Generous donors raise $65K for creation care, climate justice on UCC Giving Tuesday

Seven-hundred people showed their support for creation care on Giving Tuesday, raising $65,000 in the 2021 United Church of Christ campaign to fund climate justice.

“We are so thankful for our donors who contributed to this year’s Giving Tuesday effort for climate justice and advocacy,” said the Rev. Kent Siladi, director of philanthropy.  “Because of these contributions, we are able to support Honor the Earth for the important work that this indigenous-led organization provides around issues of climate justice. The grassroots UCC Council for Climate Justice will utilize these resources for youth climate justice education and advocacy. Together we make an impact and a difference.”  

Seventy percent of the proceeds, more than $45,000, will be sent to Honor the Earth, led by Winona LaDuke. She founded the nonprofit to raise awareness and financial support for Indigenous environmental justice.

The remaining 30 percent of Giving Tuesday gifts will be used by the UCC Council for Climate Justice, a grassroots effort focused on climate education and environmental justice.

A Conference endorsement

“Our Creation Care Team was enthusiastic about supporting this Giving Tuesday,” said John Helt, speaking for the Wisconsin Conference green team. He and six other members made an impromptu video at the end of one of their meetings endorsing the campaign and encouraging others to support Giving Tuesday this year.

The group released the appeal, Helt said, “since we are being driven by the Council for Climate Justice’s Kairos Call to Action, and support of Honor the Earth is part of what we regard as our General Synod mandate.

“We also have been doing some advocacy work together with the Minnesota and Michigan Conferences, forming a Great Lakes Creation Care Collaborative,” he said. “We seek to listen to Indigenous voices and stand with tribal nations in opposition to the Enbridge coal tar sands pipelines that cross and threaten our northern borders.”

‘Against climate injustice’

The UCC decided to fund Honor the Earth through Giving Tuesday in part because the UCC’s Council for Climate Justice supports the nonprofit through activism, education and fundraising.

The solidarity also underscores an on ongoing relationship between the UCC and Honor the Earth that has included environmental justice trainings co-led by Honor the Earth, and LaDuke’s appearance at General Synod in 2015.

Giving Tuesday, celebrated on the Tuesday following U.S. Thanksgiving, inspires millions of people across the globe to show up and give to causes and issues that matter to them. The UCC’s Nov. 30 effort got a boost that evening, after several donors stepped up with matching gift of $6,000.

“We’re very grateful to 10 people who pooled their donations into a matching gift to inspire others at the end of the day,” Siladi said. “Their generosity and passion for climate justice compelled greater giving, increasing the funds Honor the Earth and the UCC Council for Climate Justice will employ to advocate for a healthy planet for all.”

“These donations are truly an expression of love — love for those struggling against climate injustice as well as love for all of God’s creation,” said the Rev. Brooks Berndt, minister for environmental justice. “The UCC’s Council for Climate Justice will be able to use its funds to make a tremendous impact in supporting youth and young adult leaders who might not otherwise have had the resources needed to devote time and energy to this urgent calling.”

Categories: United Church of Christ News

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