As many of you know, last week First Houston partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Association to distribute 14,000 liters of water. Working with volunteers from our congregation and Project Row Houses, we provided water to more than five hundred households in need. These include people located in the Cuney Homes and Project Row Houses and those connected with the S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, the Freedmen’s Town Association, MacGregor Elementary School, the Emergency Aid Coalition, the DeZavala Elementary School, and our own congregation.
This week we are continuing to respond to the recent disaster through our shared offering. In the wake of the arctic storm, leadership from our congregation connected with two local agricultural concerns that were wiped out by the freeze. The Kashmere MSC Community Garden in Houston and PP Farming, a small Black-owned family farm in Fort Bend County, both lost almost all of their crops. PP Farming lost the majority of their chickens as well.
We have committed to raise $18,000 to enable the garden and the farm to reseed. Neither has the financial capacity to do so on their own. Both participate in the Freedmen’s Town Farmers Market and regularly bring fresh produce, eggs, and meat to one of Houston’s food deserts. Located in the historic Fourth Ward, the market serves the city’s oldest African American community. It is a neighborhood with which our congregation has close ties through its work with the Yates Museum. As part of its work, the garden also provides leadership and job readiness training for youth and women who are survivors of domestic violence.
Our support of the garden and the farm will enable these Black-operated enterprises to survive this difficult time. It will also empower them to provide fresh organic groceries to dozens of families who might not have otherwise access to them.
I can think of few better ways to live our Unitarian Universalist values than by demonstrating our solidarity with institutions like the garden and the farm during their time of need through providing them with financial support. You can make a contribution online through the regular shared offering process anytime this week at https://firstuu.org/donate/ As is normal, First Houston will split these funds with the garden and farm. Because of the amount of money we are trying to raise you can also send a check directly to the church that, if so designated, will go 100% to support garden and farm. If you wish to do that please write “Garden Reseeding” in the memo and send it to:
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
5200 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77004
If you have any questions about this effort please let me know. I would be happy to answer them. I hope that you will join me in supporting this important effort.