Our Thoughts

Thank you to our 2017 Donors!

Hi Friends,

As many of you may have noticed, our Impact Report for 2017 was sent out to our e-mail list earlier this week. The fact that we even have “impacts” to report to everyone blows my mind! I won’t belabor our accomplishments from last year, because I’ve written about them over and over and the report will be available on our website (just as soon as I figure out how to do that). I am however going to call out a number of people here and now and thank them for their amazing support! Throughout 2017 the following amazing people and businesses provided their support and enabled us to give back to the Richmond community!

DONORS
Mandi Asbell
Nancy Blair
George Bourey
Kendra Butler
Jill Collins
Brookie Crawford
Linda Cummer
Joselito Diaz
Leigh Dillon
Eric Diton
Eli Drebin
Ellen Dukette
Jefferson Dukette
Kelly Flammia
Ashley Grant
Janice Hackett
Caasi Harris
Debbie and Jeff Hoch
Jessica Mawson
Lisa Newton
Audrey Peltz
Thomas Reichert
Christina Santini
Kayla Smith
Kevin Stacey II
Cody Symanietz
Sean Watson
Morgan Wright

DONATIONS OF GOODS
Kate Burns
Emily Dukette
Nikki Proffitt
Kourtney Smithson
Red Eye Cookie Company
Richmond SPCA
Carie Staley
Alexandra Vega

DONORS OF SERVICES & TIME
Kendra Butler, Community Building
Devon Charles, Website Development
Jamal Greene, Community Building
Mallory Premock, Summer Intern
Kourtney Smithson, Photography

Of course, last but not least, I really need to give a shout out to last year’s board who all donated money, goods, and time, but also moved us forward with their creative thought and action. Ashley, Alex, Nick, and Vic – thank you for believing in this mission, taking action, and questioning me. Without you, there would be no World U.P. and I would not have my sanity.

Peace, Love, & Understanding,

Liz

 

 

Spring into Health & Wellness

Happy Spring, Friends! I know, I know – the weather in Richmond isn’t what we think about when we conjure up images of April flowers, but I do see a high of 80ºF in our weekend forecast, so I have hope.

Spring has always been one of my favorite seasons. It’s the perfect transition season that ushers in the summer heat to replace the crispness of winter and mimics the vibrancy of fall leaves in pretty flower form. It’s a gentle reminder that even the coldest and darkest times are merely trials that give way to moments of lightness and rebirth. It’s a sign that winter hibernation is behind us and we need to start eating well. Additionally, it’s that time of year when everyone starts becoming pressed for time to get healthy and fit for summer fun in the sun.

So far my post may sound like prose, but if you’ve been following our social media pages this April (if you don’t, see the sidebar for links), then you know where this is heading. We have been using our Facebook and Instagram platforms to tell our followers a little more about our Health & Wellness Initiative, the 7 Dimensions of Health and Wellness, and what kind of wellness services we believe make up a culture of wellness and we plan to incorporate in our future community center in Richmond, VA. Now, you should know that there are many theories as to how many dimensions of wellness there are. For example, some schools of thought believe there are only 6, some believe there are 8 (they include financial wellness). World U.P. chose to adopt the school of thought that there are 7 because that’s what best fits our current mission and vision. Further, our breakdown and definitions were adapted from a variety of sources, but we relied heavily on the definitions provided by the University of California, Riverside Wellness Website. I highly recommend you check out this website for great life tips and provocative questions for personal reflection on your wellness.

With all that disclaimer complete, you’re probably asking “What are the 7 Dimensions of Wellness?” Great question – thanks for asking. Essentially, they are the seven parts of our life that need attention and care in order to make us wholly well persons.

