Social Action

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Social Action at First Parish Needham involves all generations of the congregation through the Religious Education program, the High School Youth group, and the myriad projects that occur throughout the year by various committees and members of the congregation. Our mission is to coordinate outreach and service activities that promote positive social change, respect for the environment, and an active approach to solving local, national, and international issues. The Social Action Committee coordinates much of this activity and is chaired by Clark Taylor and Becca Malakoff. We can help you find the activity that fits your interest, time, and concerns. Let us know what interests you by completing the Social Action Sign Up Form below or contacting Clark or Becca at

Social Action at First Parish:  

First Parish provides two-thirds of the volunteers to Generic Ministry, Inc. Their van goes to Boston every Tuesday and Wednesday with food, clothing, personal care products, and outreach. Make sandwiches, donate clothing, drive, or help organize. Contact Rick Vincent.

We partner with the Pathways Family Shelter in Framingham. Help with the Mitten Tree project, getting Christmas gifts for homeless children. Each year we also help a family move from temporary shelter to more permanent housing. Contact Amy Gilmore.

To keep First Parish in the forefront of environmental stewardship, the Green Congregation Committee oversees the Green Sanctuary Program., a multidimensional initiative and certification by which a congregation demonstrates a fundamental, bottom-line commitment to living in harmony with the Earth. The committee welcomes help in setting up educational events, organizing an Earth Day service, working on our Sharing the Harvest environmental justice program, participating in interfaith and community green initiatives, and more. Opportunities range from a onetime effort of a few hours to an ongoing commitment of a couple hours a month. Contact Eleanor Rosellini.


One or two adult volunteers are needed to work with the 4th and 5th grade students to raise money, pack cases of food and make the trip to deliver food to the Grow Clinic of the Boston Medical Center. This is done over a few Sundays in January, with the loading of the food and delivery scheduled for an afternoon during the week. The food pantry helps over 17,000 people and is affiliated with the Grow Clinic, a vital organization which helps treat children with severe malnutrition. To get involved, contact Rick Vincent or Mark LaPointe. 


UU Social Action beyond First Parish:

The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee organizes domestic and international human rights and social justice work. Local Reps help raise funds to defend human rights, organize opportunities to engage in UUSC’s work, and build strong UUSC membership so we have an effective voice for advocacy. First Parish local rep duties might include helping the RE Director with Guest at your Table campaign, participating in monthly conference calls to discuss current UUSC campaigns, and using the Social Action table to make the congregation aware of UUSC campaigns and social justice actions. 

UU Mass Action identifies the right time to address specific issues and organizes coordinated efforts throughout Massachusetts in an effort to have the greatest impact. Recent focuses have been homelessness and immigration. If you would like to facilitate communication between First Parish and UU Mass Action please contact

First Parish has a history of working with the UU Urban Ministry to volunteer in Boston schools, most recently the Mather School on Meetinghouse Hill in Dorchester. Contact the Rev. Cheryl Lloyd, UU community minister and coordinator to find out how you can help — tutoring, in the classroom, after school.     


Support the work of other First Parish members:


The Youth Group needs adult advisors for its spring service trip. Costs absorbed by the Youth Group — unless you are moved to pay some or all of your expenses. Contact Director of Religious Education Mark LaPointe.     

For several years, First Parish has provided social contact and support for the education of a prisoner in Central Massachusetts. For more information, contact Cathy Livingston.      


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