A wonderful way to spread the word about United Thank Offering is by attending the diocesan convention. You can host a UTO booth in the convention marketplace and lead a convention Ingathering, too, with permission from your bishop. The UTO office will send you a box full of colorful materials to use at your booth.
The photo at left shows Tammy Smecker-Hane, the UTO Coordinator for the Diocese of Los Angeles, at the UTO booth at their convention in Riverside, California, in November. In addition to handing out information about UTO, she created a few “Parish UTO Starter Kits” to give to parishes who had never heard of UTO before or had not had an Ingathering in a few years.
She also ordered color-your-own UTO boxes and placed a box with a few colored markers on each table in the convention hall with a flyer giving a “UTO Convention Challenge” to the attendees that encouraged them to remember the people who made their day at convention productive – the friend who drove the carpool that day, the hospitality worker who tidied up their hotel room, and the convention employees who kept the coffee and water flowing, etc. – and give thanks by donating the change from the $20 bill they used to pay for their lunch to UTO.
This simple request netted $407 for UTO and blessed the attendees, too, by giving them something creative to do during convention lulls. These were a big hit! Below are pictured some of the colorful UTO boxes they decorated. We plan to make this a yearly event and encourage others do the same. Contact Tammy Smecker-Hane (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.