Kids in Action
Social action is central to the Unitarian Universalist tradition, and at LSUS we teach the students in our Religious Education (RE) program to be responsible, caring and sharing members of the larger society. It is not unusual that a discussion in the RE class would blossom into a congregation-wide social service project.
Some of the students' recent projects include:
CROP Hunger Walk
The RE students picked this particular charity to participate, set goals and raise donations to battle world hunger.
Making Holiday Decorations
The RE students shared their creativity and arts & crafts skills to decorate an elementary school in Chicago, where no holiday decorations have ever been hung before.
Supporting Animal Rescue Centers
An initiative led by the children involved educating members about animal rescue and finding creative ways to support a local shelter. The children made posters, asked for and collected pet supply donations from members of the congregation, and spent an afternoon visiting and learning about the shelter.
Cooking for the Homeless
When LSUS cooks and serves a nutritious hot meal for the homeless to support Evanston shelters and food pantries, the children work as hard as adult volunteers. They prepare dessert trays, make lemonade by gallons, roll up utensils in paper napkins, and serve the food and greet the people in need.
LSUS Youth Choir joined the LSUS Choral Group on Musical Outreach trips to retirement homes, brightening the day of many people in their grandparents' generation.
The children made cards of encouragement for military veterans and children in hospitals. This activity expanded to the LSUS' involvement in ScreenBreak Week by the Alliance for Early Childhood in Winnetka.
A minister from Chicago's Night Ministry visited LSUS and talked to the children in the YAREG (Young Adult Religious Education Group) about homeless youths. The children took action and, through a month-long collection at services, donated needed supplies to the Night Ministry, which provides housing, health care, and human connection to those struggling with poverty or homelessness, including homeless youths.
“The service component of LSUS gives North Shore kids a sense of perspective. They see what they have and why service is important." —Tony Hurtig, Evanston architect
“Opportunities for kids to develop values are not exclusive to a congregation; there are other places to see good behaviors modeled. But LSUS has an intergenerational aspect that really benefits our children, who don’t have grandparents nearby.” —Nancy Prial, Wilmette investment fund manager