We love the Guest at Your Table program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Each year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, families put a Guest at Your Table box on their dinner table. When your family sits down to dinner, each person (including kids!) puts some money in the Guest at Your Table box to support the UUSC’s humanitarian programs around the world. Towards the end of December, families count up the money they had deposited in the box and the grown-ups add something to round it up to the nearest ten or twenty (or hundred) dollar mark. On the Sunday before Christmas, all UUCPA families bring their boxes with a check inside to be collected at the service, and the congregation sends all the money to the UUSC.
This year, the UUSC decided not to distribute Guest at Your Table boxes any more. Probably a good decision on their part, as it probably costs them a dollar per box. Better that they should spend the money on humanitarian purposes.
However, we love the Guest at Your Table boxes because they serve an educational purpose. The boxes teach our kids the importance of community efforts — every little bit of money that goes in to the Guest at Your Table box contributes to the final total. The boxes teach our kids the value of anonymous donations, which maintain a dignified relationship between contributors and recipients. Most importantly, the boxes help build the habit of charitable giving, a habit we want to cultivate.
So we decided we could make our own Guest at Your Table boxes this year! Beth Nord, our Guest at Your Table coordinator, got lots of plain white boxes of the correct size. We have printed up colorful pictures from the UUSC, showing this year’s “guests,” i.e., some of the recipients of our donations to the UUSC, pictures that kids can cut out and paste on the sides of the boxes (or kids can decorate the boxes in other ways). We’ll have the boxes and pictures available for you to pick up on Sunday, December 1, and Sunday, December 8.
Just so you get the idea, here’s a box in the process of being made:
Have fun participating in this year’s Guest at Your Table program!