To increase awareness and to encourage purchase of products based on principles of economic and social justice, once a month from September through June, Fair Trade products, including coffee, tea, baking cocoa, and chocolate candy bars are sold at Little River UCC.
In January 2008, the congregation adopted a statement recognizing our responsibility to respond to global warming and use energy and other resources rationally. As a first step, the Trustees arranged for an energy audit by Greater Washington Interfaith Power and Light (GWIPL), a nonprofit initiative that helps faith institutions and others work for a more just, sustainable and healthier creation by reducing the threat of global warming; implementation of GWIPL’s recommendations is underway. The Christian Social Action Committee sponsored a talk by GWIPL, and the Board of Christian Education arranged classes in its Public Policy and Faith program on global warming, sustainable living, alternative energy, Fairfax County's response to global warming, and the relevance of energy policies to national security. News about the "Green Scene" appears on the social hall bulletin board.
In 2008, Little River established a Welcome Center in our Jubilee Room for international students at the nearby Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College. The program provides an opportunity, one afternoon a week, for international students to practice their English speaking skills in an informal, relaxed setting and for Little River members and the students to learn about each other’s cultures.
Fair Trade Holiday Festival
Each year, during the Christmas season, the Christian Social Action Committee (CSAC) hosts an annual Fair Trade Festival, featuring fair trade products made by poor and disadvantaged artisans from around the world. These purchases help to establish a sustainable market to provide a stable income for artisans who would otherwise be unemployed or underemployed.
Over the past several years CSAC has worked with SERRV, a nonprofit alternative trade organization that promotes justice and progress for people in developing countries, in offering this holiday festival. In 2009 CSAC collaborated with the Alexandria store of Ten Thousand Villages, one of the world's largest fair trade organizations, and with The Giving Circle of Reston, a group of low-income women who produce homemade soaps and sachets, in making these fair trade items available to Little River members and friends.