Surprises Can Happen!

Last November I got an email that I nearly deleted, but it turned out to be the beginning of a very pleasant surprise. The message came via the ERUUF website, and had been relayed to me by ERUUF staff. Here it is, in full:

Are you in need of financial donations? I live in Costa Rica now, but was once a member of the UU Fellowship in Clemson, SC. Eno River seems to be a little more active in helping refugees. If I made a donation of $500, how might Eno River use that money to aid refugees?

Just as I was about to hit Delete, I thought, maybe this is not a hoax. I read it again, and then hit Reply instead. Of course I said "YES, we can use financial donations!" and quickly described 3 ways our Refugee and Immigrant Action Group could use $500. At that time we were right in the midst of planning to furnish an apartment for an arriving refugee family, and a big donation like that would go a long way toward buying some of the needed furniture that had not been donated, plus any leftover funds could help the new family pay rent. (New refugees have to become self-sufficient in 6 months.) I offered 2 other options: a future project to furnish another refugee apartment, and lastly, to support our local advocacy work on behalf of immigrants and refugees.

I assume that this mysterious correspondent had seen the two or three paragraphs on the ERUUF Justice webpage describing what our Action Group does. I made a mental note to myself to check that page and update it with a photo or something.

I was surprised to get a response from my new buddy in Costa Rica the next day, with a commitment to give $500 by credit card right away, and also pledging another $500 for our ideas #2 and #3! Of course these donations were gratefully received, and did indeed defray expenses for all three of these projects. Our Action Group collaborates with the refugee resettlement agency CWS, as well as the Judea Reform Congregation in Durham, and the UU Church in Raleigh, so in effect, four organizations have benefited from the surprising generosity of our faraway donor.

So, the moral of the tale is: keep your group’s ERUUF web presence engaging and up-to-date; you never know who might be stumbling upon it! And don’t delete emails before you read them! Many thanks are obviously due to the ERUUF staff who keep all our website pages lively and interesting, and handle incoming emails from hither and yon!

Peggy Schaeffer
July 23, 2019