Our Sunday morning presentation yesterday was by Part of the Solution (POTS), a wonderful organization in the Bronx. POTS is a one stop shop for people who need a helping hand to receive a hot and nutritious meal, food from POTS’ food pantry, school supplies, showers, haircuts, and so much more. POTS also helps people with affordable housing, employment, immigration issues, and several other legal and social services.
The organization has recently completed a study of poverty in the Bronx and found that the poorest areas of the borough are in the South and West Bronx. The average POTS client does not have a high school degree and is looking for work. The families that utilize POTS’ services often do not have enough food to eat. POTS’ mission is to help people work their way out of poverty and toward a place of stability. The organization understands that poverty is tied to our economic and political systems, so POTS also holds legislative forums for local government officials to learn about their clients and the struggles they face.
What’s special about the Society for Ethical Culture is that we are a living, breathing community. We encourage and inspire each other to live more ethical lives, and with our programs and meetings, we are able to do this in community. Our presenters from POTS were part of our community yesterday, and we look forward to connecting with them in the near future.
At our Sunday meetings, we enjoy singing together. One special moment yesterday was the spontaneous human chain that we formed as we sang along to The Pretenders’ “I’ll Stand By You.” We stood by each other as we sang and we symbolically pledged to stand by the clients of POTS in our community.
Our program yesterday also drew several visitors from the community. We had someone join us who was looking to make a difference in her neighborhood, and we were happy to provide that space for her. A lovely young couple also attended yesterday’s program, and they were thrilled to find a diverse, humanist community with values that resonate with their own.
Felix Adler, the founder of Ethical Culture once said, “To care for anyone else enough to make their problems one’s own, is ever the beginning of one’s real ethical developments.” The members of the Society for Ethical Culture are planning to pitch in as much as they can to support the efforts of POTS and help their clients work their way toward self sufficiency. We are holding a clothing drive over the next few months and will donate our clothes to POTS’ clothes closet. We will organize a group to volunteer at POTS’ lunch service where we will serve hot meals to their clients. There will be other connections and contributions we will make to POTS and other organizations like it in our journey to create a more ethical world. As we discussed in our meeting yesterday, we acknowledge and understand the struggles in our own community and we vow to be “part of the solution.”
If you’re looking for the inspiration to live a more ethical life, find a community focused on humanist values, or engage in social justice work with others, come pay us a visit!