Interested in learning about new opportunities to help others? You can volunteer for an ongoing effort or get a taste of trying something new.
Flower Power for New Moms. We will celebrate Mother’s Day with our annual “Flower Power” project to benefit New Moms, the First United mission partner that helps teen mothers break the cycle of poverty and change the future for young moms who are experiencing poverty and homelessness in Chicago. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, church school children will not be planting actual plants. Instead, working at home with their families, they will be “planting pots” by drawing flowers in pots and adding encouraging messages to make Mother’s Day cards. All cards are due by Thursday, April 29, and will be picked up at families’ homes. Congregation members can help by sponsoring a “virtual” pot or two of flowers for $10 or $15 per pot. You can donate by giving online, by texting FIRSTUNITED to 73256, or by mailing a check to the church and writing “New Moms Flower Power” in the memo line. You can learn more about New Moms at the group’s website.
Grocery run for the Makuebos. The Makuebo family, an immigrant family seeking asylum for whom First United is acting as a co-sponsor, needs assistance with driving to pick up groceries. We have driver opportunities to help the family once a month during the day with driving to two food banks, one in South Barrington and one in Oak Park. We also would like to find a volunteer who could drive Gabi to an African grocery store about once a month. Lelo and Gabi are learning English and are good at using Google Translate. This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know one or both of the parents! If you’re interested, contact Gretchen Straw ([email protected] or 571-241-5718).
Earth Week Mini Film Festival, April 19-25. In honor of Earth Week and Earth Day, April 22, the One Earth Film Festival is hosting a series of free online showings of six full-length films and 14 shorts exploring climate change and finding new ways to take climate action to save the planet. Among the films are movies about youth climate activist Greta Thunberg; longtime activist Dolores Huerta, who led the union fight with Cesar Chavez for California farm workers; and how petrochemical pollution is ruining a once-thriving Black community in Louisiana, and how some residents are fighting back. Q&A sessions with experts and filmmakers will follow the showings. Descriptions of all the films and directions on how to get free tickets (an $8 donation is suggested) are available on the One Earth Film Festival website.
Join a small group for Hunger Walkathon West, May 2. Instead of going strictly virtual, this year’s CROP Hunger Walk features the opportunity to gather in one of multiple small gatherings to fight hunger. Each team will meet at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 2, to walk together for whatever distance and route are determined by the team captain, and First United’s team will meet at church. The need for donations for this First United mission partner, which raises funds to fight hunger both globally and locally, hasn’t changed. You can raise money by walking or just making a donation at the Hunger Walkathon West website.
Fourth Sunday Offering for One Great Hour of Sharing, April 25. Each month, all undesignated money donated on the fourth Sunday goes to a specific beneficiary supported by First United. This month’s Fourth Sunday Offering on April 25 will go toward One Great Hour of Sharing, the program supported by churches nationwide, including the United Church of Christ and Presbyterian Church of America. Donations go to help in three areas: disaster assistance, hunger programs, and initiatives that aid the self-development of people. Learn more about One Great Hour of Sharing at a PC(USA) website or watch videos about the program at a UCC website.
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, church is being streamed at 11 a.m. Sundays instead of being held in the Sanctuary. Giving online and marking the donation for the Fourth Sunday Offering, texting FIRSTUNITED to 73256, or mailing checks to First United can take the place of the in-person Fourth Sunday Offering, at least for now.