The Unitarian Universalist Congregation has a long history of community outreach. Our congregation supports the following community partners through our Second Sunday Offering and through volunteering and advocacy. Click on any partner’s name to learn more.
Court-Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Every day, abused and neglected children in our community are taken from their homes and placed into temporary foster care because their parents cannot – or will not – take care of them. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of McHenry County works to help these children find safe, permanent homes where they can thrive. CASA volunteers make a life-long difference for children, one child at a time. CASA’s Mission is to support and promote court appointed volunteer advocacy in McHenry County which provides abused and neglected children a voice.
Compassion for Campers
Compassion for Campers was created in 2012 when members of the congregation realized that when the local homeless shelters close for the summer months, they leave a huge gap in services to meet the needs of homeless individuals and families. We collect and distribute the most needed items for those forced to camp out :bug spray, sunscreen, bottled water, toilet paper, non-perishable food, gift cards for gas or meals, sleeping bags and tents. Volunteers also prepare and share a picnic lunch each Monday during the summer months.
Direct Assistance Program (DAP)
The Direct Assistance Program (DAP) is a subgroup of the Woodstock Area Community Ministry. The purpose of this program is to provide a process through which clients in need may seek emergency financial aid. Funds are provided to help cover the costs of food, clothing, transportation, medicine, and utilities.
Environmental Defenders of McHenry County
Since 1970, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County have had many successes in helping to make McHenry County a healthier place in which to live. From the formation of the McHenry County Conservation District to curbside recycling, from the regulation of gravel mining to the passage of the Illinois Groundwater Protection Act, the Defenders have been at the front line, working closely with local, municipal, and county government while advocating for a healthy environment.
Garden Quarter Community Resource Center
The Garden Quarter Neighborhood Resource Center exists to enhance the quality of life of the McHenry community by encouraging education, promoting healthy lifestyles, and developing multicultural relationships. Programs are provided that assist children with homework, teach youth about substance use and abuse, decision making, conflict resolution, nutrition, personal hygiene, and more! Youth are encouraged to participate in various recreational activities at the resource center. In addition to outdoor sports, arts and crafts, and dance classes, the youth and their parents plant and maintain a community garden each season. Parents of the youth are actively involved through assisting with programming and field trips, fundraising and attending monthly parent meetings.
Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants–Post-release program
This network of volunteers from all over the Chicago area respond to the diverse needs of individuals who are released from immigration detention as well as the needs of families who come to visit loved ones for court dates. There are five PDAN teams – one team to be on call each of the month. Teams are able to provide emergency transportation and accompaniment to individuals immediately after being released from ICE custody. Teams are also able to contact generous hosts who have offered hospitality until arrangements can be made to reunite men and women with their families and friends in the U.S. or until we are able to secure a long-term residence.
Jail Brakers is a ministry that provides a safe place for families to express their emotional reaction to the separation from a family member who has been incarcerated. Our mission is to provide support to families who struggle with the stigma of incarceration and the impact that it has on them. Jail Brakers provides opportunities that give these families a voice and a place to be listened to with respect and compassion. We foster the development of community resources that more effectively meet their needs, and seek to raise awareness about their concerns while fostering hope. Together we address the stigma that perpetuates the fear, shame and isolation surrounding incarceration and re-entry.
New Horizons is a transitional living center for Veterans located in rural Hebron. The program’s cornerstone is an intervention strategy designed to address each veteran’s individual needs by providing a comprehensive array of services including:
- Medical and mental health services
- Alcohol and substance abuse programs
- Guidance regarding state and federal entitlement programs
A veteran can stay at the center for up to 24 months.
Parents & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) McHenry
PFLAG McHenry is a support, education, and advocacy group for people who have a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning friend or family member. Their mission is to promote the well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten the ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides an opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity to create a society that respects human diversity.
Turning Point of McHenry County
Turning Point is a domestic violence agency with a mission to confront violence against women and children in McHenry County.Programs include 24-hour Crisis Intervention and Response, an Emergency Shelter, Individual and Group Counseling (for adults and children), Trauma-Based Mental Health Services, Partner Abuse Intervention Program (PAIP), Adolescent Alternatives, Parenting Program, Latino Bilingual/Bicultural Services, Legal and Non-Legal Advocacy, Information and Referral, Prevention and Community Education, and Emergency Food and Clothing Pantries.