Family Promise Metrowest

First Parish is one of many houses of worship that support the Family Promise Metrowest network for families with housing challenges. The goal of this interfaith program is to keep families together while they work toward living in their own homes again. We started in the summer of 2008 and receive much assistance from our support congregation, First Baptist Church in Framingham.

The guests are housed in a shelter in Natick and have access to support at the Day Center. There the director and associate director help guests with goals, such as finding housing, work, and/or childcare. Families are also able to use showers there and wash their laundry. There are education programs for families or kids activities in the large meeting room.

Volunteers are needed for preparing meals, evening companionship, and grocery shopping.

Metrowest Free Medical Program

First Parish is one of the congregations that host the MetroWest Free Medical Program, a nonprofit organization that engages volunteer healthcare providers to offer physical and mental health services to those who are uninsured and underinsured. Until recently, First Parish provided space for the health program. The program is seeking a larger space and is currently hosted by the Kennedy Health Center in downtown Framingham. 

Volunteers at the MetroWest Free Medical Program provide services to about 1,300 patients through more than 1800 visits, annually. The program operates on a small budget and is supported by corporate and foundation grants and individual donations. The First Parish congregation supports the work of the MetroWest Free Medical Program with many active volunteers and an annual financial contribution from the Share-the-Plate program. This is truly a community program!

To learn more about the MetroWest Free Medical Program, to make a donation or to consider volunteering, visit their website.

The Diaper Project at A Place To Turn

Every child should have enough diapers to be clean, dry and healthy. The Diaper Project at First Parish and A Place to Turn have partnered to help provide referred Metrowest families in financial distress with an adequate supply of diapers for their infants and toddlers. Our volunteers outreach churches, businesses, schools, civic groups, and organizations to host diaper drives. Collected diapers are distributed at A Place To Turn, an emergency food pantry in Natick serving the Metrowest area. For more information, see our website http://www.diaperproject.info.


Food Pantry

7/10/2020 We encourage folks to bring their donations to local food pantry directly, as we are not collecting items right now. 

We collect the following items and donate them to area food pantries: non-perishable food such as peanut butter, cold cereal, hearty soups; canned hams, tuna, and chicken; juice and juice boxes; Parmalat (boxed milk); beans; macaroni and cheese that can be microwaved.


Learning English for Adults Program (L.E.A.P.)

L.E.A.P. offers three levels of beginner classes: basic literacy, low beginners and high beginners, and a low intermediate class. In addition, LEAP will offer citizenship prep classes. Ten experienced volunteer instructors from First Parish and the community will teach one or more semesters. All classes are offered on Zoom.

Up to seventy students participate in the program during the year. Students may elect to attend 2 or 3 classes each week. Reading, writing, listening and speaking are emphasized in all classes.

Students are referred to us by SMOC, the Literacy Programs at the Natick and Framingham public libraries, Framingham Adult ESL Program, Metrowest Jewish Family Services, and Metrowest Free Medical Program. Students also learn about the program from press releases in the local media and from word-of-mouth. Our program provides access to English language instruction to students who did not win the Framingham Adult ESL Plus program lottery, students who cannot commit to programs that require 2 or 3 weekly sessions or cannot afford tuition-based programs. Most of our students are from South America.

 

 


 

Guatemala Working Group

Guatemala Working Group supports improved education and infrastructure (Onil stoves, water filters, improved housing, school supplies) at the Bendicion de Dios school community in Alotenango. This school serves children with limited resources, who otherwise would not be able to attend school, due to the prohibitive costs of a uniform and materials.

The Group meets approximately two to three times a year. It heads up the First Parish Onil stove initiative during the December Share the Plate collection. First Parish has funded over 100 energy efficient stoves that are being used in the school community. The Guatemala Work Group works with the organization Under the Same Moon, a non-profit 501c3 organization whose mission is to provide funding and professional development to the Guatemalan school Bendicion de Dios. It helps with sales of Guatemalan handcrafted jewelry, which both supports employment of over 25 Guatemalan artisans and funds the kindergarten and preschool programs at Bendicion de Dios.

Contact Rebecca Center for more information or to get involved.

Contact Rebecca


UU Urban Ministry

The Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry is a social justice organization in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. With a history of nearly 200 years, this ministry supports youth and adults by providing opportunities for them to develop life skills, further their education, and find adequate housing and services. You can learn more about UU Urban Ministry here.

Our UU Urban Ministry working group provides support for Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter. In the spring the group publicizes a collection of needed items for Renewal House such as toiletries, children’s art supplies, and household items. A collection basket is kept for 3 weeks in the Parish House hallway. Supplies are taken to Renewal House.

Contact persons: Valerie Waldman, Chair and Myrna Howe, UUUM delegate. Contact Valerie