School starts August 14th. Getting children off to a solid start is vital to academic success. For the second year, YRE and Community Outreach will be collecting needed school supplies for Garden, IVMS and Laurel Nokomis Elementary schools. Look for the donation suggestion board on the lanai and place donations in the box as you buy them. If you would like to make a monetary donation, make checks to UUCOV with ‘School Days’ on the memo line. This project runs through August 13th.
Another Successful Week
July 2nd started another Family Promise week hosting 2 single mothers, one with 1 child, age 9 (mild autism) and one with 3 children under 6 in the Family Promise (FP) program. Many thanks to all who helped; volunteers at Asta Linder put in a total of 245+ hours, not including time preparing meals, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, meetings, orientation with families, etc. They rock! Additionally, the coordination among Venice United Church of Christ, St. Mark’s Episcopal, Unity, Epiphany and the Family Promise Day Center and our team was excellent. One family enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks at Nokomis Beach thanks to Terry, “the van driver and uncle” to practically every child in the program. Terry, his wife Carolyn and Laurie Colombo from St. Mark’s took the three children to the fireworks. Rain and lightning only added to the excitement of the night! This family has left the program to return to Connecticut where they have family. We wish them well. The second family, who joined in mid-week found temporary shelter for their dog and are progressing well. The Family Promise Coordinating Team is looking forward to a new season of helping homeless families with children in the South Sarasota County area. UUCOV will host families at Asta Linder House for 1 week starting October 15th and for 2 weeks starting December 24th. If you are not yet on our volunteer list, please consider helping with this wonderfully successful program that helps temporarily homeless families in South Sarasota County get back on their feet. All volunteers receive training from the Family Promise staff and we will make sure there is a training session available before our October host week. For more information about volunteering for Family Promise, contact Cindy O’Dell, 317-370-6705.
Help A Child, Save the World
UUCOV has been a major volunteer force with the summer reading program at the Laurel Civic Association and John Jefferson, in charge of the After-School Program for Laurel Nokomis School, would strongly welcome our continued support. The school year begins August 14 and volunteers are needed Monday-Thursday. 3:30-5:30pm and you can serve 1 day up to 4 days per week. If necessary, you could leave prior to 5:30pm. And if necessary, you can start your support later in the school year. In this program, you’re there by 3:30; the kids arrive and, when needing help, are encouraged to seek you out and ask for help: it may be for help with a math exercise, help researching information for a project, help organizing material for a writing assignment. Sometimes John will ask if you’d help a particular student with a particular task. The program is held at the Sandra Simms Terry Community Center, 509 Collins Road, Nokomis, 34275. To join the effort, call John Johnson 941-724-3338 or contact DRE, Jaye Williams: or 941-587-2981.
Thanks for Your Help!!
Join the Fight
UUCOVers have two specific ways right now to fight the corruption of our democracy and BIG MONEY in politics.
Help us gather petitions to put these important measures on the county and state ballot in 2017: These support the worth and dignity of every person, and democracy in society at large.
1) Florida is one of only three states that have a lifetime ban on ex-felon voting, and we disenfranchise the most people! The Voting Restoration Amendment will restore the voting rights of over 1.5 million ex-felons in Florida who have paid their debt to society. Let’s say YES to second chances! Pick up the petition on Sunday or download it www.miamirights.com and watch www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeZIBgX7vkg , an excellent Samantha Bee video. Also, send the link to the Voting Restoration Amendment quickslip here http://www.uujusticefl.org/action-network/take-action to your friends in other states and ask them to ask people in their congregations and social networks if they have friends or family in Florida who can also sign the petition and mail it in. Florida needs 700,000 petitions statewide by February 1, 2018 to put this on the ballot in November 2018. Together, with the support of concerned friends locally, statewide, and nationwide, we can do this!
2) Do you want to help get BIG MONEY out of electing these County officials, give qualified candidates of all political parties the chance to run for office, and help make our elected officials more accountable to their constituents. Yes? Then sign the Single Member District petitions for election of Sarasota County Commissioners and Charter Review Board members. Print BOTH of the petitions here: http://www.keepdemocracysafe.org/downloads/Sarasota-County-Single-Member-District-Petitions.pdf, and encourage all Sarasota County voters to sign them and send them in. (17,000 are needed by January 15 to put these on the ballot with the School Board election March 13, 2018.)
Life and Death in Florida
Until January 2016, Florida and Alabama were the only states that allowed a judge to impose capital punishment without the unanimous agreement of a jury. In October of last year, the Florida Supreme Court said imposing the death sentence required a unanimous jury vote. Florida’s death penalty process was put on hold. This March, Florida's governor signed legislation requiring a unanimous recommendation by a jury before judges can impose the death penalty, entitling the 150 prisoners who’d been sentenced under the unconstitutional statute to new re-sentencing hearings. The new legislation was Florida’s latest effort to restart its death penalty process, beginning with the inmates who’d been sentenced to death by jury unanimity. After an 18-month hiatus, Florida intends to resume the process on August 24th. This would be the 24th execution under Rick Scott’s governorship, the highest number of executions under any Florida governor. Floridians for the Alternative to the Death Penalty (FADP) is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to have our governor place a moratorium on executions and order a full review of Florida's Death Penalty Program. You can learn more about FADP and how to take action at www.fadp.org.