Up Close and Personal (UPCAP) – Improving People’s Lives

Situation:  A single mother with six children, the oldest two in prison.  The family becomes eligible for an HUD home, but they have no furnishings for a two-bedroom home.  How can the family take advantage of a great opportunity for stability?

Solution: UPCAP.  This outreach ministry at Sunriver Christian Fellowship (SCF) stepped in.  One couple took this family under its wings and gathered furniture for them.  In addition, the oldest boy at home indicated his desire to graduate from high school and not end up in prison like his brothers. His new advocate, and male role model, tutored him once a week for four years.  When he graduated, UPCAP bought him the one thing he really wanted – a class ring.  Ten years later this young man is married with a family, has taken community college classes, and is leading a successful life.

Stories like this one provide the motivation for the organization’s mission:

UPCAP works directly with individuals and organizations supporting the needs of our friends and neighbors in Sunriver and Southern Deschutes County.

UPCAP has been in existence for approximately 20 years.  Over this time its mission has increased in scope, and it now has an annual operating budget of around $36,000.  These funds come from the SCF budget, proceeds from the annual Visions of Sugar Plums sale, and individual donations.

“The primary focus of the committee is help for families and children. Assistance is provided to the disabled and the frail elderly as well,” said chairperson Jane Boubel.  They support other humanitarian non-profits in Deschutes County with financial help.  They work closely with LaPine Sunriver Habitat for Humanity, providing financial assistance to families trying to qualify for a home.  Other non-profits that benefit from UPCAP donations include (but are not limited to) Neighbor Impact, Nancy’s House, the Bethlehem Inn, the LaPine Clinic, and Healthy Beginnings.

Care and Share, a local food bank, relies on UPCAP’s monthly purchase of fresh fruit for the food distribution baskets.  In addition, support is provided to Sunriver Volunteer Firewood Project that cuts, splits and sells firewood so that firewood can be distributed to needy families.

A very important relationship exists between UPCAP and our local Three Rivers School.  Through the FAN Advocate (Family Access Network), UPCAP supports the Three Rivers Clothing Closet, as well as helping individual families in emergency situations brought forth by the FAN Advocate.  Each year UPCAP works with the Sunriver Women’s Club and Sunriver Christian Fellowship to provide camperships for school-aged children who have never attended a summer camp.  Many now go to weeklong overnight camps, where they have a great experience meeting new friends and expanding their view of the world.

As the need in Southern Deschutes County continues to grow, UPCAP will be there to do what it can to support the programs and people working to improve the quality of life for families and children.