A message from Rev. Suzelle

Our biennial Auction is one of the biggest and best events we hold at UU Church West! It’s a ton of fun, and it raises money to help fund our congregation’s operations for two fiscal years. This year, the Auction will be on Saturday Evening, November 10, 2018.  You’ll love it — food, friends, and fun, as well as wonderful events and goods to bid on. And NEW This Year — the Auction will also raise funds for the good work of our Brigadistas.

Who are the Brigadistas? 

Our Brigadistas are a team of teen and adult volunteers who will travel to the Dominican Republic in Summer, 2019 with an organization named Bridges to Community. The Brigadistas build houses and caring relationships with folks who desperately need help and support. Since 2004, UUCW has had more than 200 Brigadista volunteers.

Why will Auction Funds go to the Brigadista Program? Will that mean less money for the church? 

It’s a bit complicated, but let me try to explain:

  • In past years, Brigadista program fund-raising, and the program itself, took place on the year between auctions.
  • But Bridges to Community, the organization we travel with, asked us to switch years.
  • Instead of having TWO fund-raisers in one year, the Stewardship Committee and I decided to combine them!
  • It will NOT mean less funding for church operations, because Auction-generated funding will not go to the Brigadista program until we have raised what we need for operations. Overall, we expect that only 10-12% of Auction funds will go to the Brigadista program.

How are the funds raised for the Brigadista program used?

We raise money for the cost of building a badly-needed house first, and then, if there’s more funding available, small “scholarships” ($100-200) are given to Brigadistas who need a bit of financial assistance to participate.

Why do we spend money working in another country when there are many needs close to home?

This question also has a complicated answer:

  • At UUCW we do a great deal of social justice and service work locally. Giving to food pantries, serving meals at the Guest House homeless shelter, raising funds each week via Split the Plate, working on Black Lives Matter issues, peace issues, issues of mass incarceration, and more.
  • But you know what? Quite a few of our Social Action projects and focuses started up or were revitalized AFTER we began the Brigadista program.
  • Spending time with people across the world who are very poor but give kindness, friendship and caring from the bottom of their hearts has lighted a fire for justice under us. Learning about how the rest of world lives has changed us — and it has especially changed the teenagers who have joined our Brigades.

Are we going to do this with EVERY Auction? 

This year is our first time trying the combined fund-raiser.  The Stewardship Committee will see how it goes and offer their feedback to the Board of Trustees.

We invite you to come and make memories at the Auction!

That’s our theme this year — Making Memories — inspired by our November Soul Matters Theme.  We hope the Auction is a memorable good time — just $10 at the door is your ticket to delicious food, drinks and other fun activities as well as bidding for great items, events & services at Silent and Live Auctions!