Appreciation Dinner 2013
The Red Carpet Mentor Appreciation Dinner was a blast! Jeff Keeling, Robin DeGregorio and Beverly Smith were recognized as Mentors of the Year. Lowe’s and General Shale were our Community Partners’ of the Year. And Superman, Wonder Woman and The Hulk made surprise visits as we celebrated the real heroes Rise Up! – Our Mentors and Volunteers!
Hope everyone had a great holiday! We look forward to seeing many of you at our annual Mentor/Volunteer Appreciation Dinner Monday, January 28 at Grace Fellowship Church. The Red Carpet theme is back and you never know what “characters” you may see.It’s going to be a great night!
Thanks Matt Bray!
Matt just finished installing 2 new concrete pads for Rise Up! Thanks for the early Christmas present!
Thanks to Lowe’s!
Lowe’s of Johnson City did an incredible job of remodeling one of our classrooms. They fixed a wall, painted, carpeted, installed a new sink and counter top and and hung new lights for our 3rd-5th grade boys. Check out the painted brick! Great servant hearts and smiles all around!
The Mentoring Man Finale!
Check out TheMentoringMan.org for info about our Executive Director Michael Marion walking 10 miles a day for 365 days to raise awareness and funding for our mentoring programs. September 30 is his final day of walking so October 1st & 2nd at Summit Leadership we will be having a “What’s the Big Deal” luncheon to celebrate The Final Walk and for people to hear what God has done and is doing in the lives of those connected with Rise Up!Contact us at 413-610-1242 to find out how you can play a part.
The Fire Pit Patio is complete!
We give thanks to General Shale and Kieth Carr, their master craftsman, for making this dream a reality. Mt. Zion Baptist Church helped complete some of the landscaping. The patio looks fantastic and we’ve already had s’mores popped popcorn to celebrate. It will be used for a variety of fun and teaching purposes for many years to come!
Free Food at Barberitos
We have a new bus. And now it’s paid for! Many thanks to Barberitos, Menchies and all the other businesses who made the Free Food Day at Barberitos possible. This bus will save us thousands of dollars every year on transportion costs. And thanks to all our friends who ate and donated to the cause!
Run The Gump
With over 500 participants including runners, walkers and volunteers, Run the Gump 2012 has been declared a success. Many thanks to all who ran, walked, volunteered, and supported! One highlight: The Big Wheel Race! Next year it will be officially sanctioned by NASCAR!
Register for our annual Run The Gump 5k Race/Walk coming up on Saturday, April 7. New this year: Big Wheel Race, Easter Egg Hunt and Inflatables. For more info click on Events or visit the Run The Gump Facebook page; just search Run The Gump.
You did it! The $20,000 matching gift challenge was a great success. The goal was not just matched, but surpassed. To all our Rise Up! friends: thank you for all you have given us over the last few months: your prayers, time, talents, donations and hearts!
Great article in the Johnson City Press about The Giving Depot this past Saturday. Check out the read and the pics! Thanks Grace Fellowship Church for your partnership in this memory making event!
We have exciting news. Rise Up! just received a $20,000 matching gift! Every dollar donated between December 6 and December 31, 2011 will be matched up to $20,000. If you have been considering a year end gift to Rise Up!, now is the time. Just click on the donate button on the left side of this page to make your donation. Many thanks and Merry Christmas!
A Successful Fall
What does success look like at Rise Up!? Well, this fall it looks like… 24 small group kids having mentors, a new male mentor getting involved each month, Monique’s amazing mentoring relationship with Genesis, an overwhelming number of our male mentors willing to stick with their mentees until they graduate, new picnic tables, fire pit and swings, kids hearing the gospel on Thursdays and seeing it the rest of the week, Debbie and Kelly getting married with Andrew soon to be, and Kristy preparing for baby #1.
The Giving Depot coming soon!
All our kids are earning their “Giving Bucks” that will be used on December 10 at The Giving Depot to buy gifts for their family members. Kids do community service, participate in Rise Up! programming and read and discuss the Christmas story to earn their “Giving Bucks”.
Refuge Round Up!
All our after school kids, their families and our mentors and mentees will be having a humdinger of a good time Monday, October 24. Bring your western gear and get ready for food, contests, games, music and smores.
Saturday Impact JC will have a presence at The Refuge. We are so grateful for their partnership with us!
The Mentoring Man begins Saturday!
10 miles a day- for 365 days. Fortunately, I’m not in this alone. I have a great staff, a great support team and a great God. Join The Mentoring Man Facebook page, Twitter @TheMentoringMan and join us in prayer to see what God will provide.
