Editor’s note: In a nod to the Thanksgiving holiday, reporters for the Shopping section of Court Street Stories have decided to “shop” for a local charity. What better way to say “thanks” than to find an organization worthy of a donation or volunteer work?
What’s the UCM?
Religious institutions have the reputation of being exclusive and righteous to a fault. The United Campus Ministry in Athens couldn’t be more different than that.
Supported entirely by a few local congregations and personal donations, it accepts people from any faith or non-faith. Their mission is to engage the community in spiritual growth, community service and work for justice, guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.
UCM facilitates cooperative activities and discussions among people of varying, sometimes contradictory, faiths. How can a Christian and a Satanist agree on anything about religion? Rev. Evan Young, Campus Minister, says it’s all about open discussion. “We encourage understanding each other and in doing so, we understand ourselves better,” he said. “We all have the same questions: What happens to us when we die? Why do we suffer?”
The United Campus Ministry would love for you to participate in these discussions and/or get involved in their volunteering efforts this holiday. Here are just a few ways to contribute.
Thursday supper and Saturday lunch
Student and community volunteers work together to plan, prepare, set-up, and serve free, hot, nutritious meals for low-income community members. Every Thursday and Saturday.
Interfaith impact student organization
Interfaith dialogue facilitated by Rev. Young, every Thursday night (7:30-9)
An award-winning campaign that focuses on environmental justice and food insecurity in Athens County. Students have raised money and awareness for local and international organizations including Charity Water, the SE Ohio Foodbank, and Community Food Initiatives.
Alternative break trips
Winter break trips have included Witness for Peace delegations to Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela; Pine Ridge Reservation, post-Katrina New Orleans, US-Mexico border, and Washington D.C. Available to all students.
UCM’s website accepts donations of any size.
Buy stuff at Kroger
Kroger gift cards are available at UCM. A percentage of grocery and gas purchases with the Kroger card will go to UCM at no cost to you. Call or email for details and to obtain your card.
Other volunteer opportunities
- Groundskeeping and routine building maintenance
- Bulk mailing prep (folding and labeling)
- Fundraising and outreach events and activities
Additional information on these and other actives can be found on their website.