Five months after delivering her first daughter, Michelle missed the bottom step while descending a staircase, tripped and broke her leg.
A few weeks later, to make things even more challenging for the new mother, she slipped again. This time Michelle broke her wrist.
“Navigating with crutches, a boot cast, a splint on my left arm and a baby in tow was a bit of a challenge,” she now chuckles. “Have you ever tried changing a diaper with one hand?”
I wish we enjoyed some kind of divine protection from sickness and calamity. We don’t. Michelle is grateful to have health insurance.
Michelle and her husband Andy are one of UrbanPromise’s “founding families.” Michelle initially came as an intern in her 20s, directed one of our afterschool programs and eventually taught as a first grade teacher in our elementary school. She met Andy at UrbanPromise.
After graduating from The College of William and Mary with a BS in Physics (and a MA in International Security from the University of Maryland), Andy joined the UP team and has served faithfully for over 20 years — he now oversees our schools.
UrbanPromise is blessed to have missionaries like the Joshua family — families that stay year after year, welcome wayward youth into their homes, and create a community of consistency.
“As a mother of 4 children,” Michelle reminded me recently, “decent health insurance gives me the peace of mind that our family will be okay in the event of emergency. It definitely allows our family to continue to serve with UrbanPromise.”
Last month UrbanPromise renewed its health insurance policy for the coming fiscal year. It’s one of my least favorite activities.
Our total bill — to cover all our staff and families — is approximately $373,000. A substantial part of our budget.
Despite our best efforts to shop for various plans and reduce costs, we still incurred a 12% increase from last year — roughly $40,000.
Here’s a plan so we can continue providing quality healthcare for our community:
We need one gift of $15,000
We need one gift of $10,000
We need one gift of $5,000
We need three gifts of $1,000
We need six gifts of $500
We need six gifts of $250
We need 25 gifts of $100
Keeping great people at UrbanPromise is my goal. Please consider helping me make up the increase, ensuring our staff continue to have quality healthcare.
Thanks in advance — families like the Joshua’s extend their gratitude.
PS. Please read a few of these inspirational testimonies from our staff. You’ll see why health insurance is so critical.
I just became eligible for healthcare through UrbanPromise this year -- and just six months after that, I needed major emergency surgery with no warning at all. The bill for that would have been astronomical; I can’t express how grateful I am to UrbanPromise for giving me the tools to handle what life throws at me.
Development Associate, 2 years
I think I’m the longest serving employee at UrbanPromise —besides Bruce. This is home to me. This place changed my life. As I continue to deal with the ailments of aging, I am grateful to have a job that cares for my health and well being.
DORIS "YA YA" QUINONES
Receptionist and “Resident Grandmother,” 23 years
I never had health insurance growing up in Camden and I got a lot of medical bills due to some health issues. So I’m now grateful for affordable co-pays and insurance that covers my doctor visits. There are people raised in the city who want to serve like me. It’s just not feasible because they can’t find organizations that provide benefits like UrbanPromise.
AfterSchool Program Director, 10 years
Did you know that only two groups of potential military employees get invited to the Pentagon for their job interviews?
Your guess? That's right: nuclear engineers and chaplains! Yes, those are the only two....
So when our very own CamdenForward School History and Bible teacher, Joe Delvalle, was called to Washington last month, he knew he'd made the final cut to serve as a Chaplain in the US Navy.
Joe, or as the children affectionately call him, "Mr. D," got started at UrbanPromise as a child growing up in the Cramer Hill section of the city. "I was a camper at Camp Hope," he reminisces, "those were fun times and formative for my faith and life."
Life took Joe into the military where he travelled extensively. After his service, Joe came back to UrbanPromise and continued to serve in the Reserves on weekends.
"My first deployment as a chaplain will be with the US Coast guard," he revealed. "I'll have responsibility for about 5,000 men and women who serve in this division." When asked what he'll be doing specifically as a chaplain: "I keep my finger on the pulse of unit morale. I'll do church services, a lot of counseling and spiritual direction."
The students and staff at UrbanPromise could not be prouder. "I'm sorry to be losing an amazing teacher," shared our principal Terry Bullock (also a veteran), "but I'm so proud that he was chosen to serve our country in this way. It's a honor."
We wish you the very best, Mr. D! Thanks for your 4 years of service at UrbanPromise. We pray for God's blessing upon your service with the Navy.
President & Founder