Here are a few of our activities…
Afghan Refugees Report
In February, 2022, our Catholic Charities’ Circle of Care team consisting of Ann Louise White, Gabriela Horvay, Barbara Neulinger , Bob Berwick, and Sue Kelsey began working with 3 Afghan refugees who traveled to the US in late fall 2021 and were housed in Holyoke House in December and January. The goal of our Circle is to help the men become as independent as possible and provide friendship for them. We moved the men into their new apartment in downtown Springfield. We have been spending our weeks taking them to the Mosque in West Springfield, food pantries and nearby grocery stores, doctor and dentist appointments, English classes, and resume writing sessions. The men know very little English, and we were fortunate to find an interpreter at UMass to help us communicate with them. The men are grateful to be here. They miss their families back in Afghanistan and desperately want jobs so they can afford to send their families here. Each day is a new chapter in our lives and their lives and a humbling experience, as we work hard to acclimate them to life in western Massachusetts.
Interfaith Cot Shelter in Northampton
Every month from November to April on the first Thursday of each month, UUSA members prepare a meal for 25 homeless people. Many people in our congregation contribute by preparing and serving meals. The tasks are simple, well defined and many find it an easy way to help those in need. If you would like to help provide food and serve the meal please contact our Congregational Administrator who will put you in touch with the cot shelter coordinator.
Not Bread Alone
Every time there are five Saturdays in a month, UUs help prepare lunch, serve and clean up afterwards on the fifth Saturday at this local soup kitchen at First Congregational Church. This past year 20 different members, friends, children and their guests helped create tasty meals, serve and clean up. We also helped organize the plentiful amount of donated produce and breads from local grocery stores, from which the guests selected to take back with them at meals’ end. It was a great way to get to know new people while doing something very worthwhile.