Making the World a Better Place

First Parish’s Lydia Maria Child Fund (LMCF) supports engagement in activism to improve our world. The Fund, created in 2017 in response to the congregation’s desire for expanded activism, provides grants to fund social and environmental justice initiatives by First Parish members and friends, including those initiated by youth.

The Fund was created by donations from the congregation, and is named for Lydia Maria Child, a celebrated 19th century abolitionist and advocate for women’s and Native Americans’ rights. Child lived in Wayland and attended First Parish.

Any member or friend of First Parish, including youth, may submit a proposal to the LMCF committee, which oversees the Fund and makes decisions about its use.

Please email the LMCF Committee if you have questions or want feedback on an idea. You can also find more information on the LMCF Grant Guidelines and Application Form.

“The cure for all the ills and wrongs, the cares, the sorrows, and the crimes of humanity, all lie in the one word ‘love.'” ~ Lydia Maria Child

Examples of Recent Projects

LYDIA MARIA CHILD YOUTH SOCIAL JUSTICE LIBRARY: The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for  materials for a bookshelf and start-up of a library with over a hundred social justice-themed books for FP youth from birth through middle school.  This was an intergenerational project at First Parish.  The group ordered from Frugal Bookstore, a black-owned business in Roxbury.  

KING PHILIP’S WAR PANEL DISCUSSION: The Lydia Maria Child fund co-sponsored a panel discussion helping to build awareness of the historical perspectives of Indiginious Peoples in our area. 

UGANDA PROJECT: The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for Masks and Medical Gloves Drive to be shipped to Uganda.

BELOVED CONVERSATIONS: The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for the attendance of 6 First Parish members to participate in an online program whose UU focus is “racial justice as spiritual practice” through the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School.

PLANNED PARENTHOOD WORKSHOPS:  The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for two unique trainings offered online and in-person working towards allyship by teaching the basics of LGBTQ+ terminology and topics to our FP community

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS GROW NATIVE SPEAKER: The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for speaker fees for a presentation through the MetroWest Climate Solutions lecture series. The speaker presented on current landscaping practices that are harmful to species extinction and simple and affordable  “how to’s”  to help homeowners improve the survival of native plants.

DEFUND FEAR BOOK DISCUSSION: The Lydia Maria Child fund provided funding for the purchase of books for two FP facilitated discussions about the 2021 UU Common Read book Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris.


To see a complete list of the projects funded by the Lydia Maria Child Fund to date, please click here.