My family and I have supported UCM for more than 30 years. With the floundering economy, more and more people are losing jobs, losing their homes and are worried about the future of their children. UCM, with their caring staff, is there to help. I am extremely impressed with UCM's Bryant Early Learning Center. Education is provided, at a minimum cost, to children birth to 5 years of age so that parents can work or continue their education and to provide for their family. The Learning Center, which is located in a public high school, partners with Fairfax County to provide child care so that teen parents can earn their high school diploma. Without this program, many teen parents would have to drop out of school making their future very uncertain. UCM is dedicated to helping all those who need help and continues to find ways to serve the growing population of those less fortunate.
I have been involved with UCM in some capacity for over 20 years. And I am still proud and amazed at the wonderful success stories on the families that have sought assistance at this organization. Many years ago, when a company that I worked for defaulted on their contract, I was able to receive assistance from UCM. Now I am pleased to be a donor and employee of this agency. Marvelous things happen at UCM because of the efforts of the donors, staff, volunteers and the community. It is a great place doing a great and needed work.
I have been involved with UCM since 1998 in many ways, and continue to be impressed by their scope of services and compassion for the community they serve. My daughter attended the Bryant Early Learning Center for 2 years of her early life and it was an awesome experience for her and me.
My family has been involved with UCM for nearly 13 years now, as donors, volunteers and utilizing their quality child care program. Their scope of services is remarkable for a locally based charitable organization from providing food and basic necessities, assisting with housing and employment skills to child care and youth empowerment programs, not to mention my favorite thrift store, The Back Porch! The dedication and compassion of the employees is unsurpassed.
UCM is a great community resource for Northern Virginia. My wife and I have been involved with UCM in various capacities over the past decade and we remain as donors and occasional volunteers to support the dedicated staff.Myspecial interest has been in the food pantry, which provides basic nutrition for more than 12,000 persons each year (maybe more in the recent economic downturn). Most of the food pantry services support local families who have a wage-earner but not enough income to cover even their basic needs in this high cost of living area. But the food pantry also offers special help to shut in elderly persons and others with special needs.My wife has been especially involved with the Bryant Early Learning Center.She is a retired educator - teacher, principal and school system admionistrator - and she is enthusiastic about the child development services (not just day care) provided by Bryant. It truly gives children from lower income families a head start into the educational world.
I became involved with UCM through my wife. She was a public school administrator and found that UCM's child development program enabled some 15 to 20 young low income women annually to complete their high school education while being confident that their infants and young children werepppcared for professionally and protectively. I subsequently became a volunteer in the food pantry which provides subsistence and nourishment to more than 10,000 persons every year. And from there I became a board member and officer. I have seen women who were victims of domestic violence remake their lives ( and their children's) through UCM's programs. I have seen parents leave in tearful gratitude because UCM provided the clothes and toys they needed ot give their children a good Christmas. And I have seen clients with poor working skills and little or no employment history gain basic skills through UCM's programs that enabled them to be employed and move towards self-sufficiency. UCM's contributions to the health and welfare of our neighbors and our community is beyond any valuing.
I am a donor and am employee, and I am proud to be a part of this wonderful organization. I often tell people that, the longer I am with UCM, the more amazed I become at the many ways in which people's lives are changed every day because of UCM. The organization has programs, such as its housing programs, that absolutely transform lives! People go from homeless shelters and situations of domestic violence to housed, in jobs, and living independently for the first time in their lives. And that's just one example!
UCM does great work in the community--particularly for children youth and families. The Bryant Early Learning Center provides a phenomenal start for children to become life-long learners. The community centers help children gain access to tutoring, after-school and summer programming and summer lunch programs. UCM does so much to strengthen the community.
I have been a UCM donor for the last year because I believe that the work that they do is powerfully important. I learned about UCM through idealist.org and their website, but to truly understand the scope of what they do, you really have to talk to the people who are served and the people who work there.
As a member of Alexandria Woodlawn Friends Meeting I have and feel a close link to UCM. We have permanent collections of food and $$ for UCM and I am always impressed with how they make such effective use of the contributions they receive.
We regularly donate money, food and items for sale in the thrift store. As a former Board member and Officer, I have seen the dedication of the staff and volunteers in providing multifaceted programs for the families served.
I have been associated with UCM for over 30 years. It is an outstanding organization that has created a sense of community in an area that is extremely diverse. The work done by UCM truly changes people's lives. It is not a band aid. The staff and volunteers are dedicated. well trained and compassionate. You cannot make a better investment.
We donate to UCM both personally (financially and through food donations) and through our church. Every year we use our annual holiday party to get food donations for UCM -- last year alone with the help of friends and family attending our party, we were able to donate over 300 pounds of food. We do so because we believe in the good work that UCM does to serve families in need along the Route 1 corridor in Alexandria.