Dedicated Offerings provide a way for our Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst community to recognize and financially support worthy organizations engaged in projects that reflect our guiding Unitarian-Universalist principles.

On one Sunday every month (except for June, July, and August) we schedule a Dedicated Offering (DO), recognizing that our Society needs our support on the other Sundays of the month. Dedicated Offerings are suggested by both individuals and committees of the Society, and the program is managed by the Minister and the Dedicated Offering Committee.

The recipient of our December Dedicated Offering will be A Positive Place. World AIDS Day is on Sunday, December 1, 2019. Given that December is always a challenging month for a Dedicated Offering, the committee decided to hold this month’s offering on this first Sunday of the month to draw attention to the ongoing AIDS epidemic, both worldwide and in our own community. The theme for this year’s World AIDS Day is
fitting, “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community.”

A Positive Place, a Northampton organization affiliated with Cooley Dickinson Hospital, offers non-judgmental care for those persons in our region (our community) who are HIV-positive. It has been offering confidential and comprehensive HIV care and prevention services in Hampshire County and surrounding areas since 1991.

The idea for this Dedicated Offering came from the newly formed Welcoming Congregation Renewal Committee co-chaired by Shawn MacLaren and Pat Rector. Note that the money donated by the UUSA will go directly to A Positive Place and not get mixed with the hospital funds. And also note that if you are away for the Thanksgiving weekend you can always give your donation to Lea in the office later in the following week.

The programs of A Positive Place were created to respond to a full-blown medical crisis for people living and dying with AIDS right here in our community. Today the face of HIV and AIDS has changed dramatically as they continue to meet the ongoing needs of those affected. A Positive Place offers services at their downtown Northampton offices and in homes, doctors’ offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities, cafes, and other personal and social spaces as needed to serve their diverse clientele. Some of their services include medical and social case management, help with government benefits, health insurance, and drug reimbursement application and advocacy, housing search, support and subsidies; rental and utilities assistance, medical transportation and emergency food assistance. They are a grassroots organization with a consumer advisory board, offering their clients essential services, much of which is not available elsewhere and rely on grant funding as well as individual contributions.