SNAP & Poverty

February 08, 2019

By Eric Gray, Executive Director According to the USDA, the average American household spends $909 per month on groceries. After the recent shutdown and President Trumps mention of food stamps in his state of the union address, we’re getting many questions from local media, schools and concerned citizens about what furloughed federal employees do during a partial government shut down. With Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits having been distributed on January 20 and with no certainty on whether another distribution will happen, many more families (1 in 7) receiving assistance are concerned too. About 18% of the fees paid...

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January 2019 Volunteer Update

February 06, 2019

Volunteer Spotlight: MLK Day of Service We’d like to give a HUGE thank you to our wonderful volunteer groups that gave of their time for the MLK Day of Service. Habitat for Humanity, City Year, as well as several families assisted in our Member Share Grocery Program by stocking shelves, bagging groceries for our members, and sorting donated business attire in our Member Marketplace. United Against Poverty greatly appreciates the hard work of volunteers. Find out how you can get involved at uporlando.org/volunteer. Volunteer Announcements: Family Volunteer Night: Our monthly Family Volunteer Nights bring families together in the spirit of...

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Highlighted Partner: REACH

February 06, 2019

REACH brings together a group of Asian high school students to make a difference in the Central Florida community. The goal of REACH (Recognizing Experiencing Asian Culture and Heritage) is to promote Asian cultural heritage by reaching out to other young community leaders within Central Florida, through programs such as cultural performances, classroom presentations and carnival activities. REACH also educates young leaders through personal growth training, event planning and with community outreach through volunteering of their time, talents and treasures. For the past two years, REACH students from 10 area high schools have participated in a toy drive, benefiting our...

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Taxes and Poverty

February 05, 2019

By Carla Cox, Program Director, United Against Poverty When we first entertained hosting the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program on the United Against Poverty Orlando campus, we knew this would benefit our members, but weren’t quite sure of the impact it would have. Through this program, volunteers become IRS certified tax preparers and assist families with low income navigate the complex process of filing completely for free. As we move into our 3rd year as a VITA location, we continue to learn the benefits this vital program has on the working poor; specifically, those who qualify for the Earned...

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Volunteer Spotlight: Hilton

September 14, 2018

Team Members take Hilton’s innovation and influence to communities to drive positive change. During Hilton’s annual Global Week of Service, more than 65 volunteers from six Orlando area Hilton Properties partnered with United Against Poverty Orlando. For nearly 100 years, Hilton has seen a world that can be made better through genuine hospitality. The efforts of the Orlando area Hilton Team Members are a part of Hilton’s week-long celebration recognizing the company’s year-round commitment to serving and enriching the communities where Team Members live, work and travel. “One of our key purposes at Hilton is to serve and support our...

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Highlighted Partner: Spraker Wealth Management

September 14, 2018

Susan Spraker, President of Spraker Wealth Management, first learned of our agency after reading an article in the Orlando Sentinel. She quickly became engaged with the mission of United Against Poverty as a founding member of our Board of Directors. And thus began a ten year partnership during which Susan and her team have tirelessly dedicated their time, talent and treasure to helping working poor families and dignity and hope. Spraker Wealth Management provides holistic financial planning and wealth management for families, individuals and foundations. Over the years, Susan and her team have spent hundreds of hours stocking the shelves in...

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Facility Update: Shopping Carts

September 14, 2018

In recent years, UP Orlando has struggled to maintain an adequate inventory of shopping carts to keep up with demand. On particularly busy days, this shortage would make it especially difficult for parents with children to get the items they need without a cart available. If they had time, members would oftentimes circle the parking lot waiting for another family to unload their groceries so that they could secure a cart. Having shopping carts available for all of our members to use any time of day may seem like a simple pleasure, but it’s an essential part of the dignified...

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Thank You, Tommy!

September 14, 2018

Tommy Beck has been a longtime advocate of United Against Poverty, faithfully serving on our Board of Directors for the past 10 years. For much of that time he fulfilled the crucial role of Development Chair, where he introduced countless new supporters to our mission and ensured the gifts entrusted to UP Orlando were always put to work in the most effective way possible. While he continues to remain active with our mission, Tommy retired from his committee chair position earlier this year, passing the torch to fellow Board Member Jeff Chandler to lead development efforts. “Tommy Beck has selflessly...

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Construction Program Helps Students Build a Better Future

September 14, 2018

To help the graduates of the Success Training Employment Program as well as the community at large, we recently partnered with Valencia College’s Accelerated Skills Construction Program. The Construction Program met for six weeks at our Orlando UP Center, where students spent time both in the classroom and on a simulated job site learning site safety, construction math, proper tool usage and project planning. Seven students—two of whom were also STEP graduates—earned certifications to help them excel in the growing construction industry. “The Construction Program helped me prepare to not just get a job, but a career that will help...

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Double Your Impact

September 14, 2018

If you make a donation using our donation page between now and November 30th, your gift will have twice the impact. All you have to do is note “Match” in the message box before you submit your donation! Dear friends of our mission Dr. Don and Cindy Diebel have generously offered to match gifts made during this time, dollar for dollar, up to $20,000! Please help us reach our goal of fulfilling this special matching gift opportunity by making a donation of any size—every dollar counts! Your gift could mean the difference between hope and despair for someone in need. Together,...

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