Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Community Outreach

helpinghandsThe Mission of the Community Outreach Committee is to promote Unitarian Universalist values by leading the UUCOV congregation in social service outreach to the local community. We do this by:

      • Educating the congregation about social service needs in the local community,
      • Communicating social service volunteer opportunities to the congregation,
      • Coordinating congregational social service projects,
      • Working in collaboration with Interfaith Outreach, Inc., and other community organizations to serve local social service needs,
      • Raising funds for local social service needs.

Our current activities focus on improving the lives of children and adults in South Sarasota County who are homeless, hungry, or economically deprived.

Community Outreach News

Family Promise Open House

Family-PromiseUUCOV’s Family Promise Committee is hosting a working open house, 12pm, on Sunday, March 5th at Asta Linder House. We will begin ‘setting up’ the ALH to host 1 family; 1 adult + 3children (This number is subject to change). The house will be bustling with volunteers eager to share their experiences, answer questions, and explain the program. We are happy to announce that we have enough volunteers - 44 volunteers! - for our March 5th hosting week. UUCOV ROCKS! We are now recruiting volunteers for our April 5th hosting week.

The South Sarasota County Family Promise Program (SSCFP) is designed for 13 Congregations with each congregation hosting 4 weeks a year. UUCOV is 1 of 11 Venice Congregations who have pledged help; the SSCFP has had difficulty in recruiting the last two congregations needed. This leaves them scrambling 8 weeks each year to find volunteers and a host congregation.

UUCOV and the Venice United Church of Christ’s (VUCC) have a plan to resolve the difficulty. Each of us will provide hosting space for an additional 4 weeks. And by hosting two weeks ‘back-to-back’, so to speak, we allow the families to sleep in one place for 2 weeks which improves the quality of their lives. We hope to implement the extended program beginning in Oct 2017.

The VUCC representative, Sandy McHenry, who has been involved with our FP program from the beginning, tells us they need our help to find more volunteers. Everyone wants to help, but ‘wanting to’ and ‘being able to’ are different things. We are actively talking to 3 other congregations who cannot host but are willing to provide some volunteers and meals.

Do you have questions, concerns or want to see Family Promise in action? Please come to our working open house March 5, Sunday at noon. We will be honored and proud to show you how FP makes a difference! Or, catch us at our Family Promise sign up table on the lanai in February.

Mats for the Homeless

plastic bagsPlease save clean, used plastic grocery bags (Public, Walmart, Target, etc.) and put them in the designated container in the corner of the lanai. We will begin collecting them on Jan 1.

From January through May, the mat-makers will meet, 10am-noon, on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays in Waters Hall. Newcomers are welcome to come learn and help. For further information contact Carol Wight () or Judy Heipel () 813-924-3387.

Family Promise

FamilyPromiseIn February 2015, UUCOV joined the Family Promise Program to help temporarily homeless families in South Sarasota County get back on their feet; this month, January 2017 we start our third year with the program, committed to hosting families in Asta Linder House 4 weeks each year. “Hosting” requires a team of volunteers, trained by the Family Promise staff, to provide food, shelter, help and hope and we’re always seeking more UUCOVers to join that team, making the task lighter for each of us. To learn more, contact Cindy O’Dell, 317-370-6705 or

Did you realize that our Asta Linder House offers a much-needed home-like atmosphere for the families in the Program? Because of this, we offered its space for the entire Christmas season to a single mother with three delightful children ages 5, 6 and 8; possibly another single mom with three young precious ones under the age of 4; and grandparents with their 3 darling girls under 13. Christmas and the week following was hosted by another church and we UUCOV will host January 1st- 8th. This year, we’ll host 5 weeks; January plus March 5th -12th; April 2nd -9th; October 15th -22nd; and December 24th-31st .

The Family Promise Steering Committee appreciates the donations of items that have been made to make each family’s stay comfortable; currently the program has ALL the supplies it needs and storage is an issue. Additionally, unwanted donations makes unnecessary work for all as we then have to get rid of it. Please call Cindy or Paul O’Dell, 317-370-6705 or if you have a donation you think we could use.