Urban Initiatives has had a huge impact on us and our family because of the connection we feel both to the kids UI serves and the organization itself. With UI there is always an opportunity for close contact with the kids–a Crosstown Classic, attending a practice at one of the city schools, or going on an outing with some of the UI kids. We took advantage of these opportunities as a family when we first learned about UI, and seeing our kids with the UI kids underscored how alike in spirit all children are, and how much UI does to foster that spirit and channel it in positive ways. After playing soccer together and hanging out on the sidelines, our kids and the UI kids were like old friends, talking about normal kids’ stuff–their favorite video games, sports teams, music and foods. Whatever the differences in circumstance, they still found a common bond, and as a UI boy told us after the outing, “We’re family now. You’re in my heart.” That experience left an indelible impression on us all.
As entrepreneurs and founders of our own companies, we also understand the challenges that come with starting and then growing an organization. This and our one-on-one experiences with the kids mean we feel a responsibility to do more than just write a check, or put in time. It’s not just another volunteer or board position, it’s lending expertise, time, creativity, sweat equity or whatever is necessary to help UI reach its full potential and help more kids, because we have seen firsthand that UI does more than administer its programs, it actually has an impact on the kids’ lives.
Chris & Jenny Morgan