Ways to Get Involved & Help Make an Impact
Thank you for joining us in serving kids in our community. There are many ways you can help make an impact.
UP ministry was founded out of an act of generosity in 2013 as a ministry of Argyle United Methodist Church. Kelly Hawkins and Jennifer Lillis were helping with a local school supply drive when they found themselves with more than they needed, financially and in terms of supplies. Both ladies knew of an elementary school in Denton that could use some help, so the two ladies went to meet with the Principal just days before the new school year would begin. They tell their story below.
"After introducing ourselves to the principal, he called in his on-site social worker and told her we were there to help. She begins to tell us that she had been sitting in her office, almost in tears, trying to figure out how she was going to help all of the kids who were in need. We knew God sent us with a purpose. We immediately went shopping to fulfill the clothing and supply needs of her kids. As we headed back to the church with the AUMC Pastor, he asked us, "How can I pray for this new ministry y'all are doing?
We were both working at the time & thought we were done (did a good deed and can move on), but God had a different plan. Over the next few months, new needs/opportunities came and we couldn’t say no. A few friends joined us in helping and we finally decided to officially organize.
UP ministry was born and we end up with 4 mission areas - back to school supply drive, Christmas angels, Summer meals and a Summer camp. From the very beginning, we were always able to say YES.
After years of continued growth, we knew we needed to expand beyond one church if we were going to meet the growing need. We also knew we needed another director and we began to grow our leadership team with three directors. We incorporated & applied for our nonprofit thinking it would take 6 months and we had time to plan.
It came in a matter of weeks! And we were up & running. That first Christmas, the generosity was amazing. Support began to come from a bigger network.
We decided to focus our first year, 2020, as a nonprofit on just learning the ins & outs of a nonprofit and running a company, but keep our missions as-is. Nothing new. Boy did God had a different plan. Covid hits and everything changes. We had to re-imagine the way we were going to run our missions. The needs kept coming to us - food, clothing, shoes - all basic necessities and families needed help providing those. UP ministry was able to help and miraculously keep up. The growth continued and here we are in our third year as a nonprofit.
We can’t even begin to tell you all the ways we have seen God work. It’s been such a blessing. Today, our missions serve over 800 kids in Denton County and the surrounding areas. Multiple churches and service organizations help us and each year, over 1,000 volunteers serve over 2,000 hours."