SevenDimentionsofWellness

  • Social Wellness is the ability to relate to, connect to, and maintain positive relationships with other people in our world.
  • Emotional Wellness is the ability to understand ourselves, cope with the challenges life can bring, and being attentive to your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, whether positive or negative.
  • Spiritual Wellness is the ability to establish peace and harmony in our lives. It is a personal matter involving values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives.
  • Intellectual Wellness is the ability to open our minds to new ideas and experiences that can be applied to personal decisions, group interaction and community betterment.
  • Physical Wellness is the ability to maintain a healthy quality of life where we recognize and adopt healthy habits that allow us to get through our daily activities without undue fatigue or physical stress.
  • Environmental Wellness is the ability to recognize our own responsibility for the quality of the air, the water, and the land that surrounds us, including the ability to make a positive impact on the quality of our environment, be it our homes, our communities, or the world.
  • Occupational Wellness is the ability to get personal fulfillment from our jobs or our chosen career fields while still maintaining balance in our lives and allow us demonstrates our desire to contribute to society through our career choices.

As a key initiative of the World UP’s mission, we recognize that Health and Wellness is a key component that not only makes up a culture, but that satisfaction of all the dimensions of wellness can allow people to peacefully embrace differences between cultures. Part of our Health and Wellness initiative includes a plan to provide free community access to various wellness resources at our (eventual) community cultural center.

To support social wellness tenants that (1) it is better to contribute to the common welfare of our community than to think only of ourselves and (2) it is better to live in harmony with others and our environment than to live in conflict with them, we want to host seminars to enhance our positive communication skills, have a staff social worker, and a engage mediator to help resolve difficult conflicts.

To support emotional wellness, we want to engage on-site therapists and counselors to help the community members process of feelings, thoughts, philosophies, and behavior; live and work independently while realizing the importance of seeking and appreciating the support and assistance of others; form interdependent relationships with others based upon a foundation of mutual commitment, trust, and respect; take on challenges, take risks, and recognize conflict as being potentially healthy; and manage their lives in personally rewarding ways.

We plan to provide resources that aid in everyone’s path to spiritual wellness through access to a yoga/meditation studio as well as space for those who want to engage in prayer, affirmations, or specific spiritual practices that support their connection to a higher power or belief system. At World UP, we understand and respect the different views of what defines spiritualism, and believe that it is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant, and that it is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Intellectual wellness is a key component of peaceful diversity, as it allows people to be tolerant and curious about new ideas, communities, and the world around them. By creating access to creative and stimulating activities like travel and cultural education, we hope to provide experiences that expand knowledge, skills, a passion for exploration, problem-solving, and creativity.

Part of our initiative includes a plan to create access to education and volunteer opportunities that aid environmental wellness, through the creation of awareness of the earth’s natural resources and personal accountability to environmental needs.

At World UP, we believe that occupational wellness exists when you have a career that utilizes your unique gifts, skills and talents is both personally meaningful and rewarding and cultivates an attitude of tolerance and understanding within the community. We plan to provide access to vocational training and skill development to help community members find a meaning and purposeful profession and job satisfaction.

Finally, to support physical wellness, we plan to implement more programs like Food UP, which creates access to fresh produce and foods, and programs that incentivize exercise and group fitness. Some of our plans are to create a community garden, host cultural cooking exchanges, and provide space for sports activities.

Of course, we recognize that this dream is far from our current reality. However, we know that with some planning, hard work, and community support that a community center like this is entirely possible within Richmond. If you have any ideas or suggestions as to what we should incorporate into our plans for a community center, please comment or send me an email at liz.dukette@worldupfoundation.org.

Peace, Love, and Understanding,

Liz

 

 

 

 

The Value of Money

Dear Friends,

Lately, I’ve been pondering the value of money. We recognize that there are so many wonderful causes for people to donate to and only so many dollars in your bank account. As such, I wanted to share a few ways in which you can support ANY organization you are passionate about without spending a dime.

1. Share your story!

Stories communicate passion and purpose. Non-profits love to know why you love what they do. Better yet- they can use your story to influence others to get involved or generate donations.

