StandUp For Kids - Worcester is happy to announce that the opening of their Outreach Center has been a great success. Partnering with several local organizations, the center is located in a newly renovated house in the heart of Worcester. Through the StandUp For Kids space, local youth have access to showers, a washer and dryer, computers, and more. Stone Soup Worcester is the key organizational partner which spearheaded this collaboration. Through them and other partners in the house, the youth also have access to employment assistant services, meeting spaces, an arts and crafts area, a free resource library, and more. The center is managed by volunteer counselors and is open for four hour blocks several days each week.
The benefits of the center and this strategic partnership were clear within the first couple weeks. The young adults initially contacted through street outreach now have a place to go and a place to find the services they need. They have strengthened their relationships with outreach counselors and even developed connections with each other.
Brenna Merrill, Director of Youth Outreach for StandUp For Kids - Worcester, is originally from just outside Chicago but came to Worcester to attend Clark University. She currently oversees each shift at the center. "Street outreach is incredibly useful in making contact with different people in the city and helping them with their current needs," she said. "The outreach center, on the other hand, provides a place for young adults to come, seek respite, and receive more long-term services."
StandUp For Kids - Worcester Outreach Counselors hit the streets for frequent outreach throughout the weekend of April 25 - 27. Generous donors dropped off items from our Wish List. Thanks to Central Rock Gym Worcester, an anonymous donor, and our fantastic volunteers, several kids were able to experience a fun day with a good meal and a great experience rock climbing for their first time.
SpencerBANK recently donated $1,000 to StandUp For Kids - Worcester, the local chapter of a national organization dedicated to stabilizing and rescuing homeless and at-risk youth. The donation will help ensure that a StandUp For Kids drop-in center is established.
StandUp For Kids - Worcester, like the more than 35 other StandUp For Kids chapters in more than 18 states across the U.S., works directly with the homeless youth on the streets, at drop-in centers, in local schools and via the internet. As of yet, the Worcester chapter of StandUp For Kids, which serves all of Worcester county, still lacks a drop-in center.
Artist, Lisa Siciliano, specializes in translating time-honored art forms into contemporary expression. She is a paper engineer, incorporating dimensional folds and movement into her creations.
Lisa’s lifelong professional career has been devoted to non-profit human services work, during much of which she was a leading advocate (both appointed and elected) in her state to ensure adequate funding for services for those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Along the way she has worked as a college professor, and executive directed an international program to fund the education of girls in east African countries.
Remaining true to her professional roots, she is committed to donating a portion of SparKreations’ profits to support the work of non-profit organizations. Lisa launched the SparKreations Non-Profit Partnership Program in 2011. A portion of the profits from sales of her artwork are donated to support the work of non-profit organizations of her choosing. The current recipient is StandUp for Kids - Worcester.
Check out her website at www.sparkreations.com!
Peace Development Fund Awards Educational Grant to StandUp For Kids - Worcester
StandUp For Kids - Worcester is pleased to announce the receipt of an award of $500 from the McCormick Allegro Fund of the Peace Development Fund. This award will be used for college tuition expenses for a youth who was homeless at age 17, earned his high school diploma, and is working and supporting himself. He is now enrolling in college at the age of 19.
StandUp For Kids offers a continuum of care that addresses the many challenges faced by homeless kids aged 12 to 25. Our Street Outreach counselors find and assist homeless and at-risk youth where they congregate, providing food and supplies to help them cope, as well as referrals to established services to help them get off the streets. We offer programs for elementary and middle school youth that present alternatives to running away from home, and for older youth, GED and life-skills training. Gifts from the Peace Development Fund and others permit us to support college-level education.
The Peace Development Fund is a public foundation that partners with community-based organizations and social justice movements to provide grants, training, and other resources, working with donors and grantees to build a peaceful, just and equitable world. Founded in 1981, PDF has offices in San Francisco, California and Amherst, Massachusetts.
BIG THANK YOU to the BJ's Charitable Foundation for their grant award of $4,400 for the Backpack Program, which provides healthy supplemental food items to school children when they are not in school. StandUp For Kids - Worcester sincerely appreciates the repeated support from the BJ's Foundation.
