As Unitarian Universalists, our Third Principle is justice, equity and compassion in human relations. First Unitarian Church of Victoria pursues justice and equity through acts of solidarity with people living in poverty, such as our Lifeline List Project and our meal cooking program.
Members of our church sponsor the Lifeline List Project – a way of upholding our First Principle, respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every human being. They are then called upon no more than once a year to provide a small amount of funds (under $200) to address a specific, urgent situation for someone living in poverty.
In the decades since the Lifeline List Project was created, we have been able to assist several hundred local families. And over those years, we have also developed excellent working relationships with compassionate agencies like the Victoria Women’s Transition House and the Cridge Centre for the Family, one source of requests for sponsorship.
The Lifeline List Project helps people in various ways: food vouchers when the cupboard is bare; paying a phone bill or a hydro bill to keep a vital service available; purchasing vital medicine which is not covered by any insurance plan. Assistance is provided on a one-time-only basis, and does not include providing cash directly to people – we hope to simply be a lifeline in a vital moment to someone in need.
For cases when the needs are too great for Lifeline List funds to cover, our congregation also administers the Ethel May Trust Fund, set up in 2005 by a generous member of our community in honour of his late mother. It is administered by three church-member trustees and works in close co-operation with the Lifeline Project to help where the financial need is greater than the Lifeline is able to cover.
If you would like to become a Lifeline List Project sponsor, or if you have questions or comments, please phone the office (250-744-2665), leave your name and phone number and one of the project administrators will call you.
Our congregation also has a long tradition of cooking meals for local shelters. If you would like to be involved in this work, please contact Mary Ellen Nicol at firstname.lastname@example.org.