What is UTO?
Hello, from Sandra Squires and the United Thank Offering (UTO) Board! From now until the summer of 2018, I will be serving as president of UTO, and hope to share some insights into the great ministry of UTO, and share some of my journey in this role. In this opening offering, I will address some basic questions about UTO, then tell you about my experiences in subsequent columns.
What is United Thank Offering?
UTO is a ministry that is associated with the Blue Boxes and thankful giving, and I have people tell me, “Oh, I remember I had a Blue Box as a child!” or “We called them mite boxes, and, yes, I had one I put my pennies into.” Well, we still have Blue Boxes, and we still ask you to remember to drop a coin in the box each time you thank God for the many blessings in your life. Then bring your boxes, or at least their contents, to the church during Ingathering Sundays.
What does UTO do with the money from the Blue Boxes?
Just as it has for 125+ years, United Thank Offering uses every penny of the money from the Blue Boxes to support ministries all over the world. In fact, this past summer, Trinity Cathedral was awarded a grant to help women fleeing from domestic violence, you may know it as the Suitcase Project.
How does the Board decide who gets the money?
Grants. The Board members read a lot of grant applications. People apply for grants, these are evaluated, then UTO awards the money. We give grants to young adults and seminarians, and to parishes and dioceses for ministry in the United States and throughout the world.
Last year we awarded over $1.5 million in grants, but we had $4.5 million in fundable grant requests– so keep adding to the Blue Boxes and being thankful for your many blessings so we can award even more grants.
Does Blue Box money pay for UTO Board travel and overhead?
No, every penny collected in the Blue Boxes goes to grants. We have a fund, the Memorial Gift Trust Fund, that funds the travel for the volunteer Board.
St. Augustine’s of Canterbury, Elkhorn