Promoting Social Justice, Peace, and Compassion for All
Emergency Winter Shelter
The UUCLV is a partner of the Bethlehem Emergency Sheltering Program, which provides a network of care and hospitality for homeless men and women in our community. Overnight sheltering is provided during the coldest months of the year–December through March. The shelter is housed at the Christ United Church of Christ, less than two blocks away from the UUCLV at 75 E. Market Street, Bethlehem.
Volunteers from the UUCLV operate the shelter on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, from 4 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Learn more about the Emergency Winter Shelter here.
If you would like to learn more or sign up to be one of the more than 100 interfaith volunteers that make the shelter possible, please email Ann Gastinger. Or you can stop by the Social Action table during Coffee Hour every Sunday after service to learn more and fill out a volunteer sign-up form.
Immigrant & Refugee Support
The Interfaith Refugee sub-committee is a group of volunteers that, in conjunction with other local churches, has supported the resettlement of a Syrian family into the local community. We have found and furnished an apartment for the family of six and purchased necessary clothing, helped them apply for all applicable support programs such as food stamps, medical assistance, green cards, etc. We have enrolled the children in school and found employment for the father. We have supplied volunteers to help with additional needs such as eleven hours a week of tutoring which has enabled them to go from no English to the point where the children are totally bilingual, and the adults are making progress. We have provided transportation to appointments, school support and chaperones to recreational activities and assistance navigating their financial needs. After two years of support, we feel proud that the family has now achieved almost total independence.
We also provide support when possible for the community as needs arise such as collecting warm clothing and helping to find and support housing for families that have been displaced from Puerto Rico by hurricane Maria. If you would like to volunteer or have more questions, contact Judy Claps or Frank Claps.
UUCLV, along with other area churches, participates in the Pennsylvania Ave. Interfaith Food Pantry at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Allentown. The Interfaith Food Pantry distributes food to local families whose income is under the federal poverty level. Members of UUCLV volunteer on the last Wednesday of every other month, from 6-8 p.m., helping to hand out food. St. Andrew’s is located at 1900 Pennsylvania Ave., Allentown, PA 18109. For more information and to volunteer, email Cease Blocker.
Throughout the year, the Social Action Committee sponsors special drives to collect goods or money, such as a holiday mitten&glove tree, VAST collection, socks/snacks for the men’s shelter, Turning Point, and post-hurricane Puerto Rico. Congregants give freely and generously to these drives.