Gifts That Keep on Giving

Gifts That Keep on Giving

By Robin Loving 

During the giving season, you might be inspired by what one of San Miguel de Allende’s spiritual organizations is doing. While giving more than half of the projected budget of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel to local charities, it has responded to the COVID crisis with gifts of even more than that. Special donations have nearly doubled its annual financial contribution to the community. 

In 2020, UUFSMA gave about US$141,000 including US$55,000 in grants to San Miguel nonprofits and US$83,000 to purchase food during the pandemic for local families in need. Each quarter, in addition to annual grants, UUFSMA donates the entire collection from a Sunday Service to non-governmental organizations that have special, often one-time needs. In 2019, contributions from these ‘Blue Plate Specials’ totaled more than US$3,000. 

How do they do that? “With the help of others in the community, is the short answer,” said Dan Neuspiel, UUFSMA president. “Our members contribute generously, as do our visitors. Then, when we face an unexpected crisis, we rally everyone we can to respond to it. We are so gratified by their response—especially this year when so much was so unexpectedly needed,” he continued.

As a result, more than 30 local nonprofits that improve the quality of life for Mexican families in greatest need are doing so in part thanks to UUFSMA grants. UUFSMA’s giving has earned international recognition, with the Unitarian Universalist Association noting that the act of giving at least 50 percent of UUFSMA’s annual budget is unmatched by any other UUA congregation. 

Nonprofits that have applied, been vetted through a stringent months-long review process, and then received these gifts from the heart include:

2020 Grantees:

Caminos de Agua 

Caminamos Juntos 

Casita Linda

CEDESA

Centro Infantil de Los Ángeles

El Charco del Ingenio

Escuela de Educación Especial

Feed the Hungry 

Fundación de Apoyo Infantil

Jovenes Adelante

Mujeres en Cambio 

Niños con Autismo

Patronato Pro Ninos

Previous Grant Recipients:

ABBA House 

Alma

Apoyo a Gente Emprendedora

Biblioteca Pública

CASA

CATIS 

Climate Action Strike

DIF

El Salvadoran Peace Team

Latin American Relief Fund

Libros para Todos

Lions Club 

Ojalá Ninos 

PEASMA 

Railroad Project 

Santuario Hogar Guadalupano 

Seed Bank

SMA Literary Sala

So Others May Eat

TOSMA

Tsuru for Solidarity 

Now that in-person meetings have been suspended due to health considerations, UUFSMA joins the rest of the world in seeking new ways to accomplish its objectives. All of this happens because UUFSMA strives for compassion and seeks values that will benefit all. If you would like to learn more about UUFSMA’s spiritual community and social action, visit uufsma.org. You can also contact board members Chris Chase, chair of member services, at chris.chase1955@gmail.com, and/or Rebecca Langrall, chair of social action, at rlangrall22@gmail.com.

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