MDF Instruments partners with Universal Promise again!

Two hours old! Arrived at the hospital just in time!.

This past March, Universal Promise traveled to South Africa - with medically-trained volunteers - for its second health initiative in the country's Eastern Cape. In a small neighborhood in Addo, we conducted basic physicals and testing, as well as educational seminars in the privacy of residents' homes. The door-to-door approach sheds light on the personal struggles that compound a patient's medical issues and brings a tone of respect and dignity that may be compromised in an overcrowded clinic atmosphere. 

Our medical staff, and the local medical staff with whom they partner, witness the full spectrum of conditions, from one young man lying on a dirt floor in 100-degree weather with a respiratory rate of 60 breaths/minute and a heart rate of 150 beats/minute to a 38-year-old pregnant woman who nearly gave birth (see left) in her home because of a woefully delayed ambulance that took over three hours to arrive. 

The challenges the residents face are extreme: life-threatening medical conditions, malnutrition, a lack of clean water (or any water), long waits in local clinics, no transport to keep them compliant with their treatment, and more. In the midst of these conditions are rays of hope: the proposal of sustainable programs, for instance, on which Universal Promise is working, such as mobile clinics and visiting nurse organizations. 

Another ray of hope is the involvement of MDF Instruments.

For two years running, MDF Instruments has answered our plea by donating stethoscopes, blood pressure devices and cuffs, diagnostic pen lights, reflex hammers, and moral support. They have connected on a genuine level with our efforts and with those we serve. MDF Instruments is an organization that donates and follows up, illustrative of compassion and caring that is as important as the materials they generously provide.

So, we thank you, MDF Instruments, for your philanthropy of the wallet and the heart. We love companies with a soul, and we are grateful to you for entrusting us with your mission.  

Universal Promise earns national recognition in South Africa

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lifetime Achievement Award

Soccer Laduma, a South African national newspaper, featured Universal Promise in its editorial column in March 2017, when Mr. Vuyani Joni, editor, wrote a stellar piece about UP and our efforts in Nomathamsanqa. Mr. Joni, himself a child of the Eastern Cape, attended the first ever Addo Soccer Development Gala on 18 March 2017, after which he wrote the following:

"This past weekend, yours truly was invited to a sports gala event in Addo, a rural township outside of Port Elizabeth, where some good samaritans are using education and sport to change people's lives. As someone who comes from a really disadvantaged background myself, as Paterson - my hometown - is just around the corner from this township, I could really relate to the anecdotes shared at this event...

"As someone who has travelled this rough road and knows all about going to school on an empty stomach, wearing shoes with holes to school and being unable to walk properly or kneel down, in case people see the holes in your shoes, I know exactly how it feels to be hopeless and wish to throw in the towel. It took people like [UP] to help me realise my dream of making something out of my life, despite a challenging background...

"... with a community like Nomathamsanqa and the role played by Universal Promise, these people will forever have a good story to tell. It is for this reason that I decided to dedicate this week's column to these selfless people who are not just about enriching themselves but changing lives through education and sport."

In another comment, Mr. Joni wrote, "You won’t believe that I first made contact with a computer, let alone a laptop, at varsity! I knew nothing about the internet and technology, so you can imagine the disadvantage I was in during classes. However, I took it upon myself to persevere and not use my poor background as an excuse. Despite everything, I managed to make something out of my life and have made a vow to help wherever I can, so that the younger generation doesn’t have to go through what I went through."

Universal Promise is so grateful for this national acknowledgement, so that we may, together, spread the word of our mission of Education For All. Thank you, Mr. Joni, for your words of support and gratitude.

HATS FOR THE AMERICAN HOMELESS

THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE ILIZWE EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE

THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE ILIZWE EMPOWERMENT INITIATIVE

THE XHOSA HAT, NOMBULELO (A founding member of Ilizwe empowerment), AND THE CHILDREN WE SERVE

THE XHOSA HAT, NOMBULELO (A founding member of Ilizwe empowerment), AND THE CHILDREN WE SERVE

We have an idea that will honor our commitment to empowering the residents of Nomathamsanqa, South Africa, and bring warmth and comfort to those in need in the United States. Here is how it works.

Members of UP's Ilizwe Empowerment Initiative crochet Xhosa-style hats, and we pay them a wage that is well beyond what they receive for much more laborious work. Crafters may work in the Ilizwe Empowerment workshop or in the privacy of their own homes, allowing them to care for their children and take a more active role in their upbringing. 

We then offer you their creations for purchase. When you buy a hat, you may donate it to a homeless shelter in your area, or you may have us donate your purchase to a homeless shelter in Rhode Island, our home state.

100% of the profits from the sale of the hats will be reinvested in the Ilizwe Empowerment Initiative.

100%. 

Imagine that.

Let's do this.

CLICK HERE to get started. Thank you!

Spread the word.

Spread the wealth.

Spread the warmth.

CLICK HERE to get'er done. Thank you!

 

 

 

Southborough's Cummings fights poverty through education in South Africa

Cummings and the amazing bead-crafter Mrs. Banda enjoy a laugh in South Africa

Cummings and the amazing bead-crafter Mrs. Banda enjoy a laugh in South Africa

UP is grateful to journalist Karen Bento for the time and energy she devoted to capturing the mission of Universal Promise, its origins, and its myriad accomplishments over the first five years of existence.

Ms. Bento's two-part article highlighted what motivated Southborough native and UP Director, Martha T. Cummings, to found the nonprofit organization as well as some of the elements in her Southborough upbringing that may have inspired her.

