Special Plate Collection Voting Ballot for 2022-25
Hello First U.U. Community,

As discussed at the December 2021 Congregational Meeting, we would like to change the Special Plate Collection process. We will now select 8 organizations that we will support consistently for the next 3 years.  This allows our congregation to develop and deepen more supportive relationships with these organizations. It also helps the organizations know they will be receiving donations from us for a defined time period. We will leave one month open every year in case a cause or new organization that the congregation would like to contribute to that year, such as local relief, emergency, special need, etc.  

Under each category, we have listed several organizations that have been nominated repeatedly over the past 10 years.  Please vote for your TOP 2 organizations within each category. We will make sure every category is represented in the final eight choices.

DEADLINE: Dec. 26, 2021 midnight
If you have questions, contact Cyndi Dimovitz at cdimovitz@gmail.com or 610-334-8309.

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Bonnie.sirott@gmail.com Your Email Address *
Candidates' Information - scroll down to vote for TWO per category

____ GREATER READING IMMIGRATION PROJECT (GRIP) is a coalition of community volunteers working to raise awareness about immigration issues in Berks County through education, communication and advocacy.  Our primary focus is to educate the community on the issues facing local youth and their families as they seek to continue their education, research possible paths to citizenship and safely become productive, contributing members of the community. Our donation will contribute to the scholarship to help undocumented college students (because they cannot not qualify for student aid or loans). https://www.readinggrip.org/grip-dreamer-scholarship-fund/

_____BERKS STANDS UP is part of a vast multiracial, multi-generational movement of everyday people united in a commitment to the common good and to making real the promise of a society that works for all of us. From raising our voices in our public square to going door-to-door to meet our neighbors, we are taking back our democracy. We organize to win issue campaigns, elect leaders who stand up for the health and wellbeing of all people, and create lasting independent political power.  https://berksstandsup.org/ 

____ CENTRO HISPANO: Centro Hispano has a shared vision for real change. Their mission is to support and enhance the acculturation of the Latino population in the Greater Reading area through collaborative initiatives designed to enable individuals to improve their quality of life and the quality of life in their communities. http://www.centrohispano.org.

___BERKS CONNECTIONS/PRETRIAL SERVICES: improves lives and creates safer, more prosperous communities by providing services, support, and community reintegration to individuals involved in the justice system and to their families. https://www.berksconnections.org/

___ MAKE THE ROAD PA: To organize the power of the Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. They are active in fighting for immigration justice, economic justice, LGBT justice, voting rights, and restoring our democracy.  www.maketheroadpa.org   

___ SAFE BERKS: Formerly known as “Berks Women in Crisis,” SAFE Berks provides safe haven and support to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Our advocacy and education programs increase awareness of oppression and promote the prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault. http://www.safeberks.org.


____ BERKS COALITION TO END HOMELESSNESS: The Coalition develops and implements strategies, coordinates resources, and targets efforts towards ending homelessness in Berks County. Started as a small volunteer group in 1995 to address the problems of homelessness in our area it has since grown to over 60 agencies, businesses, and individuals working toward
preventing, reducing, and ending homelessness. http://bceh.org

____ HOPE RESCUE MISSION: Since 1894, Hope Rescue Mission has been a place of refuge for the homeless men of Berks County, PA. They offer residential programs wherein men can work their way through to transition back into the community as productive and independent individuals. https://www.hopeforreading.org.

___ OPPORTUNITY HOUSE: Opportunity House changes lives by educating, housing, feeding, and empowering people to stand on their own feet. Opportunity House improves the quality of life for children, adults, and families through the following services: shelter for the homeless, transitional housing, 24/7 childcare, support services for Veterans and their families, and Reuse and Recycle services.   www.opphouse.org         

___ OLIVET BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF READING AND BERKS COUNTY: Olivet BGC staff members provide caring guidance.  Club programs address Berks County’s most pressing youth issues. They fall under five main areas: Character and Leadership Development; the Arts; Education and Career Development; Sports, Fitness and Recreation; and Health and Life Skills.    http://www.olivetbgc.org/

___ HELPING HARVEST (formally Greater Berks Food Bank):  To feed the hungry by acquiring and distributing food to people in needed.  www.berksfoodbank.org

___ FRIEND Inc: Based in Kutztown, PA. In 2021 our combined Food Pantries served 1,136 households consisting of 2,112 individuals; 436 children, 1,599 adults, and 143 seniors. In addition, emergency food was distributed to 592 individuals. 901 individuals received information and referral services and 772 individuals were connected to and/or provided with additional supportive services. In 2021 Friend, Inc. also brought on an Advocate from Safe Berks who joined counselors from Family Guidance Center and representatives from Maternal and Family Health Services who administer WIC making access to these critical services more accessible to the communities of northeastern Berks County.  www.friendinc.org


____ PROSPECTUS BERCO - They increase opportunities for adults with intellectual disabilities and special needs 1) to reside in community homes throughout Berks County staffed with support and a family atmosphere (approx. 90 adults), 2) to partake in community activities via Adult Training Program at 840 William Lane with eight classrooms and at 1800 Kutztown Road with four classrooms, 3) to receive employment readiness and vocational support at on-site contracted work and off-site paid positions in local businesses (100 adults).  https://proberco.org/serv-residential/ 

