BUF also engages in several other social and environmental justice projects that are not under the auspices of a specific Ministry Action Team. These include our SEJC Monthly Collections Team, our work with Lummi Food Bank, Fair Trade Project Team, our involvement with the Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County, and our participation with Unitarian Universalist Service Committee projects.

SEJC Monthly Collections Team

One Sunday a month, BUF members are invited to give to an SEJC collection for a non-profit organization serving in one of the following areas: women and children, environment, poverty/homelessness, peace and human rights, social and economic justice, and health. A ministry action team manages the collections and associated adult forums. The recipients are selected by our Social & Environmental Justice Committee (SEJC) each spring. Guiding Principles for the Collection and Application can be found here. You can donate any Sunday by placing your contribution in the collection envelopes and marking it for Special Collection. Contact Betty Scott to volunteer.

The collection recipients for this church year are:

  • July 2024   Lydia Place
  • August 2024 National Association of Mental Illness Whatcom
  • September 2024 Humanitas
  • October 2024 Coffee and Sandwitches Together
  • November 2024 Magyarszovat
  • December 2024 Immigrant Resources and Immediate Support
  • January 2025 Bellingham Food Bank
  • February 2025 NorthWest Youth Services
  • March 2025 Setting Sun Institute
  • April 2025 The AIROW Project
  • May 2025 Bellingham Queer Collective
  • June 2025 Bellingham/Whatcom County Transgender Assistance Fund

Lummi Food Bank

As part of our ongoing work with Lummi Nation, BUF also contributes to the Lummi Food Bank (LFB) operated and staffed by members of Lummi Nation’s Commod Squad.  It is a commodity food program for low income Tribal and non-Tribal people who live on the reservation. They provide access to foodstuffs like milk, cheese, peanut butter, and vegetables, and when available, food for pets.

Each Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season the LFB provides food baskets to the Lummi Community. The Commod Squad also provides nutrition educational activities for LFB clients, including gardening for fruits and vegetables.

Donations of food items and personal products are collected from the red cart in the foyer. Financial donations are encouraged, as they give the Commod Squad the ability to purchase foodstuffs in bulk (e.g. beans, etc.). Check with our Administrator to become a regular financial donor.

Fair Trade Project Team

The mission of the Fair Trade Team is twofold: to offer fair trade products for sale to Sunday service attendees and to raise monies for social justice and environmental justice work.  You can find us in the Social Hall during Sunday coffee hour, selling Fair Trade coffee and chocolates.

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) has partnered with Equal Exchange, a company that buys directly from farmers, following the standards and principles of Fair Trade. This ensures that low-income farmers earn a fair, living wage. All products are organic and grown using sustainable methods.

The prices are fair, the products are really good, and when you buy these products at our table, you are supporting both the farmers and the work of the SEJC. To volunteer, contact Susan Thurn.

Interfaith Coalition

Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County is 44 diverse congregations (including BUF) focused together on housing for homeless families. We manage nine homes for emergency and transitional housing. The Opportunity Council provides weekly case management.

Interfaith Severe Weather Shelters offer warmth, sleep, and food to people who live outside except when the harshest weather comes. We offer training for volunteers to staff the shelters.

Our annual Coat Drive has been keeping families warm for years. Every fall, congregations and community members collect and distribute over 3,000 coats through Whatcom County.

For 30 years, Interfaith Coalition has been a testament of how Whatcom County comes together to help some of the most vulnerable of our community. BUF has been a member of Interfaith from the beginning. Our congregation participates in the fall coat drive, several members volunteer at the Severe Weather Shelters, and we donate our entire Christmas Eve collection to the Coalition.  Our members also donate to Interfaith’s most important fundraiser of the year — the annual spring auction.

Ann Stevenson is our congregational representative to Interfaith. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the Interfaith Coalition, please contact Ann.

Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) is a nonsectarian organization that advances human rights and social justice in the United States and around the world. We envision a world free from oppression and injustice, where all can realize their full human rights.

Through a combination of advocacy, education, and partnerships with grassroots organizations, UUSC promotes economic rights, advances environmental justice, defends civil liberties, and preserves the rights of people in times of humanitarian crisis.

UUSC’s status as a membership organization provides us the autonomy to advocate for justice-oriented public policies across the political spectrum — our support from member contributions makes up approximately 60 percent of our annual budget. By neither seeking nor accepting government funds, UUSC maintains a high level of independence. In addition to supporting UUSC financially, our members and supporters also participate directly in UUSC’s efforts to challenge oppressive policies.