2016 Annual Appeal!

Dear Friends,

We’ve all been through a wrenching, divisive year. But against a backdrop of discord, the UU Urban Ministry transforms. We create. We build bridges. Please partner with us in celebrating hope by donating to our Annual Appeal!

Rose

Rose, a former Renewal House resident

Your generosity has a direct impact on those who turn to the UU Urban Ministry for sanctuary and support. For example, when Rose arrived in Boston with her infant daughter, most doors were closed to her. She had fled her native Rwanda, and had no money and no support system here.

But she had a strong will to find her way out of a dark place. And when one door opened – Renewal House – she stepped in and began working to build a new life.
Seven years later, Rose is a U.S. citizen, a registered nurse working at a rehabilitation center, a mother of a bright and happy child, and a Bachelor’s Degree student. She also has a circle of friends that include those she met through Renewal House and the UU Urban Ministry – relationships that have lasted long after moving on from the shelter.

“I stay connected because I trust Renewal House,” Rose said.

As we look back at a year in which our country was mired in division, anger and mistrust, we also celebrate everyday miracles that your support makes possible at the UU Urban Ministry: students who are inspired to work toward attending college; the joy of children in our summer programs; the growing sense of community on our Roxbury campus, uniting people across race and class and faith; and the opportunities for confronting injustice through participating in our workshops and forums.

We hope you will support our work again this year, with a donation that enables us to:

  • Provide emergency shelter to domestic violence survivors at Renewal House.
    Engage, tutor and support young people in our afterschool Roxbury Youth Programs.
  • Connect UU volunteers with Roxbury nonprofits, to offer pro bono professional support.
  • Partner with Roxbury organizations to confront racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and violence against women.
  • Build relationships across social divides in musical and artistic events, and social justice forums.

The UU Urban Ministry has served Greater Boston for nearly 200 years. Our roots are deep, but we also meet the needs of our times. Grounded in our UU values, we celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of each person, and justice and equity in human relations.

Our work is built upon a belief in the value of sustaining, mutual and respectful relationships – relationships across race, class and faith.

Angel, a longtime Roxbury Youth Programs student

These are the relationships that have formed to create a network of support for people like Angel, a young woman in Roxbury Youth Programs. Angel believes the longtime support of staff, volunteers and her fellow students at the UU Urban Ministry helped her triumph over struggles in school.

The 17-year-old high school senior is preparing for college next year. She is applying to Northeastern, UMass at Amherst, and Tufts. She visited many colleges with the youth program over her years, and speaks excitedly about the possibilities ahead: forensic science? Engineering? Business? So many paths are open to her.

This a long way from the years she was bullied in school, and struggled with grades. Her family and her own determination pulled her through. And so did support she received daily at the UU Urban Ministry.

“I was around people who loved me,” she says, simply. “I love it here.”

She received homework help – and now gets As and Bs. But she also learned life lessons from enrichment activities and other students. “We’re all human beings,” she said. “And we should all be in the same level.”

“Once I get a job, once I’m in college, I’ll still visit,” Angel said. “I have to. This is my second home.”

We thank you for making this work possible – for survivors like Rose and students like Angel, and for all the ways our world needs healing. I hope you will support us again this season.

Wishing you and yours a blessed and joyous season.

Rev. Mary Margaret Earl

PS – Thank you for considering a financial gift again this season to support the UU Urban Ministry!