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Dec 23, 2019

Holiday Time and the New Year

Children's Holiday Party: When UPO held our 30th annual party, dignitaries joined our staff and volunteers in the huge Catholic University ballroom. Mr. & Mrs. Claus listened to whispered requests, then our partner, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, joined the fun. The 250 children had a blast singing, dancing, playing, and eating…and each one left with a bag of toys! - see attached file for great pictures! Each year this annual party is generously sponsored by corporations and individuals who open up their hearts to provide holiday cheer for social economically disadvantaged DC children.

Each one of you must be celebrating the season with your family and friends and we at UPO wish you all, good friends of UPO, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

During the past year UPO Foster Grandparents gave over 180,000 volunteer hours, serving over 15,000 social economically disadvantaged children at 60 volunteer sites in Washington, DC including Early Head Start/Head Start centers, Elementary Schools and Children's Hospitals. Volunteers engaged in tutoring, mentoring, social emotional support and assisting students in learning programs in cooperation with school systems. Proven outcomes are improved school readiness and K-12 success. As 2019 comes to an end 2020 commences in a week's time our FGP volunteers are committed to generously embark on the challenges ahead.

Your generous support of the UPO FGPs Program this past year has helped us to fund the cost of training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel reimbursement for our FG Parents. We urgently need to refill the coffers to ensure sufficient funding for 2020. Right now with one week of 2019 remaining there are two giving options available to you. Both will benefit UPO's Foster Grandparent Program and whichever you choose, will have a financial benefits to you:

  • This project is currently competing for bonus prizes through the 2019 Year - End Campaign: Do you need an additional tax deduction for FY 19? Your generous gift to the FGP Program before 12/31/19 will provide you with that benefit!
  • Did you know that one of the most impactful actions you can take as a donor is to start a recurring donation. When you commit a monthly donation to the FGP Program before 12/31/19 Global Giving will MATCH your DECEMBER gift 100%!   

You know your circumstances. Your gift, made either way, will provide you with the warm pleasure of giving to help other less fortunate than you. The UPO Family wishes you a Happy, Healthy and Successful New Year for 2020!

                                                         

  


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Dec 2, 2019

UPO Establishes an Affordable Housing Division

UPO Launches Affordable Housing Program
UPO Launches Affordable Housing Program

Since May 2019, UPO has formally expanded services to provide affordable housing units in DC. UPO is striving to meet the needs of DC’s most vulnerable and underserved families, homeless families and individuals and provide them with stability, self-sufficiency and housing. We are partnering with top development firms to produce high-quality affordable rentals homes and supportive services for the lowest income residents We are also assisting with providing and expanding other housing services through our Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Initiative and extended Resident Services where we encourage community engagement, education, employment and family wellness to other partner properties. The goal is to deliver 500 units in 5 years. For the immediate future we are producing 178 high-quality affordable rental homes with supportive services and also supporting the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Initiative. See attached picture "UPO Launches Affordable Housing Program"

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated community action agency for DC, UPO serves DC homeless through our programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. Adult Education & Training, Building Careers Academy and Workforce Development provide free job training. The establishment of Affordable Housing Division will provide an essential additional option in our services provided to the 6,500 DC homeless Shelter Hotline currently serves.

We hope you and your loved ones had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The holiday season is upon us, gatherings with family and friends in our warm homes. Please give a thought to the unfortunate homeless folk as we enter the holiday season. Hypothermia alerts, inclement weather, transportation to shelters. UPO Shelter Hotline vans transported 186,416 people to shelter last year. As we help the homeless to self-sufficiency, we believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted. Help us raise money for comfort items for the homeless people we assist, from feminine items to care packages, water, food trays and protective clothing we distribute when we transport them to shelters.

Tuesday December 3rd is #GivingTuesday, a National Day of Giving, you have the opportunity to make a meaningful gift to a wonderful program that benefits the unfortunate homeless population of Washington, DC. Global Giving is offering a $500,000 Incentive Fund and many other prizes on #GivingTuesday.

GlobalGiving’s 2019 #GivingTuesday Campaign will begin Dec.3, 2019, at 12:00.01 am and end at 23:59:59 pm on Dec.3, 2019.

Please join us and make your #GivingTuesday gift to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless to fully fund the much needed care packages, water, food trays and protective clothing we distribute, so greatly appreciated by our Homeless DC residents when we transport them to shelters.

Oct 3, 2019

Providing critical mentoring for DC children

Corporation for National and Community Service – Senior Corps – Foster Grandparent Program (CNCS), a Federal agency, provides grants to qualified agencies and organizations for the dual purpose of engaging persons 55 or older, with limited incomes, in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide a high quality volunteer experience that will enrich the lives of the volunteers. Program funds are used to support Foster Grandparents in providing supportive, person to person service to children with exceptional or special needs.

UPO’s Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), which is funded by CNCS, provides volunteer opportunities for 200 low-income Washington DC senior volunteer Foster Grandparents who daily, weekly and monthly, provide critical mentoring and emotional support to District children in a variety of local settings. The program operates at 60 locations in the Washington DC and includes early education centers, public and charter schools, before and after-school programs, youth programs and hospitals. Annually they put in more than 180,000 volunteer service hours – working one-on-one or in small groups mentoring more than 15,000 DC children.

The funding UPO’s FGP receives from CNCS does not cover the cost of training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel for our senior FGP volunteers enabling us to support them in their generous labor of love. We also seek additional funding to accommodate a waiting list of 100 seniors volunteering to be Foster Grandparents, 10 educational institutions who are seeking to join the program and every current partnering volunteer site is requesting additional Foster Grandparents.

Our generous donors to Support UPO’s Foster Grandparents Program have donated more than $5,000 to-date to supplement the additional funding needs and we thank you all sincerely for your support.

Our challenge has always been how to make a budget pay for the ongoing need for training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel for our senior FGP volunteers. During the past several months we have been encouraging our donors to please consider a monthly recurring donation to provide a continuous flow of funds for all of the things we want to do for our senior FGP volunteers? An inflow of recurring donations will help UPO set a budget for funding the cost of training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel for our senior FGP volunteers We have seen a small increase in recurring donations but we need more support!

Global Giving’s 100% MATCHING CAMPAIGN for new monthly recurring donations to Support UPO’s Foster Grandparents Program will be continuing to run until December 31, 2019. Global Giving will match your first month's gift 100% to jump start your impact. Please consider committing $5, $10, $25 or even $50 monthly to Support UPO’s Foster Grandparents Program.

Receiving more monthly support will enable us to spend less time fundraising and more time focusing on the work of love we do to taking care of our customers’ needs.

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