___ PLANNED PARENTHOOD KEYSTONE: Spectrum, Rainbow Room, Curve programs provide a safe, supportive and empowering environment for LGBTQ+ youth. In these programs, they can be themselves and experience the freedom of knowing they are accepted totally and without reservation. Weekly meetings are facilitated by trained Planned Parenthood educators featuring a blend of education, recreation and advocacy. https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-

___ LGBT CENTER OF GREATER READING:  The LGBT center was established to create, administer and provide services, advocacy, and support to the Greater Reading community, including their allies with the goal that all may live a life of fulfillment, inclusion, and celebration. The Center provides support groups for adults, professional training on LGBT topics, references and referrals, advocacy and information. www.lgbtcenterofreading.com.

___ ABILITIES IN MOTION is dedicated to advancing the rights of persons with disabilities in order to promote a full life in the community through the prevention and elimination of physical, psychological, social and attitudinal barriers which serve to deny them the rights and privileges common to the general public.   http://www.abilitiesinmotion.org/


____ VOICE UP BERKS sponsors the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. YVC is a team-based service learning program for youth ages 11-18. Youth engage in meaningful service activities while having fun and learning about their community and themselves. YVC not only provides youth with critical job skills for future employment, but also offer improved life trajectories. Every project is organized and led by trained Team Leaders who motivate and inspire. https://www.voiceupberks.org/yvc 

___ CO-COUNTY WELLNESS SERVICES improves public health through service, education, and advocacy.  Founded in 1985 Co-County Wellness Services meets the needs of persons living with HIV in our community through case management and medication adherence services.   They additionally provide prevention services related to HIV, other STDs (including HIV testing and STD screening/treatment) and teen pregnancy. www.cocounty.org   

___ READING PUBLIC LIBRARY: The Reading Public Library will generate a library for the future by meeting the informational, educational, and the recreational needs of library consumers today.      www.readingpubliclibrary.org   

___ BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS - We strive to foster positive and measurable growth for at-risk youth including a strengthened sense of self-worth; development of character; and improved relationships & performance at home, in school, and throughout the community.  We achieve our goals through four (4) mentoring programs utilizing carefully-screened and trained volunteersteers.

___ LITERACY COUNCIL OF READING-BERKS:  The Literacy Council of Reading-Berks helps people better communicate and contribute to their families, workplaces, and community. Because of our good work, all those who want to read can all those who want a high school diploma have one. They serve both adults and businesses offering classes, workshops, one-on-one tutoring, and off-site training.    http://www.lcrb.org


____ BERKS NATURE: Serving the Berks County community since 1974. Land preservation, water protection, trail management, community gardens, education programs, State of the Environment, Eco-Camp and our valued partnerships are at the center of Berks Nature’s work every day. We hope you join us by becoming a Champion of Nature. You’ll enjoy exclusive benefits, while supporting programs that help connect people to nature and maintain the natural beauty of Berks County. https://berksnature.org/ 

____ SUNRISE MOVEMENT EDUCATION FUND: SunriseMovement.org is a youth-led, national organization that aims to make climate change an urgent priority across America, expose the corruption of fossil fuel industry on our politics, and promote the Green New Deal's Civilian Climate Corps. Sunrise Berks is the local hub and they strongly support efforts of the Shut Down Berks Coalition. https://www.facebook.com/SunriseBerks  [eligible 501(c)(4) non-profit]

___ ANIMAL RESCUE LEAGUE: Pet Loss and Bereavement Program: Provides Counseling and support to pet owners who have suffered the loss of their animal companions.   http://www.berksarl.org/

___ ONE BY ONE CAT RESCUE: Based in Temple, PA. One By One is a no-kill cat rescue dedicated to helping abandoned, stray, rescued, and injured cats by providing quality shelter and foster care through voluntary efforts, for their lifetime, if necessary. They do not receive any local, state, or federal funding existing solely on donations from the public. http://1by1catrescue.org/.  

____ MURRAY GROVE (Potter/Murray meeting site): To provide a sustainable center for retreat and renewal of spirit, mind, and body and the preservation of Unitarian Universalist history and heritage through educational opportunities, the arts, and prophetic outreach. Although this is not a local organization, it has supported the FUUCBC by donating a two-night stay for our annual auction. www.murraygrove.org

___SIERRA CLUB PA: The Sierra Club of Pennsylvania is the only member-led statewide environmental organization in the state and believes that our open spaces, clean water, and natural resources should be protected so that current and future generations may enjoy them. In addition to offices in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia, they have nine active regional groups all across the state that help explore, enjoy, and protect our state's many environmental resources and fight for safe and livable communities. www.sierraclub.org/penns

PLEASE SUGGEST OTHER ORGANIZATIONS or causes not listed here that you would like to consider for the open month. (Organizations that have been suggested include Habitat for Humanity Berks and South of Penn Taskforce.)
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