There is much we can do to help one another and our neighbors through the pandemic.

Social Justice

We care for our community:

Our Social Justice team has reached out to our community partners, especially groups like TOTAL Ministries and PASOs, to ask what support would be most helpful at this time and going forward. We have also communicated with our City Manager and District Councilwoman to offer our help at any time. There will be many ways that we can help.

Please hold in mind and heart those who serve at the forefront of the pandemic–our medical and social workers, our sanitation and food distribution workers, civic leaders, and each person answering the call to serve.

Advocacy

In Education

Contact Governor McMaster – call (803) 734-2100, mail to: the State House, 1100 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29201 or click here to complete contact form online – to express frustration and concern for his handling of the reopening plans from many of our public school systems across the state. He has directed SC Superintendent Molly Spearman reject any school reopening plans that do not include in-person options for students 5 days per week (contradicting our state’s Accelerate Ed task force recommendations and severely limiting the ability of individual schools to make local level decisions based on in flux case numbers). Ask what his administration plans to do when (not *if*) there is a teacher and substitute shortage when faculty and staff become sick.

In Elections

As we had for the primaries, our state must implement “no excuse” absentee voting for the general election. The general election is now less than 100 days away and the state legislature has yet to announce that absentee (mail-in voting) will be allowed for all voters during the pandemic. Most states already allow voting by mail for all eligible voters. There’s no reason that South Carolina can’t do the same.

    • Glenn Reese, District 11 SC State Senator – mail to: 507 Fagan Dr, Inman 29349 or click here to complete online contact form
    • Rosalyn Henderson Myers, District 31 SC State Representative – mail to: P.O. Box 1311, Spartanburg SC 29304 or click here to complete online contact form

NOTE: if you aren’t sure who your state-level legislators are, use this website to find out based on your address.

In Housing

Evictions are looming large in August as the moratorium on evictions allowed for in the CARES Act expired in late July. Landlords may now begin the eviction process with 30 days notice to their tenants – meaning August will be a tumultuous month for many families. The newly proposed Senate HEALS Act does not extend the eviction protection provided in the CARES Act. As negotiations and discussions begin around the HEALS Act, demand rental assistance and eviction protection be included.

    • Lindsey Graham, US Senate – mail to: 130 S Main St 7th floor, Greenville, SC 29601 or click here to complete online contact form
    • Tim Scott, US Senate – mail to: 104 South Main St Suite 803, Greenville, SC 29601 or click here to complete online contact form

Thank you for your committed, unflagging advocacy for justice and mercy for all.

Making Masks

A UUCS sewing team is making and distributing masks to members of our congregation, neighbors in South Converse, community agencies, and anyone who needs them. If you would like to help, have materials you can share, or need a mask, contact Alice Sutton (socialjustice@uucs.org). Click here for some suggestions for making masks. Interested in starting a mask-making sewing circle? Click here for sewing circle guidance. On your own, or in your sewing circle, contact Alice to let us know how many masks you have made! Mask News – Mid-July Updates, click here!

Share Your Actions

Let us know what you are doing to help—making masks, donating supplies, helping neighbors, supporting organizations. We want to create a list of what our congregants are doing to help, as a way to share ideas with one another, to empower each other to act, and to create a narrative of all the ways we are lending a hand individually and as a congregation. Even the smallest acts can have a large impact. Send notes of your actions to Social Justice Chair Alice Sutton at suttonak52@gmail.com. We will share these on our website to encourage and motivate one another. Mask Maker Update: https://uucs.org/mask-maker-mask-maker/ 

Giving

We are in a time of financial uncertainty and strain. We share our gifts to benefit one another and our world, not to put anyone of us at risk. Please give when and how you can, and never when you should not. All of our gifts–gifts of care, of time, of skill, of resources–have a vital purpose.

  • Time: As many of you have already done, if you have a gift you feel would be of benefit that you would like to share – skill with technology, transportation, food, and much more–please reach out to our minister, Scott Neely (minister@uucs.org) or any of our church leaders. This has already been very helpful.
  • Treasure: Many of you have asked how to give financially to the church during this time:
    • You may give to the church online here: https://uucs.org/contribution/
    • You may also mail checks (to UUCS, P.O. Box 1942, Spartanburg, SC 29304) or bring monetary gifts to the church office (contact Office Administrator Pat Landry at office@uucs.org / 864-585-9230; Pat’s usual office hours are now M-F, 10 am-noon). All the ways to donate to UUCS, including by text, can be found here: https://uucs.org/donate/.
    • Share the Plate: Contributions may be made here: https://uucs.org/share-the-plate-contribution/
    • Fund to Support Immigrants in Spartanburg. In partnership with Alianza Spartanburg (previously the Hispanic Alliance) and the PASOs site in Spartanburg, UUCS has established a fund to provide direct assistance to individuals and families who will not receive federal assistance through the CARES Act because of their immigration status—even though they pay taxes. Even if only one family member is out of status, no one in the family will receive funds—even children who are US citizens.You may give to this fund here: https://uucs.org/support-our-immigrants/.

UUCS Social Justice News Blog