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Each year for a decade now, MDUUC has taken part in the Winter Nights Rotating Shelter Program, a project of the Social Justice Alliance of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County. As one of the participating congregations throughout central and east Contra Costa, MDUUC offers a clean, safe, and warm shelter to homeless families with children for two weeks each winter, serving up to 30 persons at any one time.

Winter Nights provides bedding, tents, and professional supervision for each congregation. Besides the funds the MDUUC congregation contributes to support the program, over a hundred of our members take part each year by making and serving breakfasts and dinners, leading activities for the children, and cleaning, installing, and taking down the equipment.

Here’s what members say about Winter Nights:

• “The rewards are enormous — when I know that I have touched another human being in a direct way.” Ellen Doerfer.
• “Volunteering at Winter Nights with my kids is a great way to get them to think about others and appreciate their own privilege. It’s a great way to expose my kids to the way that giving and helping can open your heart and bring such joy.” Meranda Broder.
• “I have been helping out with the Winter Nights cooking for … years. I have always felt appreciated, and it’s kind of fun.” Bob Hanson.
• “I helped with breakfast a few times. Very organized and clear instructions. Got to know the guests, who were very appreciative. So grateful for the opportunity to put my UU values in action!” Elsie Mills.

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