Current Service Project Opportunities During COVID-19
Some of our current service project opportunities during COVID-19:
One in five Washington families is expected to face food insecurity this year. Join the Social Justice Committee in combating hunger in our community through our virtual food drive. There are two ways you can participate:
Option 1: As you shop for your family’s groceries add items to donate or check your pantry and garden for non-expired, unopened, non-perishable food that does not require refrigeration, commercially packaged unexpired baked goods, fresh produce without broken skin, snack foods, shelf-stable beverages, and bottled water.
Please provide the weight of your contribution (if possible) or an estimate of the weight so we can track the total pounds donated. Email the weight to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can track the impact our congregation makes. Donate the items to the Food is Free share table closest to you. Please be respectful of the host’s home and look for signs about donation areas. You can find the closest table(s) to you on the virtual map — Food is Free Washington State – Google My Maps and/or you can join the Food is Free Facebook Group to ask any questions or request a pickup if you need one.
Option 2: Donate money to a charity that helps fight hunger locally (or globally, if you prefer). Email the amount to email@example.com so we can track our congregation’s impact during the drive. We’ll keep the individual donor names and amounts confidential, we only care about the total donations of food and money to help us gauge the effectiveness of this virtual drive and to allow us to celebrate our combined impact as a community.
If you’re not sure what charity to donate to or how, here are a few suggestions:
The Emergency Food Network provides food and food plant starts to share tables, food pantries, charity farms, and individuals In Pierce County. You can donate through their website here: https://efoodnet.org/ They sometimes ask for help through the mail.
The Tacoma Rescue Mission was the recipient of our Last Friday Sandwiches before the pandemic. They have a long history of sheltering and feeding individuals and families experiencing homelessness in Tacoma. You can donate through their website https://www.trm.org/ They sometimes also ask for help via mail.
Prior to the pandemic, TUUC Volunteers served in the Nativity House Hospitality Kitchen in Hilltop. You can learn more about Nativity House Day Shelter Programs run by Catholic Community Services/Catholic Housing Services and donate to support them financially through the donate button on this page : Nativity House Day Shelter – Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington
Or feel free to pick *any* charity that feeds the hungry and calls to you.
Please don’t forget to tell us about your donation(s) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you donate anything else to these organizations or tables (time, skills, seeds, blankets, winter clothing, coolers, pet food, etc) we want to hear about that too!
In the fall of 2019, the Social Justice Committee coordinated an Inclusive Family Book Drive. Our TUUC community donated books and money for both TUUC and Mann Elementary School’s libraries. This fall, the Social Justice Committee encourages you to support a Black Lives Matter book drive organized by students at Lincoln High School. Books are placed in Little Free Libraries in East and South Tacoma. You can read about their efforts and pick a book from their King’s Books “wish list.” Let’s fill these students’ backpacks with books that include BIPOC (black, indigenous, or people of color) in the books and support Black Lives Matter principles!
Social Justice Direct Action in Our Community
TUUC Social Justice Committee encourages all our members interested in getting involved with direct action to check out JUUstice Washington <juustwa.org> a UU Action Network. Check out their event calendar and their monthly news updates. For those with Facebook, please check out Tacoma Protest Central <https://www.facebook.com/groups/tacomaresists> for daily info on local events.
Acting Together on Housing Insecurity (HI)
Tired of separation? Then let’s come together, TUUC Congregants, to lessen housing insecurity. Inspired by Nancy Slocum’s Tiny House talk and in collaboration with our Social Justice Committee we want to help. Our first idea was to fund and build tiny houses together with TUUC volunteers and the local Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI). LIHI helps folks do this with house plans, building space and much more. But building together shoulder to shoulder had better wait until COVID abates.
Meanwhile, let’s come together to both fund LIHI and to provide supplies to our 60th Street neighbors at LIHI’s Tacoma Emergency Micro-Shelter (TEMS). Here’s how:
- Donate to LIHI by check, or online at https://lihi.org/donate/. To learn our collective impact please write “TUUC” on your check. Online, write “TUUC” in the “In honor of” space. LIHI will tell TUUC only a total, what we contributed together.
- Deliver needed supplies to TEMS at 623 E 60th St, Tacoma. Deliver there Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Buzz from the gate.
- Let our Tiny Team deliver supplies for you. We will pick up supplies at your home in a COVID-safe way, leave you an LIHI donation receipt and deliver to TEMS for you. Just call your Tiny Team to arrange pick up. Call Tom Bookout or Dave Hackett; members can find their phone numbers in the online directory, or you can email Admin@TahomaUU.com for their contact information.
- What’s needed: Nonperishable food such as peanut butter, canned fruit and vegetables, canned tuna. Boxed macaroni and cheese, Pasta, pasta sauce, etc.. (Make sure food is well within the “Best Buy” date.) Boxed disposable masks. Winter/thermal wear: coats, sweatshirts, gloves, sox, underwear, etc..
Even in COVID time we can act together. Doing so we can feel together while expressing our shared respect for the interconnected web of all existence.
Many people have expressed an interest in getting more information about Tacoma Tiny House Village and other tiny house projects. Check out these links to learn more.
· The LIHI website
· Tacoma News Tribune article,11/6/2020
· City of Tacoma FAQs about the Tiny House Village