UU San Mateo partners with several local service organizations to support them with time, talent, and financial support. We reach out to our community to let everyone know how to help. Your involvement can be big, small, or in-between, in accordance with your personal level of interest and commitment to social action.

Explore the organizations listed below and think about which one matches your interests and concerns. Each organization has a UUSM contact who knows that organization and how you can help. Options range from one-time volunteer events, support for fundraising, and longer-term volunteer roles. To find out more, contact the UUSM coordinator for that organization.

Home and Hope

Home and Hope (formerly Interfaith Hospitality Network / IHN) is an interfaith network of religious institutions that offer shelter, meals, and social services to temporarily homeless families. UUSM currently shops for food, provides financial support, and supports host congregations. For more information, contact UUSM’s Home and Hope Coordinator.

Habitat for Humanity

habitat groupHabitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco builds affordable homes in our community. Trained staff and volunteers, aged 16 years and older, work together during the week or on a Saturday. To volunteer, you need not have prior building experience and you don’t have to be a star athlete. There are all kinds of jobs to do – some simple, some complex. Habitat personnel will train and supervise volunteers in safety and work projects. The goal is to match a volunteer’s ability and interests with the requirements of a particular building task.

Second Harvest Food Bank

secondharvest 213x158Second Harvest Food Bank has been serving the community since 1974. The San Mateo County Food Bank currently feeds 42,500 people a month; 60% of these are families with children and 20% are seniors. Programs include:

  • Family Harvest
  • Brown Bag
  • Partners in Need
  • Nutrition Education
  • Mobile Food Bank

Second Harvest also provides breakfast, lunch, and a snack to 20,000 low-income children during the summer months when school is out. For every dollar donated to Second Harvest, 95 cents is used to feed hungry people in our community. Second Harvest can provide two nutritious meals to the hungry for only $1.00.

The food reaches the hungry through 800 partner non-profit agencies and distribution sites. Each year volunteers provide the workforce essential to the success of the Second Harvest Food Bank program. During the most recent year, volunteers donated an equivalent of approximately $3 million in work hours. The Food Bank in San Mateo and Santa Clara County is the 7th largest in the United States.

Homework Central

Homework Central is an after-school tutoring program serving third, fourth, and fifth graders at three sites in North Central San Mateo. Teachers from Sunnybrae, Horrall, and San Mateo Park Elementary School refer students; parents then enroll their children in the program, and students attend their homework center four days each week during the school year.

Our congregation hosts students from San Mateo Park Elementary School. Our Site Coordinator is the daily constant, welcoming the students and assigning the rotating staff of volunteer tutors. Tutors work with students on their homework, strengthening math, writing, and reading skills. In addition, families attend evening classes that provide information on such topics of concern such as gang prevention, middle school transition, and positive discipline.

To learn more about how you can assist this essential program, contact the Homework Central Coordinators.

Open Door Committee

UUSM’s Open Door Committee promotes interactive communication and understanding among members of our congregation and the local African-American community, building bridges across racial lines through working together, sharing interests and ideas, and socializing. We provide a vehicle for social activism through community involvement and participation.

The Open Door Committee’s major event occurs on the Saturday before the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, when UUSM hosts a birthday party for Dr. King, featuring a large community reception immediately following the North Central Neighborhood Association’s Dr. King Day Art, Poetry, and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony.

For information, contact the Open Door Committee Coordinator.

Environmental Justice

UU San Mateo is deeply committed to environmental justice. Here are several of our current initiatives:

  • UUSM’s Green Team – This group works to improve congregational practices around food consumption, resource conservation, and energy use. Our resolution to avoid bringing red meat dishes to shared-food events was added to our covenant on procedures in May 2018.  For information, contact the Green Team Leaders.

  • Education and advocacy – UUSM received a commendation for education from California Interfaith Power and Light for their Low Carbon Diet congregational program in 2015.

  • Assuring energy-efficiency on our campus – The Campus Development Task Force (CDTF) is working with AE3 Partners architectural firm to ensure our redesigned campus will be energy efficient, both inside and out. For more information, contact CDTF leadership.