Mission: Hawthorne Helps strives to provide support that affirms personal dignity, welcomes newcomers to our community, and encourages all students’ educational success.

Hawthorne Helps is a partnership between Rochester Public Schools’ Hawthorne Education Center and First Unitarian Universalist Church, with support from local faith, service, and business groups.

Hawthorne Education Center provides classes for 500 learners, ages 17 and older, 85% live at or below the poverty level. Many students are recent immigrants. Programs include English as a Second Language, literacy, GED high school diploma, college level prep, job training, and citizenship.

Our Services: Volunteers staff a store, offering items that cannot be purchased with SNAP (food stamps). Students may select items twice each month, free of charge. Choices include personal care items, cleaning supplies, and seasonal items. We distribute caring kits of unused hotel toiletries to students in transition.

Check the church calendar, Weekly eNews or Happening at First UU for store dates.

Ways you can help:

  • Volunteer to staff or shop for the store (adults and  teens)
  • Donate items to HH’s blue barrel
  • Invite Hawthorne Helps speakers to your service or business group
  • Volunteer to tally and pack HH’s blue barrel items on Sunday (RE students)
  • Contribute to September’s Shared Plate, an annual UU fundraiser

Items Needed:

  • Personal care items (body wash, baby wash, bar soap, deodorant, hand soap, lotion, shampoo, shaving cream, toothpaste)
  • Cleaning supplies (laundry powder, cleansers, dish soap, environmentally friendly products like Bon Ami, white vinegar, spray bottles, baking soda, knitted or crocheted bath cloths, dish cloths & dish scrubs)
  • Seasonal items (tissues, sunscreen, cough drops & throat lozenges, hand sanitizer, lip balm, adult winter hats, mittens & scarves)
  • Caring kits (unused hotel toiletries, travel size toothpaste and deodorant, pocket tissue packs, pint and quart-size ziplock bags)
  • Gift cards (Aldi’s, Dollar Tree, Menards, Walgreens)

Questions? More Information? To Volunteer?
Contact: Sandy MacLaughlin 507-282-8496  or Sandy Ramage