Supporting Our Immigrant Neighbors

by Mike Lauer on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Rev. Amy
The pandemic has had a terrible impact on many people’s lives. It led us to close our church. It is causing serious illness and many deaths across our state. It has led to economic deterioration, loss of income, and an increase in food insecurity. Some ofus are more affected than others. All of us will be affected before the pandemic ends.
One group that has been severely affected is our immigrant community. Many in the immigrant community are not included in the social safety net. Many were food insecure before the pandemic. Their situation is dire. About ten days ago First Unitarian was approached by a new immigrant-led organization: Knock and Drop. Knock and Drop was formed at the beginning of the pandemic by Latinas Unidas Por Un Nuevo Amanecer (L.U.N.A.) and Latinix Immigrants of Iowa: two organizations we have previously partnered with. Knock and Drop assembles boxes of food to give to immigrants in need. They asked if they could use our church as a staging area to assemble and distribute boxes of food on Friday afternoons (4-6 pm) and Saturday mornings (9-noon). We as a Board spoke with Rev. Amy, and together we said yes.
Knock and Drop will use the upper parking lot and the Stonewall Conference room for the food distribution. A limited number of volunteers, about 6, will have access to the conference room. No one else will enter the building. Those receiving food will have appointments to help manage lines and wait times. When they arrive a volunteer will bring them their box of food and they will be on their way. The Knock and Drop volunteers will clean and disinfect all parts of the church they use each time.
We are thrilled to be asked to be a small part of this important ministry. We carefully considered the impacts of opening the church on a limited basis to facilitate this effort. In the end, with assurance that appropriate safety, cleaning, and disinfecting protocols will be used, with staff working from home, and volunteers including Sue Huber, Gene McCracken, and Mike Lauer from the congregation present, we decided to honor our values and in this small way contribute to our community.
Our values: Grow Ethically and Spiritually, Serve Justly, Love Radically.