In April 2013, the Board of Trustees of the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee awarded one-time grants totaling $57,000 to five Milwaukee service organizations. The funds were made possible by a generous bequest from Ted and Helen McLaughlin and were used to foster worthy social justice initiatives in the community.
The recipients included:
- Milwaukee Urban Gardens (MUG), $7,500 to support community garden improvements and to provide education and mentoring services to inner-city youth;
- Neighborhood House of Milwaukee, $12,500 to increase literacy, adult education, and support services to refugees through the International Learning Center.
- Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, $8,900 to expand their Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues designed to counter religious bias and promote interfaith understanding and tolerance in the metropolitan area.
- Fondy Food Center, $20,000 to increase availability of the WIC Market Match Program encouraging families to purchase and consume fresh, locally grown produce.
- Concordia Garden, $8,100 to expand the gardens in the Harambee neighborhood, producing more food for those in need and engaging them in growing healthy food as a way of life. A Victory Garden Initiative program.
The grantees for the community service projects were chosen for their fit with Unitarian Universalist principles, including a recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of all existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.
Ted and Helen McLaughlin were long-time church members before moving to New Mexico in 1986. These grants come from a portion of their bequest. The majority of the gift will be used by the church to strengthen ongoing core programs.