Cummings, who is a private tutor in Rhode Island, tells the story of a student who, in responding to an SAT prompt about philanthropy, was asked if charity should begin at home. The student answered, "If you're walking down the beach, and you see a child drowning, are you going to ask him where he is from before you jump in to save him?" 

Cummings hopes that the articles will spread the unparalleled power of true philanthropy not only toward Universal Promise but to all organizations with an understanding of the importance and vitality of empathy.

Click here to read the second installment.

Martha T. Cummings, Southborough, Massachusetts native, establishes charity in Africa

CUMmings with veronica, a grateful recipient of UP's efforts in south africa

CUMmings with veronica, a grateful recipient of UP's efforts in south africa

UP Founder and Director, Martha T. Cummings, describes it as a full-circle event that her hometown of Southborough, Massachusetts, was willing to do not just one but two articles on Universal Promise and its efforts in South Africa.

Cummings writes, "I am grateful to the Southborough online news for featuring this story. Many thanks to journalist Karen Bento and much gratitude for all the good I inherited from being raised in such an amazing town."

"Parenting, birthplace, education, and the resulting opportunities have a profound impact on one's ability to convert ideas to reality," Cummings said. Cummings credits so much of her devotion to education to her parents, her teachers in Massachusetts, and the college education she was fortunate to receive as a result.

Click here to read the first installment.

SHOP AT AMAZON & DONATE TO UP - FREE OF CHARGE!

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We know many of our supporters are buying gifts this time of year, and Amazon has literally (yes, literally) thousands of the hottest products: electronics, toys, fashion, home goods, sports wares, baby items, and more.

But did you know you may generate donations for Universal Promise when you buy items on Amazon? It is easy to sign up. Seriously. It takes 30 seconds. Click here to get'er done.

Then spread the word to family, friends, and colleagues. These dollars add UP, and we are grateful for every penny earned.  

UP VOLUNTEER, ALLYSON MARRINAN, NAMED NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS DIFFERENCE MAKER OF THE WEEK

After witnessing Allyson Marrinan's selfless, mature, determined interest in female empowerment while volunteering in South Africa, UP nominated Ally for the New England Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award. We were thrilled to learn that the Patriots organization selected Ally as one of its 15 impressive recipients. 

The Patriots website noted that "Ally Marrinan is passionate about female empowerment and is dedicated to inspiring young girls across the globe to be confident, independent and strong. This summer, she traveled 8,000 miles to South Africa to help empower girls in an impoverished township called Nomathamsanqa. Allyson captivated the girls with her stories and delivered a powerful message that inspired confidence amongst the community. She spoke about the importance of education, health, human decency, [and] nutrition, and served as a leader to youth. Since learning about Universal Promise in 2012, Allyson has been dedicated to supporting the nonprofit’s efforts. From raising money at a lemonade stand, to creating a Universal Promise club at her high school, to donating $5,000 of her own money to the nonprofit, to traveling across the globe, Allyson has remained steadfast in her commitment to giving back."

UP is extremely grateful to Ally and all those who supported her efforts to empower girls in South Africa. We are also grateful to the New England Patriots for recognizing Ally's global compassion and for understanding, as Martin Luther King, Jr., did, that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Congratulations, Ally, and thank you for choosing to support Universal Promise and its singular focus on education. You are a treasure!

HELP US WIN $1,000,000 FOR WOMEN'S HEALTH AND EDUCATION

UP was accepted to participate in the prestigious REVLON CHALLENGE in support of women's health and education. The organization that raises the most money during the six-week campaign wins a $1,000,000 prize. Let's bring on the love, because 100% of the proceeds will go to women's health and education initiatives. Winning this challenge would be a game-changer for thousands of residents of Nomathamsanqa. UP would start construction on the Universal Promise Academic Centre at Vusumzi Primary School, renovate the woefully inadequate medical clinic that serves thousands of residents, and move forward with the development of a wellness center to address athletic, physical, psychological, and social needs.All donations must go through the crowdrise site noted below. Thank you for your compassion. https://www.crowdrise.com/universalpromise-revlon2016

HONORING JUDITH ANNE MORAN, LIFELONG EDUCATOR

JUDITH ANNE MORAN

JUDITH ANNE MORAN


Jeff Beedy, Head of School at Purnell School, announced with great sadness the "news of the passing of Judith Anne Moran, wife of Bill Moran, Purnell's third Head of School. Judy passed away at her home in New Hampshire surrounded by family. Together with Bill, Judy made significant contributions to Purnell School and many continue today. Their shared vision and 19 years of dedicated service to our community still keeps our school rooted in the traditions of educating girls in a progressive philosophy while addressing the changing landscape of learning."

In lieu of flowers, the Moran Family has asked everyone to consider a donation in Judy's name to one of two organizations: Universal Promise and Fall Mountain Friendly Meals. It is fitting, even in her passing, that Judy continues to serve others in need. 

If you wish to  make a Universal Promise donation in Judy's memory, click the Judith Anne Moran button. If you wish to make a donation to Fall Mountain Friendly Meals of Alstead, NH, the address is 121 Main Street, Alstead, NH  03602.

"What do I remember about Judy? She had an incredible sense of humor. Her delivery was often dry, and I loved how she laughed right along with her own jokes. I never heard her utter a mean word about anyone. Instead, she embodied a genuinely warm, kind, patient quality. No false airs. And her eyes. They were always filled with emotion and riveting: she would look right into people's eyes and speak to them as if they were the only ones in the room. I am saddened by her passing for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that it marks the end of an era I treasure. As they say in South Africa, Judy, "Go well, my friend. Go well."

Martha T. Cummings
Founder and Director of Universal Promise
Purnell School Faculty 1980-85