Residents of Chapel Hill, Fairhaven, Parkvue and Trinity communities collectively gave more than $20,300 to local, national and international charities in 2017 through worship service collections. This practice has deep meaning for many people who choose to live at United Church Homes.
“The residents love to give,” said Rev. Dr. Becky King, chaplain at Fairhaven Community in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and dean of chaplains at UCH. “One hundred percent of their gifts are given to charities of their choice. Some people bring coins; some people bring bills. Some are able to offer prayers as their gift.”
Many residents of Trinity Community of Beavercreek, Ohio, have a long history in the United Church of Christ, of which UCH is an affiliate. Rev. Dale Brown, chaplain at Trinity Community, said residents often advocate for contributions to the United Church of Christ’s Global Ministries to spread the word and cause of Christ to the world.
Other times, residents elect to give their contributions to local charities or nonprofit organizations, such as food banks, homeless and domestic violence ministries and organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association.
The faithful also help their peers by giving to the community’s Life Enrichment Fund. This fund provides resources for life enrichment, group outings and other resident needs.
“People will bring their bingo money. Even if they only can give four quarters, it’s extremely important to them,” said Rev. Cathy Lawrence, chaplain of Parkvue Community in Sandusky, Ohio.
Recently, at Chapel Hill Community in Canal Fulton, Ohio, residents made their gifts go further with a donor match for the local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity, said Rev. Erin McCreight, chaplain at Chapel Hill. Each year, they also sponsor a child for $500 through Family Village Farm in India’s child-elders sponsorship program.
Many of the chaplains share details about the giving from the organizations receiving the funding during mission moments in worship services.
Emily Howard, a chaplain intern at Fairhaven, said she was touched by the energy that giving sparks in residents.
“We’re each called as people living in a faith community to share what we have and give of ourselves, and we’re connected in that way. It’s part of our faith,” she said.