2. Volunteer!

This may be the most obvious, but a lot of non-profits operate on a volunteer basis. Any amount of time you can donate is highly valued. Odds are most organizations are happy to work with you to find a way for you to utilize your skills. Are You social media-obsessed? Offer to help with posts. Are you a writer?  Help write a grant. From organizing to painting, there’s always a way to help.

3. Become a Community Partner!

A lot of organizations share the same goals or have similar missions. If you’re involved in an organization but support others, find a creative way to work together! Often times organizations have programmatic dreams but lack resources. Think creatively – share space, networks, supplies, or marketing channels! If you’re a business, offer up space in exchange for a marketing/social media push – and find yourself some new customers.

4. Fundraise!

Most non-profits are heavily reliant on the donations from friends, family, and strangers.  Fundraising is no longer stuck in the past of door to door knocking or collecting pledges. A lot of organizations have options where you can create a personal fundraising page (peer-to-peer) that attaches directly to their website or are set up to collect donations on Facebook. Create a special fundraiser for your birthday, your next marathon, or just because. Set-up usually takes less than 10 minutes, and you can collect donations in minutes with little work.

5. Pass on the word!

Word of mouth is stronger than money in a lot of cases. Tag them on your social media accounts. Like and share their pages. Tell your friends.

So those are my 5 “Free” ways to support an organization. If you have other ideas, please share in the comments below, or send me an email at liz.dukette@worldupfoundation.org. During March, we will be highlighting how you can use these ideas to support us, so be sure to follow us on Instagram (@world_up_) and like our page on Facebook (The World UP Foundation)! And of course, follow this blog to be notified of my musings on non-profit life.

Peace, Love, & Understanding

Liz

 

 

 

It’s almost here… #GivingTuesday

Good Evening, Friends!

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday weekend filled with love and laughter.

Tonight, at midnight, #GivingTuesday will begin! Tomorrow, millions of people will take a moment to give back to the world. Please join us  in celebrating this day of giving by supporting World U.P.’s mission to promote understanding and peace through the creation of cultural education experiences that are available to everyone and anyone.

One Gift can make a difference and impact the Richmond community and is one step closer to help us reach our goal! Donate on #GivingTuesday!

If you support our cause, but cannot give, please share our donation page and our social media accounts with friends and family!

Understanding & Peace,

Liz

5 Reasons To Remember World U.P. on #GivingTuesday

As we approach the beginning of the holiday season, I want to share our “Top 5” reasons to support the important work that the World U.P. Foundation is doing. We are thankful for the support we have received and look forward to the work yet still to be done.

On Tuesday November 28th we are participating in #GivingTuesday, which is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

I wanted to share a little more about why you should remember World U.P. Foundation on #GivingTuesday.

While we encourage giving year round, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and the end of our fundraising year. Having grown in popularity over the last 5 years, I recognize that you will have so many amazing charities to choose from when #GivingTuesday hits. Any donation given to an organization that makes a positive impact on understanding, peace, and diversity is a wonderful contribution! I’ve thought long and hard about what compelling arguments I can make to kindly request you keep the World U.P. Foundation in the forefront of your minds on November 28, 2017. So, here you go!

  1. World U.P. has a track record of successful community impact. We may be a young organization, but we are dedicated and capable. Within the last 6 months we have launched our two goal programs for this year, Gear U.P. and Food U.P. Through Gear U.P., and in only 3 weeks, we were able to provide 70 families who are served by the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority with back packs and school supplies to send their children to school with tools for educational success. Through Food U.P., we have been able to provide families in Highland Park access to fresh fruits and vegetables in connection with their local food pantry. We not only want to replicate these efforts in the new year, but want to expand these programs to have a larger impact.
  2. World U.P. is fervently dedicated to using responsible and ethical spending practices. This means that we don’t use money to fund lobbying responsibilities, fund personal endeavors, or to support any activities that do not create a benefit for the communities we are trying to support.
  3. World U.P. is completely volunteer based. Currently, no one in the organization is monetarily compensated by the organization. Everyone person on our team donates their time and services. Often times, the little things we need to operate (stamps, paper, etc.) are paid for and donated by our team members.
  4. Our World U.P. Board of Directors are our #1 supporters.  Our Board puts their money where their heart is. We don’t just believe in the mission, every Board member is so personally connected to our mission, that they have pledged personal yearly donations and fundraising pledges as well.
  5. World U.P. believes that our donors are our clients. Our philosophy is that people make personal donations, because of a personal connection to our mission.  It’s our responsibility to make sure that the people who believe in us and our mission can see the success their donation has created.

