THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY – ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY
At Saint Hill in Sussex, site of the Church of Scientology’s headquarters in the United Kingdom, Scientologists hold annual fêtes attended by some 2,000 people each year, to support charity organizations such as the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Youth Trust, a national organization working to keep children off drugs. British Scientologists also support the community activities of many other groups and organizations. One group participates every year in an annual fund-raising event which supports a national society’s Teenage Cancer Trust. Another group took part in a 1997 cycling marathon to raise funds for the British Heart Foundation.
Honoring a long tradition of helping the needy, and particularly children, over the Christmas holidays, Scientologists help spread Christmas goodwill in cities all over the world. From California to New York, Scientologists in the United States collect food and gifts to cheer the holidays of those in need.
Such contributions have earned numerous recognitions. In 1996, the director of the Los Angeles Outreach Program was commended by President Bill Clinton for services rendered to foster children. The Program Director organized volunteer Scientologists who contributed more than 60,000 hours of work to the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. The commendation stated in part: “You have worked with energy and dedication to provide solutions to the many problems that government alone cannot fix. With your active involvement, you have brought hope and help to countless people in need. . . . Your work is going a long way toward healing and renewing your community, inspiring all who seek to improve our world.”
The Church has also sponsored the popular “Winter Wonderland” in Hollywood, complete with the film capital’s largest Christmas tree and snow by the ton. Santa lights the tree during the annual Christmas parade and the setting plays host to thousands of children and their parents. “Winter Wonderland” is also a yearly feature in Clearwater, Florida, where Scientologists construct a Swiss Alpine village, complete with Santa Claus, skating, train and pony rides, a petting zoo, snowmen and a special Santa’s Workshop. More than 30,000 children and their parents visit during the holiday season. Those who come to enjoy the festivities are encouraged to donate canned goods, clothing and toys which are then distributed to needy families in time for the holidays.
More Community Activities