Every week brings a story of a person, a group, or a community that is struggling with meeting a basic need. It could be lack of housing, inadequate nutrition, child’s trauma due to separation from an incarcerated loved one, or denial of justice. We ask ourselves: What can I do to help alleviate this suffering and injustice? We on the Society’s Social Service Board (SSB) choose a variety of ways of fulfilling what we see as our ethical obligations towards others.
Some of us volunteer for existing programs that provide direct services to marginalized and underserved people. One such opportunity is our Homeless Women Shelter, which requires volunteer presence; when there are enough volunteers, it can be open six-to-seven days a week (We expect to reopen the shelter early this fall). Another is the My Own Book project that gives 3rd graders in New York City Title X schools the opportunity to own and read books they chose, in effect starting their own personal libraries. A third is our Supportive Televisiting program for Families affected by incarceration.
Since its inception, SSB projects have been started by passionate volunteers willing to give their time and effort to make the projects work. Two past examples were the Supervised Visitation Project for non-custodial parents (a 20+ year project ended in 2012) and the sponsorship of summer camp stays for inner-city children.
We on the Social Service Board choose a variety of ways of fulfilling what we see as our ethical obligations towards others.
The impact of these projects cannot be underestimated. If you are interested volunteering for one the current SSB projects or making a financial contribution to support these projects, please contact the SSB Treasurer, Sue Bremer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New needs arise all the time. It may be that no individual, group, or organization is meeting a certain need or that it is not being met adequately. Some among us have a keener understanding as to where there is a gap in meeting such needs, and insight as to how we can fill that gap. If you are such a person and want to do something about it, please contact the Social Service Board (SSB). We may be able to provide you with resources and/or help recruit volunteers to work with you. This invitation is open to both members of the Ethical Culture Society and non-members alike. For more information, please contact HKomanska@socialserviceboard.org.