possible service opportunities and to be able to refer those interested to members of our congregation who are already acting in “hands-on” efforts helping to meet real community needs. Please let us know what you are doing, where you are volunteering… with young people/old people, health and nutrition, the homeless, education, addiction, the arts, the environment, political action or any activity where others may join you so they might benefit from the great rewards that are derived from being of service. Your Community Service Committee continues to seek to identify non-profit groups who can use our financial assistance and now we would like to be able to help by providing a guide for volunteerism.
As the highly successful 50-50-50 Project drew to a close in 2006, the Community Services Committee evolved. Since then our church has expressed its desire to continue to assist deserving community organizations and programs. Numerous have shared in our Sunday collections. Each recipient has been nominated by a member of our congregation. We act to further the Faith-in-Action goal “…of service and outreach that makes OCUUC visible and respected in Orange County…”
There are numerous opportunities to help make a difference in peoples’ lives. The Community Service Committee seeks your nominations of non-profit organizations or programs that will benefit from our participation. If you would like to make a nomination or if you would like to serve on the Community Service Committee, see Kathleen McFarlin, Ted Lundholm, or Maurice Giss.
Making a difference in the lives of others.