Lenten Giving with UCOM

Psychology professor Barry Swartz is quoted in The Science of Emotions, Time Special Edition, January 2018. “Doing good can make you feel good. Do something that serves a larger purpose, whether it’s a job you find meaningful or volunteer work in the community.”

In the Church we anticipate doing good works in the season of Lent. We serve in the name of Christ. This year Ash Wednesday falls on February 14. What an interesting link! St. Valentine was known for quietly and anonymously giving to the poor. We look for new ways during the season to make a difference for good—for God—in our world. In the words of Dr. King, what is your congregation planning to do to “resist evil” during Lent? How are you planning to do good?

Traditional and contemporary ways to recognize Lent include donating money to a good cause or volunteering. UCOM is an outstanding resource for your volunteer energy. It’s a good place for you to direct your giving. We want to make it very easy for your congregants to make a connection with our neighbors from the southwest side of Grand Rapids. To that end, we have jars that you can give to the members and friends of your congregation.

The purple ribbon inside reminds people that their giving is a spiritual discipline especially during the Lenten season. Here’s how your giving matters:

  • If a person deposits $1 a day in the jar, they pay for a full week of Summer Learning Academy to help protect our neighborhood children from the dreaded “summer learning loss”.
  • 50 cents a day pays for 25 healthful and nutritious meals from our Client Choice food pantry or it makes us able to provide $100 value of locally grown produce from our year-round fresh fruit and vegetable stand.
  • $100 donation (a little more than $2 a day) purchases a raised bed garden box, composted soil and seeds or seedlings for neighborhood urban gardeners.


Your sacrifice in Lent goes a long way at UCOM where we believe in stretching every donation, spending wisely and investing in our neighbors’ well-being.

Please consider this innovative way of viewing Lent, not by what we give up, but what we give and why we give it.

Here are a few more suggestions for your lenten gift.