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2 reviews

Review for United Community Ministries, Inc., Alexandria, VA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Role:  Donor

Review for United Community Ministries, Inc., Alexandria, VA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

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've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See the comments above. I have seen desperate families receive food, rental assistance, secure housing, child care adn many other benefits which gave them hope for their future and made progress towards independence and self sufficiency.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Build a stronger donor base to be able to maintain and improve services, especially in times of economic distress, as we have experienced recently.

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How did you learn about this organization?

See opening comment above. Through my wife's professional experience with UCM's child development program.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Serving families and individualswho are desperately in need of immediate assistance for food, utilities, medical care, child care.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Serving clients and enabling them to be indeppendent and have hope for the future for themselves and their children. From an organizational perspective, building a broader and deeper financial base to support its many community programs.

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Role:  Board Member & I have collected food at grocery stores and food banks, helped distribute it to clients, organized and run walks to help the homeless, testified at public hearings in support of funding for UCM and other social services agenciaes, collected and distribute.