After a week busy with eating, visiting, and shopping…

Tuesday is dedicated to Giving.

We hope you will join us by making a gift to the World U.P. Foundation.

With Understanding & Peace,

Liz

Humblebrags & GivingTuesday

Happy Friday, Friends!

A few months ago (about 6 to be exact), I tried to share with you our “Why”… why we do what we do, why we think World U.P. is necessary. Today, I want to share with you “How” and “What” we are doing to bring our mission to life.

Now, I freely admit that I’m going to be #humblebragging about our successes so far, because #GivingTuesday is around the corner (November 28th) and I want you to consider giving to us on thait day. If you don’t know what #GivingTuesday is, I suggest you take a few minutes to read up on it. The holiday season is upon is, and while some of us find great joy in the holidays, it can easily become overwhelming and seemingly wasteful. The good news is that this time of the year there are a number of ways to overcome these holiday blues by taking part in, what I like to call, sustainable spending events that have popped up in the last couple of years! You can participate in #GivingTuesday, #SmallBusinessSaturday, volunteer at local food pantries, and even just donate to your favorite charity in lieu of buying holiday presents.

This time of year is very important for many nonprofits, as many of us are finishing out our fiscal year (December 31), sending out tax-deduction letters, and trying to figure out how we are going to fund all of the initiatives that we have started in the community in the last year! So, with all that being said, here’s what we have accomplished thus far this year, with your generous support!

Our First Birthday!! (9/8/17)

The World U.P. Foundation officially celebrated its first birthday on September 8th, 2017! Thank you so much to everyone, near and far, who has contributed toward such a wonderful first year. As we go into our second year as an organization, we want to start it off strong by sharing some updates, progress, and what all we plan to do next. We have got a lot in the works, and hope to see you soon!

Gear U.P.

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority reached out to us asking for help to send their students back to school with the tools they need to succeed. We were humbled and touched by the generosity we saw from everyone. In less than 2 weeks, our community was able to:

– Raise over $1,800 in cash and school supplies

– Fill 70 backpacks (school supplies + additional supplies)

– Help 70 students start the school year strong by having all of the needed supplies

This just goes to show what a number of dedicated people can do to improve the world! If you wanted to contribute, or want to contribute again, we are always accepting donations – students and teachers need supplies all year round!

Food U.P.

In May, we began attending Northside Outreach Center’s monthly food pantry. While they have plenty of non-perishable foods to supply, they are unable to store perishable fruits and vegetables between each food pantry date, so that’s where we come in! Each month we have been able to provide various fresh fruits, cold water, and juice to those to patiently wait in line each month. The pantry is capable of distributing groceries to 100 families each month, and we would love to be able to see that number grow.

While we are humbled to have been able to provide what we have, we are still looking to expand to fresh vegetables and healthier juice options. We believe that with a $100 sponsorship/donation per month that we could start sending people home with sustainable and storable produce (ie. potatoes, squash, etc.) that could provide nourishment throughout the month. Please check out this link to see how to donate. Alternatively, if you know of a produce supplier that is looking for a partner, please let us know!

In addition to these, we have launched this beautiful website, our giving page, and made some great friends in the Richmond community!

If you dig what we are doing and want to join our small, but mighty tribe, please check out our social media pages and contact us. Also, keep an eye out for my next blog, where I talk more about sustainable spending opportunities, and our philosophy on responsible spending of donated funds!

Peace, Love, and Understanding,

Liz

Liz.dukette@worldupfoundation.org