November 1st, 2018
A big part of UCOM’s mission is “building community”.
“Loneliness won’t just make you miserable — it will kill you,” says Dr. Jeremy Nobel, founder of the UnLonely Project at the Foundation for Art and Healing.
“Loneliness saps vitality, impairs productivity and diminishes enjoyment of life,” Dr. Nobel writes. Its effects on health match that of obesity, alcohol abuse and smoking 15 cigarettes a day, increasing the risk of an early death by 30 percent.
“Creative arts expression has the power to connect you to yourself and others. How about a monthly potluck supper? It’s so simple, such a great way to be connected as well as eat good food.”
You knew that UCOM could connect you with emergency food. We’ve been doing that for 33 years—last year for 8,000 different people. We can also connect you with various resources—like clothing, job-coaching, financial literacy and a host of other needs. If we don’t provide them, we can usually refer you to people who can. But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
All of our programs offer opportunities for people to connect with one another. Look at a few scenarios.
The Healthy Client Choice food pantry and our low-cost local farm stand at UCOM are open at least 21 hours a week. During that time we see hundreds of people who are interested in nutritious foods. There is time before and/or after your shopping with us to strike up some conversation and get to know some people who have interests in common with you.
Our friendly, non-intimidating exercise classes for people with differing levels of mobility offer an opportunity to bond with diverse people from your community.
Gardening (with monthly potlucks during the growing season), cooking (including a lot of plant-based dishes) and nutrition classes are very interactive and leave lots of room for conversation and connecting.
Our financial literacy classes are open and conversational. Not only will you learn about budgeting, banking, credit, and avoiding predatory lenders, you have time for networking to compare notes with others in the class—your neighbors.
UCOM is all about connection. It is more than a place for emergency help with your financial situation. It’s a place for forming relationships in whatever ways make sense to you. UCOM is a place to begin the process of becoming unLonely.