Articles From the September 1994 Unification News
United To Serve America-Making A Difference Region Eight-Houston, Texas
by Chris Colaneri-Houston, TX
Through a number of projects and events, United to Serve America is working to establish itself as a force within our community and as a means to testify to the teaching of our True Parents.
Last December, USA sponsored an event at the Rehab Mission, a place for elderly homeless founded by Aisha Salas, an early Diamond Award recipient. About one hundred people attended the event, including a Houston city councilman, a television news reporter, a Filipino minister, and residents from the mission itself. Visitors were asked to bring items to donate to the mission. After the participants heard an introduction about USA, Diamond Awards were presented and recipients spoke about their involvement in various community volunteer programs. One man, who now works as a drug-abuse counselor, explained that only six years before, he himself had been homeless, but had found a way back into society by giving of himself to other people. Many listeners were moved to tears by the testimonies shared that evening. Since the event, a USA project has been set up collecting unclaimed clothing from area dry-cleaning businesses, to distribute to mission residents and to sell in their thrift store.
One of our USA contacts, Sandra Hines, also an early Diamond Award winner, has been very successful recruiting guests for our events. Through her effort, we have developed relationships with a number of representatives in the city government, the police department, many area churches, and other community organizations. A USA event in February helped celebrate Black History Month, with over a hundred people hearing a report about our True Parents' work throughout the world.
At our latest event in May, held at the Unification Church Center, members of the Asian American community were given Diamond Awards. A slide presentation by USA co-director Rev. Ichinori Tsumagari directly taught parts of the Principle. A number of guests commented afterward that they were inspired by the clarity and truthfulness of the program.
Through these projects and events, we are trying to make a difference in our community, by combining activities with the message True Parents are teaching us. We are stressing that just as words are meaningless without substantial action, activities themselves need a spiritual and moral base to succeed. By being involved in volunteer projects and encouraging others through True Parents' teaching, we are beginning to reach out to many new people in our community. Our plans are to expand USA to connect more and more people to our movement.
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