When Rev. Dawn Garrett-Larsen concluded her ministry at the Nelson Congregational Church in 2019, the Garrett-Larsen Social Justice Fund was created to honor her and help the cause of social justice in the world. The money that was raised, with many contributions by the broader community, will be given away in entirety by 2024.
Most of the applications this year involved helping people find safe and affordable shelter, one of the most basic human needs. This year’s grants, totaling $2,000, go to:
$1,000 to Monadnock Quaker Meeting in Jaffrey, to help build a short-term emergency shelter within their Meetinghouse. The funds will go toward comfortable and secure quarters for up to four people, as well as furnishings and bedding. Members of the Quaker Meeting are coordinating with local churches and social service agencies for referrals.
$500 to MATS (Monadnock Area Transitional Shelter) for its Hope Fund, which offers reliable transportation (including car repairs, vehicle registration, and gas) for guests who are experiencing homelessness, to help them toward independence. The Hope Fund is only one part of MATS’s main mission, which is to provide transitional housing and support for individuals and families in need of shelter. Since 1991, 746 people have lived at MATS, including 391 children. MATS connects individuals with community resources, legal aid, and counseling to prevent recurring homelessness.
$500 to the Sacred Ally Quilt Ministry for its work in racial justice. A documentary film about this project will premier in New York City in May of 2022. The quilts, created by nine New Hampshire UCC churches after the death of George Floyd, are traveling to schools and churches throughout New England to inspire conversations about racial justice. The grant was given with no restrictions to support the project.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Social Justice fund. It is all about being a good neighbor, in the best and widest sense.
BETSY STREET, DEANNA ZILSKE, JUDY WATERSTON, AVERY HURLEY, STEVE CADY, SUSAN PEER
Steering Committee, Garrett-Larsen Social Justice Fund
Nelson Congregational Church