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 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 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 level prep, job training, and citizenship.

Services: UU Volunteers provide twice monthly Grab-N-Go Bags packed with rotating items that cannot be purchased with SNAP including toilet paper, dish soap, deodorant, hand soap, tissue, shampoo, hand sanitizer, lotion, and bar soap.

Hawthorne Helps Online Store


Shopping for a Cause…

The Hawthorne Helps booth at First UU’s annual Handcrafted Bazaar has become an integral annual source of income for Hawthorne Helps.  This year, we are trying this new limited time online store to help supplement the sales made at the bazaar.  Please feel free to share the link for this store with your family or friends who you think may find things of interest to purchase… however, please note that items must be paid for via credit card through this site and that we are not set up to ship items.  If you have a family member or friend out of town who would like to purchase, we ask that you (as the church member who shared this site) act as the delivery person for your family or friend.  Items purchased through the site will be delivered weekly to First Unitarian Universalist Church on Sundays between services.  Please use the “Contact Us” menu item for questions about any part of the process.  We hope you’ll find something among the nearly 230 items that you like and can find meaning in shopping for a cause supported by our church.  If you don’t find anything you need, but still want to help, you can choose the “Donate to HH” menu item and any funds you charge to your card through this option, will go toward the HH Fund at church.  You can also check the Blue Barrel at church to see what items are currently being sought for donation.

Thanks again for your continued support of Hawthorne Helps!

First UU Hawthorne Helps 1st Semester 2021-2022 Dates:
September 7
September 21
October 5
October 19
November 2
November 16
December 7
December 21
January 4
January 18

Ways you can help:

  • Donate requested item to the Blue Barrel (new & unused only PLEASE)!
  • Volunteer to sort, tally and pack up Blue Barrel donations on a Sunday morning.
  • Volunteer to shop, pack Grab-N-Go bags and/or assist with distribution at Hawthorne Education  Center.
  • Knit, crochet or purchase winter hats, scarves, gloves & mittens for the Oct. 19 pre-winter distribution.
  • Contribute to our Annual Share The Plate UU fundraiser

Items Needed:

  • Check the eNews or Blue Barrel in the Commons for a current list
  • Gift cards (Aldi’s, Menards, Walgreens)

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