Article by Sarah Thompson, Director of Communications & Volunteer Mobilization
When we look around our Greater Hartford community, it’s not hard to recognize that many people are facing immense needs and struggles, including broken relationships and families, poverty, educational and health disparities, addiction, homelessness, hopelessness, and many other challenges, just to name a few.
Our desire at Urban Alliance is to help people receive the practical, spiritual, emotional, and relational support they need to navigate life’s struggles and become healthy and whole in every aspect of life. That’s why our mission is to create opportunities for people to achieve lasting change in their lives through the collaborative work of churches and organizations in our local community.
We have always carried out our mission through organizational relationships. Rather than creating our own set of programs to serve individuals, Urban Alliance functions as a convener, trainer, mobilizer, and supporter for our diverse, growing network of churches and parachurch organizations. We partner together to improve their programs, build relationships across barriers, mobilize more volunteers and resources to serve people, and foster collaborative outreach strategies that impact lives in our community.
We work alongside churches and parachurch organizations because we believe that they are well positioned to lovingly serve our communities and help people transform their lives. Jesus said that the most important things we can do in life are to love God with our entire being and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Individuals and congregations who profess a love for God also therefore carry a special responsibility and calling to demonstrate God’s love to our neighbors all around us. Urban Alliance exists to help make that vision a reality.
As we continue to put vision into action for 2018, Urban Alliance will celebrate our tenth anniversary as a non-profit organization and we are excited by the goals we have for this upcoming year. We expect to:
- Impact 100,000 people in the Greater Hartford community served by programs supported by Urban Alliance in 2018
- Grow our network relationships to 100 churches and organizations participating by the year’s end, creating new opportunities for collaboration and service
- Improve our five initiatives (Beyond the Basics, Revitalize, Charis, Next Generation and Thrive) with stronger capacity-building services and reporting
- Mobilize $100,000 in funding from UAGive donors to support programs run by our network in the community, with our ongoing commitment that 100% of raised funds will go entirely to helping people and none of the funds stay at Urban Alliance
These are ambitious goals, but we are a faith-based organization! Working together with our network, community allies, UAServe volunteers, and UAGive donors, we will continue to create opportunities for changing lives. In this way, we are able to achieve a far greater collective impact than would be possible by any one individual, church, or organization alone. When it comes to helping people in Greater Hartford, we are better together.