An important way in which the 1st Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond and its members and friends participate in community outreach is Share the Plate (STP). A core value of the congregation is being engaged and making a positive difference in the larger community.
Each Sunday’s offering for a full month (that not specifically designated for other purposes) is equally divided between the church itself and an organization that merits support. This could be a Richmond-area community organization, a Unitarian-Universalist group, another religiously-affiliated group, or a secular worthy cause. Generally, no organization can be a beneficiary more than once in three years.
Below you will find a nomination form for interested members and friends to suggest worthy recipient organizations and groups. The STP committee welcomes such nominations; it carefully vets nominees and selects those it finds most deserving.
The current STP committee is composed of Dee DeRoche, Ralph H. Graner (chair), and Faith Harris, actively advised by the Reverend Jeanne Pupke.
Share the Plate nominations can be made here.
The Share the Plate beneficiary for August 2020 is Circles RVA.
CIRCLES RVA formed 2 years ago and is the local chapter of an initiative that has 62 chapters in 17 States and Canada. CIRCLES RVA partners with individuals, who are called “Leaders,” whose income is at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Guideline when they enroll in the program. These Leaders are courageous, motivated individuals who are ready, willing, and able to move out of poverty, with added social support.
The CIRCLES model is to establish sustained, intentional, relationships between the “Leaders” and volunteers from the community, who are called “Allies.” Allies become both cheerleaders and accountability partners for the leaders, with whom they are matched. Usually two Allies are paired with each Leader. The Leaders and the Allies make commitments to remain in the program for 18 months. The economic goal for the Leaders is to reach an income of 200% of the Federal Poverty Guideline.
The CIRCLES RVA Program provides initial training for Leaders and Allies and then ongoing structure and support in the form of coaching, meetings, and resource teams.
Outcome measures have revealed that sustained participation in the CIRCLES Program leads to significant, positive results. Leaders, on average, increase their income by 60% after 12 months and by 88% after 18 months. Leaders are also able to reduce their social isolation and increase their “Circles” of support through participation in the program.
Your financial support enables Circles RVA to continue empowering families to break the cycle of poverty and permanently move towards economic stability. CIRCLES RVA also has an ongoing need for volunteers who would like to serve as “Allies.”