As most of my readers know, Miss A isn’t all I do. I wear many hats, including that of President & CEO of Courage for Kids. This Tuesday, I took two homeless mothers from United Communities Against Poverty (UCAP)’s Shepherd’s Cove in Prince George’s County shopping for work attire. I had a fabulous time getting to know these ladies, determining what type of clothing would be best for the work they hoped to do, and styling their outfits. The ladies told us about their life before becoming homeless. They had been self-sufficient and had been givers — not takers. It was hard for them to accept help, and make the decision to stay at the shelter. Nettie hopes to do reception work, and Sarah is a former bank teller who was recently laid off after a corporate merger. Truth be told, Nettie is a riot! I would not be surprised if I see her on stage accepting an Oscar or a Tony some day! She is hilarious, and I would hire her in a New York minute if I could! UCAP not only offers these moms housing, but gives them help writing their resume, and with their job search. With Nettie’s bubbly personality, and Sarah’s strong work history, I am sure that these ladies are going to make it, and I’m so glad that UCAP is there for them while they are struggling. So many of us have family or other support that we can lean on in hard times, but some people don’t have that, and for them, it’s important that programs like UCAP exist. I tried to get the ladies to step outside their comfort zone by trying colors and styles they had never worn before. The ladies were surprised to see that they liked their new look. Nettie was definitely feeling her swagger by the time we got finished, and Sarah was happy and very grateful.
When we got the ladies back to UCAP, my friend Wendy Pittman was there setting up for the Pizza Party & Ice Cream Social that My Bougie Baby sponsored for the mothers and children who reside at Shepherd’s Cove. Wendy is on my committee for Courage for Kids, and has been so supportive of our efforts. She generously donates 10% of all sales to us. Wendy didn’t have ordinary pizza delivered for the residents. She treated them to We,The Pizza gourmet pizza and an ice cream bar with every topping you could think of! We appreciate Spike Mendelsohn and Chef Malcolm Mitchell collaborating with us on this! The kids enjoyed playing with the bubbles Wendy brought for them, and the mothers loved the Bougie Bead bracelets.
Courage for Kids and My Bougie Baby look forward to doing more for UCAP’s Shepherd’s Cove. It’s a very well run organization. The staff and the residents were all so nice and fun to be with. Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved in what we are doing!
– Miss A
UCAP was established in 1964 and was designated as the official Community Action Agency (CAA) for Prince George’s County in 1978. UCAP, a non-profit 501(c)(3), is the leading advocate for communities of people facing deficiencies in education, affordable housing, economic stability, and adequate health care access. UCAP is dedicated to providing ample services to individuals and families whose quality of life has been negatively impacted by poverty, unemployment, homelessness, crime, and inadequate public health services. Through UCAP’s rigid outlay of programs, the residents (including individuals and families) of the County are able to achieve stabilization and become self-sufficient members of the greater community.
CAP’s mission is to Alleviate poverty; Improve awareness of the needs of low and moderate income residents; and Maximize the quality of life for residents of Prince George’s County and impoverished individuals throughout the State of Maryland. In 2008, UCAP served 15,420 individual clients, and 10,478 families. Due to the continued rising living costs, UCAP projects a total client base of 17,000 individuals and 13,000 families for 2009.
Because a disproportionate number of residents face unprecedented challenges in various areas in order to maintain a healthy, productive quality of life, the United Communities Against Poverty, Inc., has implemented the following resources and services to assist in aiding struggling residents:
- Emergency food and shelter
- Transitional/permanent supportive housing
- Job training
- Mortgage/rental/utility assistance
- Holiday baskets/toy drives
- Computer classes
- GED preparatory classes
- Food pantry
About My Bougie Baby
Wendy Pittman and daughter, Tiffani Rae have an eye for sourcing the “best of the best” each season, and with the launch of My Bougie Baby™, the duo bring Washington area girls a well-edited selection of the latest styles by the hottest emerging designers. My Bougie Baby™ features trendy must-haves for young fashionistas which are smart, comfortable, and affordable without sacrificing quality. The line dresses girls in age appropriate clothing, while giving their wardrobe its very own unique style and character. Some of the size 4 through 14 pieces are girly, while others are funky and free spirited.