chalice with rainbow flame
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County

Share-the-Plate Program

Share-the-Plate: Gain a Community | How the Program Works | Requirements | Recipients

Share-The-Plate: Gain A Community

Do you know of a local charity or program that's helping the most in need in the greater Orange area? Are they attending to a segment of our society that is usually overlooked by more established charities and programs? Are they a recognized non-profit? Then why not recommend them as a candidate for the First UU Church of Essex County's "Share-The-Plate" program?

Share-The-Plate is a program, established in 2008, to live out the mission and vision of the First UU Church -- and to promote greater outreach to our surrounding community and to share our resources with those who serve the most in need. Share-The-Plate requires that at least half of the cumulative unrestricted donations made during each Sunday's offertory be given to a designated charity or organization chosen by the Church's Social & Earth Action group and approved by our Board of Trustees.

The goals of Share-The-Plate are to promote the congregation's stated vision "to be a life-affirming liberal religious community where people of diverse beliefs, ideas and backgrounds come together to provide spiritual and intellectual growth to one another and to work together in Orange, New Jersey for a greater good in the world", and to fulfill the congregation's mission "to study and practice religion in freedom and fellowship", and "[t]o provide support and care for our [religious] community and the community at large". It is also a way to enhance the meaning of the church's relationships with and among partners in the larger local community, build awareness, learn more about ourselves and the projects the church gives to, and to develop a philosophy of giving within the church community.

The program is not intended to not displace other regular and special funding appeals. Checks made to the church as part of members' pledge fulfillment, or for any other previously announced appeal (such as Chalice Lighters or Holiday Appeal), will not be included in the program.

How Share-The-Plate works

Members can submit potential candidate charitable organizations and programs to Social & Earth Action, either directly, by mail or through the online nomination form. The committee will then review the candidates to see if they fit with the church's mission, vision and the program's goals. The committee's choice will then be sent to the Board of Trustees for their review. If approved, the charity will then be notified at least a month before collections begin. The name and a brief description of the charity will be listed in the church newsletter, as well as, in subsequent newsletters, the total amount donated to that charities and a running total to all charities the program has generated. We encourage (but do not require) that a representative come speak about their charitiy or organization during at least one service at our Church, preferably before the offertory of the first service of the period when collections begin.

Separate checks for the charity, either given during the offertory or sent to the church for this purpose, should either be made out to the charity or to "The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County" with "Share the Plate" in the "memo" line. To the extent allowed by law, checks written to the church will be acknowledged as a tax deductible donation.

Payment made by a church check for at least 50% of all unrestricted donations, as well as any received checks to be forwarded, will be sent with an acknowledgement letter no later than ten days after the collection period is over. The acknowledgement letter will record the total for the collection period. Totals for the current recipient, past recipients and the Share-The-Plate program as a whole will appear in the church newsletter after the end of each collection period.


All charities must:

The submission should supply the name and description of the charitable organization or project, as well as supply contact information.

For more information, contact Social & Earth Action c/o First UU Church of Essex County at 973-674-0010 or


(latest recipient listed first)

First Friends of N.J. and N.Y. Corp. (Winter/Spring 2015)

Montclair Emergency Services for the Homeless. Inc. (Fall 2014)

ORNG Ink (Spring 2013 through Spring 2014)

Interfaith Food Pantry of the Oranges (Fall 2012)

The Gale Center, East Orange, operated by Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey. (Fall 2011 and Spring 2012)

Union Nationale des Normaliens d'Haiti (UNNOH) (National Union of Teachers College Graduates of Haiti) (Feb.2011 - June 2011 )

UUSC-UUA Joint Pakistan Flood Relief Fund (Oct.17,2010 - Jan.30,2011)

Haitian Pastors Association of New Jersey, for Haitian earthquake relief. (Winter-Spring 2010)

St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, for their program administered by Deacon Jerry Romero, distributing non-perishable food items and food vouchers to single women with children on welfare, the elderly and the disabled. (Spring 2009)