Introducing Hand Up Heroes

July 07, 2020

It is no secret that COVID-19 is having a significant impact on all of us. In light of this pandemic, we have had to make several changes to our events. Our signature fundraising event of the year, Hand Up Luncheon, is going virtual! We are excited about the opportunity and invite you to join us by serving as a Hand Up Hero. Heroes are the people, the stories and the hearts behind our organization, stepping up on behalf of United Against Poverty and inspiring others to do the same. Jeff Chandler, a longtime supporter, volunteer and host of many tables...

Read More

Highlighted Partner: Heart of Florida United Way VITA Program

July 07, 2020

For the fourth year, United Against Poverty partnered with Heart of Florida United Way and IRS to offer the community free tax filing services. Starting in November, a record 14 staff and volunteers became IRS-certified by passing four exams including advanced tax law. January 30 was opening day for the VITA tax site. The VITA site helped the community for 11 days until March 12 when the IRS and HFUW recommended that all VITA sites suspend operation due to COVID-19. In total, 170 tax returns were filed through United Against Poverty. Eighty-five percent of clients filing their taxes received a...

Read More

STEP Success Story by Carla Cox, Program Director

July 07, 2020

Will is a spirited, smiling, happy person who strives to work hard and bring joy to others. We first met Will in the Success Training Employment Program as someone desperate to find an employer to take a chance on him. I can remember his excitement when I visited him for the first time at his job at Lucky’s Market where he showed off his name tag and the produce section where he worked. When Lucky’s announced closures, Will was devastated. It took several months of searching until he found his next job. Through it all, I was always impressed with...

Read More

Thank you Trulieve

July 07, 2020

With community involvement as one of the company’s core values, Truelieve has worked throughout the state and other parts of the country to ensure that marginalized communities are receiving the hand up they need to reach economic self-sufficiency. The company’s drive to help others lead to a perfect partnership with our Orlando campus. During a recent visit the Trulieve team recognized that many of the machines in our computer lab were outdated, so they pulled together and donated thirty refurbished computers! These new PC’s are utilized many times throughout the day as individuals in our Life Enrichment Center log on...

Read More

Volunteer Spotlight: CareerSource

July 07, 2020

The Volunteer Department would like to highlight our outstanding partnership with CareerSource Florida! Since the beginning of April, CareerSource has provided a total of 24 interns to receive on-the-job training across every department in our organization. Our Trade and Logistics Interns work alongside our Grocery staff, learning about distribution, merchandising, and warehouse management. Administrative Interns learn data-management, client intake procedures, and volunteer management by working at the Welcome Desk, Life Enrichment Center, and Volunteer Office. Altogether, our interns have received more than 6,000 hours of on-the-job training! We are honored to foster educational opportunities and real-world experiences for these interns....

Read More

Former Orange County School Board Member Nancy Robbinson Named Executive Director of United Against Poverty Orlando

June 16, 2020

Nancy Robbinson has been named Executive Director of United Against Poverty Orlando, located at 150 W. Michigan Street. “I am pleased to announce Nancy Robbinson as the new Executive Director for our Orlando UP Center,” said Gwendolyn Butson, Chief Executive Officer of United Against Poverty. “Nancy’s experience and strong commitment to community building make her an asset and a well-qualified choice to lead our Orlando campus into the next chapter.” Following her ten-year service as an elected School Board Member, Robbinson joined the United Against Poverty Orlando team in 2019 as the Development Officer responsible for major gifts. She is...

Read More

2020 Board Member Spotlight – Susan Makowski

April 13, 2020

Susan Makowski, Owner and President of Community Consultants Orlando, is a member of the United Against Poverty Orlando Advisory Board and Chair of the Advocacy Committee. Susan holds a Master of Business Administration and has more than 25 years of experience in both the private and public sector, and is adept at navigating through the red tape of local government. She is using that experience to spearhead the advocacy efforts of UP Orlando, and we are very excited by her work in helping us move the needle on poverty!

Read More

STEP Success Story – Sunita

April 13, 2020

“Through the Success Training Employment Program, I have gained much more confidence than I started with. I learned a great deal about emotional intelligence and how to manage myself, my emotions, and my relationships with others. The daily themed morning motivations have been helpful in boosting my self-confidence. Through the discussions, I learned skills that I could apply in personal life situations, as well as in professional/work settings. I refreshed my computer skills. I revamped my resume. I gained valuable practice, interviewing with actual employers. The Retail Learning Institute trainings equipped me with workplace skills I never had before. I...

Read More

Congrats Graduates!

April 13, 2020

The Success Training Employment Program (STEP) cohort 25 graduated on March 6, 2020. These 15 adult learners mark a significant milestone for UP Orlando as we celebrate 4 years of STEP. These last 4 years, we have shared in the journey with 239 graduates. We are grateful for cohort 25 for sharing their stories, hopes, and goals with us and we look forward to walking alongside them and celebrating as they reach success.

Read More

Community Ties

April 13, 2020

Coretta Scott King, author, activist and wife to Martin Luther King Jr., believed that “the greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” There is so much greatness happening right here in Central Florida! All of us at United Against Poverty are fortunate enough to experience it every day in ways big and small, ordinary and obscure. Below are just a few highlights from the past two weeks. Westgate Resorts and Westgate Resorts Foundation, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Ten gallons of milk, eight boxes of muffns, thirty...

Read More