BIG THANK YOU to the Youth Sunday School class at the Salem Covenant Church for their donation of $200. The youth have raised money for StandUp For Kids Worcester by offering gifts during their Sunday School class for the last year and a half. Thank you to Pastor Austin Eisele for teaching the youth compassion for the less fortunate youth in our city and how to do something about it!
See what their donation can do.
$200 can buy:
57 food bags to pass out to hungry youths during street outreach…
OR... 55 bus passes for youths to get to appointments, school...
OR... 40 packs of hygiene items…
OR... 20 backpacks of food for the youth in the Backpack Program...
OR... 16 local birth certificates - needed to get first state ID, food stamps, other state benefits and register for school...
OR... 10 sets of interview or court clothes – to help youths have the best outcome...
OR... 8 State ID's - needed to get into programs, housing, GED testing...
OR... 5 out-of-state Birth Certificates...
OR... 3 GED testing fees...
Thank you to Spencer Savings Bank for donating $1000 for the Outreach Drop-In Center.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Staff Rocks! The NICU staff from UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester bought gifts from SUFK youths' wish list. A few of the youths remarked that they had never received Christmas gifts and others shared it has been several years; some said the gifts made it the best Christmas they ever. They were excited about receiving new jeans, coats, warm clothes, art and hobby items. One youth asked for a pillow and sheets and also received a homemade blanket, which touched his heart the most. The gifts put big smiles on all the kids' and young adults' faces.
StandUp For Kids - Worcester held a holiday meal at Straight Ahead Ministries. StandUp For Kids counselors provided a holiday meal for Straight Ahead youth and counselors, and StandUp For Kids youth. Everyone enjoyed the meals and company of the two programs.
JP Productions presented a benefit for StandUp For Kids at Greendale’s Pub at 404 W. Boylston Street, Worcester, MA.
The bands were as follows:
Strange Creatures (featuring Chris Terp), Jim Perry & Alison Schelin (with special guests)
Brumby (featuring Lisa & Brett Brumby of She's Busy), Doctor Robert.
BIG THANK YOU to Jim Perry of JP Productions for hosting SUFK’s most profitable fundraiser.
THANK YOU to the bands that performed.
For our past news, see:
Next Volunteer Orientation
Offered 2nd Monday every month at 7 pm at Wesley United Methodist Church at 114 Main Street, Worcester
Please contact Donna Katsoudas for more details at Worcester@standupforkids.org.
Homeless Youth Awareness Month Vigil
Click image below for larger PDF version
If you plan to attend, RSVP to DonnaKat@standupforkids.org
First Unitarian Church of Worcester donating $1700 from a 50/50 Sunday Plate collection at one of the Christmas masses in 2013. This has been the biggest collection up to this date.
Jericho Roads for providing a coach for the Volunteer Executive Director of the Worcester Program. The coach, Joan Russo, was a big asset to building the Worcester Board of Directors and strategic planning for opening the Outreach Center, also connecting SUFK with the First Unitarian Church's donation and the Artist Lisa Siciliano, who is donating of a portion of her income from her wonderful artwork this year.
Mr. Marty and Helen Wright, Dr. Robert Gise, and the Spencer Savings Bank employees for the donations for the Washer and Dryer. The washer and dryer have been delivered to the Outreach Center. YEAH!!!
Abbie and Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation for the $410.00 donation. Thank you, Abbie and Maribeth for your continued support of our work!!
Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation for the $2,500 for our work during the Holiday season.
All the people who donated and came to the fundraiser at Jillian’s!! That means you: Dennis and Alisha, Megan, Jane, Steven and Judith, Kyle and Matt.
Gayle Kasparian, Linda Gregory, and Holly Morissey for the clothing donations.
Laura from the Ole’ Restaurant for the food and office supplies and hygiene donations.
Mike Eaton and Rita for the food donation.
Abbey Kelly Foster Charter School - food collection and donation.
Robin Caracciolo and the Religious Education Classes of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester for all the wish-list items for the Holiday Meal.
Devra Kotel for the sweatshirts, hats, and food items
Wesley United Methodist Church for monthly meeting room space.
UMass Memorial NICU nurses for the gifts for the youths and the children of the youths
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