It is a long-standing tradition at UUFR to participate in the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table Program. Every year the Service Committee provides us with collection boxes for UUFR members to take home and fill with money during the holiday season. Every cent you donate lets Service Committee staff in Boston, MA help individuals around the world gain access to the same sense of security (financially, physically, and emotionally) that we experience here in the Raleigh metropolis. During last year’s Guest at Your Table fundraising event, our congregation raised $2,132.49 to (1) support individuals displaced by climate change, (2) train future leaders who embrace progressive changes within their communities, (3) assist LGBQT individuals seeking asylum and a safe haven, and (4) help family immigrants held in detention centers.
The theme of this year’s Guest at Your Table fundraiser is, “Justice Across Borders”. For many months we have been hearing in the news how men, women and children are fleeing their Central American homes to seek an escape from violence and poverty. These migrants contend with extreme weather conditions, lack of food and water, criminal attacks, and other dangers during their journey to the United States. Upon their U.S. arrival, migrants may experience delays in their process of seeking asylum; a delay that may force families to be separated for varying amounts of time.
The Service Committee is committed to fighting for the rights and dignity of these migrants, from distributing water bottles to migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert to partnering with 18 grassroots organizations in 8 countries to provide humanitarian aid, legal and psychological services, and support for family reunification.
During the next several weeks, you can learn more about the experiences of migrants seeking asylum in the United States or elsewhere. Articles, written by UUFR members, will be posted in The Chalice that explain in more depth why specific individuals flee their homeland in Central America and the Middle East and what life is like for a refugee seeking asylum in the United States or other country. Additionally, you will be able to visit the Guest at Your Table exhibit in Founders Hall following each Sunday Service to peruse materials provided by the Service Committee and pick up a collection box to take home.
All donations for the Guest at Your Table Program can be delivered to UUFR during our Sunday Service on January 6, 2019. During these specific services we will have a gift wrapped box in the sanctuary, into which you can place your collection box filled with coins, dollar bills or check made payable to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (please write “GAYT” in the memo field).