Providence Academy Class of 2014
43 students and teachers partnering with us from Providence Academy – that class of 2014 is awesome!
Run the Gump
In spite of it being bitterly cold and windy, this past Saturday, about 200 people arose early to come out to Civitan Park and help make summer camp a reality for under-resourced kids. About 170 were runners and walkers while the rest volunteered and served in a variety of capacities to make Run the Gump a successful race. Because of everyone who participated, whether they be runners, walkers or volunteers, we raised enough money to send 17 kids to camp this summer. Thank you so much for coming out to Run the Gump, thanks for investing in Rise Up!, and most of all thanks for investing in the lives of young people. We also offer up thanks to Camps for Kids and Doe River Gorge who both partnered with us to make this more than just a race but really to help give it a greater purpose. Thanks again.
Seasons of Life
Life is filled with seasons—each beautiful in its own unique way. Depending upon one’s preference, some would say they prefer one above the other. But each is necessary or our Creator wouldn’t have made them. We just went through, in some ways, our worst season ever—laying off staff, uncertainty, sleepless nights, etc. However, through God’s grace we got through it. Financially it’s very tight—-very, very tight. If we have two months of not giving it would be very difficult, and we do not know how things will look past June, but, right now, we are better than ever. We need more prayer partners and mentors as there are more needy kids than ever. Can’t explain it—-just describing it—but God is good!
We need your help!
Rise Up! has recently lost 65% of it’s funding. Programs have been cut and beloved staff have been let go. We have never faced a situation like this before. But we trust Him who knows. Please read the letter mailed October 8 to our friends, family, and supporters concerning how we all must come together.
Dear Friends of Rise Up!,
I would like to share with you about the greatest challenge Rise Up! has ever faced. It was such
a joy at our first fundraising luncheon to hear high school graduates and seniors share how they
were impacted from their years in Rise Up! (Boys to Men and Girlfriends) and to hear them talk
about learning to love God. If you attended and gave or have donated before we thank you, but
we still need your help.
Since 1994 many lives have been loved, influenced and impacted for Jesus. Whether through a
mentor, small group, going to camp or other activities, what started out as five boys meeting after
school has been blessed into what it is today!
But we are at a crossroads. Through no fault of our own, two of our major grants were not
renewed. These grants provided 65% of our budget. For the first time we had to lay off employees.
Our hearts are saddened but optimistic at the same time. Saddened because we have 70 mentees
who have lost their mentor coordinators. Saddened because 40 schools and over 6000 students
have lost the proven effectiveness of the abstinence message. Saddened because we have lost
several key and beloved staff.
However, our optimism remains because we still hope to provide mentors for 150 youth. We still
hope to provide staff for 60 middle and high school students in our weekly small groups. And
we still hope to provide staff to impact 100 youth involved in our weekly after school program.
Through these programs, students can be encouraged to have God-impacted dreams for their
lives by attending college, joining the military or learning a trade.
To make this happen, we need partners to come alongside and invest in the
lives of kids at Rise Up! In the next five weeks we need 300 people to make monthly commitments
so we can continue to love kids at our current level.
At Rise Up! we never underestimate the value of any child. Who knows but God that He may have
been waiting centuries to do something that only could be done through the life of that one child.
Please prayerfully consider investing in Rise Up! by sponsoring:
1 Child @ $25.00 per month
2 Children @ $50.00 per month
4 Children @ $100.00 per month
Any one-time gift or monthly donation is greatly appreciated!
You may donate online using any of these options at www.RiseUpForKids.com or by clicking on the “Donate Now” button on the left of your screen.
Each sponsor will receive a biography on his or her child as well as a quarterly update.
Thank you for your prayers and contributions during this difficult time.
Why we changed our name.
Over the years, we have experienced successes and failures, kids going to college and kids going to jail. We have learned how to do things well and not so well. And now we have learned that it is the time for a change; a change in our mission, our vision, our programming and even our name.
This dream for what can happen in our community has led us to our new mission and vision.
Our Mission: To impact 100 kids to become 1st generation college students.
Our Vision: By 2020, to holistically love, influence, and impact 500 under-resourced kids through life skills training, mentoring, and a college education with the expectation they will do likewise for others.
Our change in mission has led us to realize that we needed a new name that would reflect that mission. Our new name, Rise Up!, represents this mission and the challenge this entails to our community to help under-resourced kids breakthrough past poverty cycles and to inspire, impact, and influence kids to say, “I want to go!” “I want to be a 1st generation college student!”