Friday, October 29, 2010

Young People at Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church -Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, VA are Making a Difference

On Sunday October 24 I visited the TJM Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church located at 717 Rugby Road in Charlottesville for their morning service. Since meeting members Margaret Gorman and Leia Durland-Jones several weeks ago, and not having any out of town engagement last Sunday, I drove to town and joined the congregation as a first time visitor at their 11:15 AM service.
Perhaps you will remember my mention of Margaret’s ideas for assisting with our food efforts for UVA Medical Center caregivers in the Pediatric Clinic from the September 29 blog entry.

I did not know that IHS would be the lead topic in their Sunday Bulletin, nor that a thorough explanation would be presented to the congregation regarding the church’s planned participation. It was a truly gratifying experience.

Margaret Gorman had researched items for consideration for food packets to provide no less than 1300 calories for a one day’s ration for recipients, and explained in her presentation and in the bulletin some most helpful tips. I did not know that the high school Sunday school class was busy filling up 24 zip lock full-day rations that morning, and completed them and gave to me for delivery the next day to Teresa Bevins in the hospital. It was the second such delivery in the past two weeks. Margaret had begun by soliciting in her own neighborhood, and scouted for sales and ideas to present to parents and children.

I am providing that excerpt from the UU bulletin, for it provides ideas which can prove most helpful for reference for other churches and organizations in the future who may wish to assist in this never ending need. I am using the bulletin ideas since the food recipients do not have access to kitchens, just microwave ovens in the hospital.

Items which allow for ease of preparation and consumption are necessary. The innovation with enclosure of a microwavable disposable bowl and some plastic utensils does offer diversity for preparation in case small cans are used as a part of the assorted items for a one day’s ration. Just ideas to consider.

Some groups or churches may wish to provide funds from their outreach program, which will go to our largest funding need, namely funds for lodging, co-pay and transport; however, any church, neighborhood group, nursery school, school class, or even a business, with a desire to replicate or diversify with these food ideas can help secure our present needs, as we enter the holiday season with increased demand. Remember – IHS is a public charity, and even the smallest donation of $5, when provided as a check, is proof of a charitable donation for tax deduction consideration. Just a reminder.

By the way please note the expiration dates on food items. This is prominent, so that items can be stored for several months if any one product arrives in large numbers and needs to be distributed over a longer period in the months ahead.

The lead item in the October 24, 2010 UU Sunday Bulletin reads:

“TODAY… Food Drive for Interfaith Humanitarian Sanctum (IHS).
Our children will be creating, in their Religious Education classes, one-day meal packets families for patients (and caregivers) at UVA who come from far away for care and cannot afford food or housing while they are here. We need particular food items to make the packets: one one-gallon zip lock plastic bags, napkins, spoons and forks, instant oats, instant grits, breakfast bars, granola bars – the healthy kind, Minute Maid vitamin fortified 100% orange juice boxes or other 100% fruit juice boxes, single serving boxed milk, 5 oz. cans mixed fruit in light syrup with a flip top lid, single serving packets of peanuts, other nuts or crackers, Minute Rice single serving microwavable rice, especially Spanish Rice (healthier), Chef Boyardee single serving (8.75 oz.) microwavable meals, Hormel single serving microwavable meals, Healthy Choice single serving microwavable meals and soups, Campbell’s soup to go, single serving and microwavable, other food items (not cookies and candies) that you think would be a good addition to a meal pack for one person for one day.”
A special thanks to Margaret Gorman and her very organized group of teens who are making our food delivery trips to the hospital much more substantial.

Blessings .... T. Wade Clegg III