From April 2018 through February 2019, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation participated in “Serving Together” projects. The goal of Serving Together was to create monthly multigenerational service projects where we could enjoy fellowship together and serve the community at the same time. We worked together in community to take our values out to those around us.

Here are the projects we worked on…

February 23, 2019 – “Foodraiser”

This Serving Together project was a “foodraiser”. Brought one or two food items to the Cabaret on Saturday, February 23, and/or to the service on Sunday, February 24. We also said farewell and thank you to Rev. Kären Rasmussen, our Minister for Serving Together, for her time and social justice work with us.

 

December – Holiday Gifts and Gift Cards for the Children of Beacon House and La Clinica Del Pueblo. This December and every December, RRUUC families have contributed gifts to be given to the children of La Clinica del Pueblo and Beacon House at their holiday parties. Often these are the best gifts these children receive. Your generosity helped brighten the lives of others during the holiday season!

November – From Our Thanksgiving Table to Another: Serving Together Thanksgiving Dinner for 50 Families

RRUUC partnered with South Lake Elementary School to provide over 50 families in need with a hearty bag of groceries to help make their Thanksgiving festive and memorable. Individuals, families, and groups in the congregation filled bags with chicken, turkeys, fresh vegetables, stuffing, and pies, and donated gift cards for the school to distribute.

 

October – Rise Against Hunger

At this multigenerational event, we packed 20,000 meals which were then sent to the Hilario Sanchez School in Nicaragua. Our March 2018 inaugural event (see below) was a blast and this one was too. Our appreciation to everyone who participated! Visit Rise Against Hunger, to learn more about their work.

     

September – Children’s Book Collection for our Community Box

The children’s books we put in our Community Book Box were going like hotcakes! We collected children’s books to help meet our neighbor’s demands to read them.

 

August – Animal Ministry Team, Pawsitively Helping Shelter Pets

Congregants of all ages had fun making15 lbs of pumpkin-oat dog biscuits, 17 cat beds, 5 dog beds, 190 catnip sock toys, and 41 tee shirt toys! We sent all this comfort to the animals at the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. Thank you to everyone who participated and special appreciation to the Animal Ministry!

 

June & July – Food Drives for South Lake Elementary School, Gaithersburg

A thousand thank yous to generous folks who contributed snacks and meals for South Lake Elementary School. With over 85% of the kids at South Lake receiving free and reduced lunches, South Lake is not just one of the poorer schools in Montgomery County – it is also one of the most vibrant.

Congregants stuffed Rev. Nancy’s office with bags of needed food, then delivered it all to the school where approximately 500 children participated in the school’s summer school program. Every juice box, granola bar and well, everything, went directly to the children.

The Food Drive is a continuation of our relationship with South Lake. In 2015, River Road and the school began a partnership that resulted in the first subsidized after-school program for elementary school students in Montgomery County. Birthed through Action in Montgomery’s organizing, Excel Beyond the Bell began with a handful of teachers, a dozen River Road volunteers and one single week of programming.

May- Little Free Library and Community Box

For our May project, we built two, yes two boxes (like large mailboxes) and installed them on our grounds near the entrance. Both of these boxes offer items to our community. One box is a Little Free Library (see littlefreelibrary.org) and the matching box is filled with non-perishable food to offer our neighbors in need. This is an ongoing community effort and there is a box labeled Serving Together in the lobby. We will continually collect any kind of trail mix bars, juice boxes, single serving applesauce or fruit cups and single serving Mac and Cheese. We need your help to keep the box filled.

March 11 – Rise Against Hunger

We kicked off our Serving Together project by working with Rise Against Hunger.

175 volunteers!  20,888 meals!  In 3 Hours We Did It! 

We put our values and muscles into action Sunday, March 11. Over 175 volunteers carried large bags of rice and soy, sorted, weighed, measured, filled, sealed and packed 20,888 meals Rise Against Hunger. From 12:30 to 3:30pm, our Sanctuary was filled with laughter, singing, kids ringing gongs, and, rumor has it, even some dancing. Newcomers, long time members, kids, teens and a smorgasbord of adults of all ages worked together to make a huge difference in the world by preparing meals to feed those in need. A shout out to all volunteers and RRUUC staff, and to our Youth for providing lunch. This was truly something special – a time of generosity, fun and service. We did it together! need. All the meals we packed were shipped to Malawi, Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world. 

April 15, 2018 –  Collaborative Painting Project

We splashed and dabbled, created circles and swirls! On Sunday, 15 April we came together as a community to create some fabulous art together. All ages joined us in the Fellowship Hall as we created two original pieces. With no preconceived notions and some gentle guidance from artist Shari MacFarlane, we let our imaginations flow. The banner will be kept here at RRUUC and used in many different settings. The smaller piece will be donated as a gift from us to a yet named local organization. Thank you for your help; it was a fun and meaningful time!