McLaughlin Social Justice Initiatives

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First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee awards $57,000 in grants to five community service organizations

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.