Mission: 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 School’s Hawthorne Education Center and First Unitarian Universalist Church, with support from local faith, service, and business groups.

Hawthorne Education Center provides classes for 1000 learners, ages 17 and older, 85% live at or below the poverty level and many are immigrants. All are struggling to make a better life. Programs include English as a Second Language, literacy, GED high school diploma, college prep, job training, and citizenship.

Services: UU Volunteers distribute essential items twice monthly that cannot be purchased with SNAP. We provide school supplies to new students year-round & assist with the Channel One Mobile Food Market.

Sign Up: ask to be added to HH Sign Up Genius for access to HH dates, sign up for a distribution shift & receive ongoing program updates.

Ways you can help:

  • Donate to HH’s Blue Barrel located in entry coat closet. Check enews or Blue Barrel for items needed
  • Sort, tally and pack up Blue Barrel donations on the last Sunday of the month (families are especially invited to participate)
  • Knit adult hats & scarves or purchase adult hats, scarves & gloves for our late October winter distribution
  • Share garden plants for our May distribution
  • Plant extra garden produce to supplement the Channel One “Hawthorne Education Center” Mobile Food Market
  • Faith Development children & youth pack 175-200 GrabNGo bags of essential items twice yearly (February & July Chalice Camp)
  • Contribute to 1st UU’s February Share The Plate collection for Hawthorne Helps
  • Watch for our Annual HH Fundraising event
  • Get the word out!  Invite UUHH speakers to your service clubs


  • Checks payable to 1st UU with Hawthorne Helps on memo line
  • Gift cards – Aldi, Dollar Tree, Menards & Walgreens

Questions? More Information? To Volunteer?
Contact: Sandy MacLaughlin
sandy.j.mac@hotmail.com (507) 282-8496,  (715) 580-0691