Greetings Friends and Supporters of UpWorks!

We continue to be so grateful for the overwhelming generosity of those who share our mission. Every penny, every can of baby formula, and every bottle of shampoo you share with us gets used right away by someone truly in need. The individuals who live in North or South Minneapolis would previously buy their supplies at a grocery store that still is not open. Many of these stores will not reopen for many months yet, and some not at all. Therefore these individuals are often left with trying to shop for their families at corner Quick Mart type stores, often at inflated prices. Imagine if you had to do your grocery shopping at a convenience store. For certain, Tide, diapers, milk, and toilet paper would far exceed what you used to pay at your local Cub Foods, which is now boarded up and empty. Your family would have to go without many needed items.

If you wish to support your neighbors in need, there are many ways to help. You can donate on our website, become a Life Advocate, contact UpWorks’ Executive Director to donate supplies (see supplies to donate below), and pray for UpWorks and our community!

Please email Lisa Peterson at or text her at 612-618-6936 to arrange a drop-off at UpWorks office. If you would rather, you can go to our website and donate there.

Thank you for sharing, caring, praying, and being a supporter of UpWorks!

Peace to You,

Lisa Peterson, Executive Director

Virtual Participant Intake Meetings

Empowering Adults Program

Kevin Saunders, Director of Empowering Adults

Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, UpWorks Empowering Adults Program functioned as an in-person service. Once COVID-19 began, we were faced with the challenge of either becoming irrelevant or making significant changes that would allow our Empowering Adults Program to become needed in this new season. Our team realized going completely virtual was critical to serving the people in need of UpWorks’ support. We transitioned all the Life Advocate Trainings from in-class to live virtual Zoom calls. The response to the virtual Life Advocate Training was phenomenal. In three months, the Empowering Adults Program has trained 28 new volunteer Life Advocates, doubling the number we have done in the same time frame.

Subsequently, several of our key non-profit partners expressed interest in having participants matched with Life Advocates virtually. This new medium of executing the program provides the Life Advocate and participant flexibility in their schedules and eliminates the need to transit to a meeting place. The Empowering Adults Program now has 17 active participant/Life Advocate matches with several more in the works. God has truly blessed UpWorks’ Empowering Adults Program! We are now able to offer training and aftercare support beyond the limits of the Twin Cities Metro.

Are you interested in becoming a Life Advocate? Fill out our Life Advocate Interest Inquiry Form to learn more by selecting “Become a Life Advocate.”

(i) Pastor Hip-Hop Book

Bridging the gap between Hip-Hop and the Christian faith community.

Stacey Jones, Director of Community Relations

I recently wrote and self-published my first book, (i) Pastor Hip-Hop, which has many features. I wrote this book to explain my journey as a pastor and hip-hop artist who seeks to pastor those immersed in hip-hop culture. Another reason for writing (i) Pastor Hip-Hop is to educate the Christian church, para-churches, and Christian non-profits on how to Biblically engage this subculture without exploiting it.

On June 26th, I had a book signing with family, close friends, and the UpWorks team, including our Executive Director, Lisa Peterson. I have sold almost half of the books and gifted a portion of the books to various institutions, including colleges, churches, and organizations.

The next shipment of books will allow me to establish consignment deals with different book stores in the Twin Cities. I am launching the next campaign while contacting other businesses as I continue to spread the word. Please pray (i) Pastor Hip-Hop will impact everyone seeking to understand more about hip-hop and urban culture.

ORDER your book TODAY at!

Pop-Up Food Banks for At-Risk Students

Enriching Schools Program

Ken Norman, Director of Enriching Schools

The switch to Distance Learning, the destruction of resources following George Floyd’s death, and the lingering effect of COVID-19 have changed how the Enriching Schools Program impacts lives and communities.

We are blessed to work with a variety of partners providing essential resources for families of the school children we love to support. We have facilitated the distribution of generous donations from corporations, churches, other non-profit organizations, and individuals.

The distributions have gone smoothly through partnering with the Northside Emergency Resource Popup, the Southside Village Boys and Girls Club, schools, and churches with Emergency Supply Shelves. The schools’ volunteer staff are currently providing for students’ needs even though school is not in session.

One of the schools we’ve enjoyed working with is Ramsey Middle School. A Dare 2 Be Real Advisor shared their viewpoint from their students who are in need, “Thanks to you for all the help you have given us and how quickly the first donation came! We are going to need more resources for the foreseeable future. More families want to be added, but right now, unless we get a lot more donations, we can only add 1-2 families a week”.

Please consider how you can help UpWorks meet these on-going needs. Reach out to Director of Enriching Schools, Ken Norman, at to donate items to Ramsey Middle School and local schools in need.

Contact UpWorks Executive Director, Lisa Peterson, to donate items to individuals impacted by the Minneapolis riots by email at or text her at 612-618-6936 to arrange a drop-off at UpWorks office.

Items to Donate:
We are in greatest need of the following items (as fast as we get them, they go out).

  • Baby Formula
  • Baby Food
  • Diapers – size four and above
  • Pulls Ups
  • Baby Wipes
  • Any toiletries in your bathroom – families need the same
  • All cleaning products
  • Feminine products
  • Pet food
  • Toilet Paper
  • Food, specifically “easy to make food”, such as Spaghettios, mac & cheese, box food, soup, ramen, oatmeal, protein bars, and things someone without access to more than a microwave could prepare.

Virtual Prayer Gatherings

An intentional time weekly united through prayer

Ken Norman, Director of Enriching Schools, and Anah Kloos, Administrative Assistant

At the start of COVID-19, Ken Norman, Director of Enriching Schools, started weekly Prayer Gatherings on Zoom to unify the community and cry out to God in these historic times. Our Savior hears us, and He responds. “It is a beautiful thing to see people come together to pray for the community and the world!” shares Anah Kloos, UpWorks Administrative Assistant.

Several individuals from UpWorks’ network have participated in and been blessed by a weekly virtual Prayer Gathering this summer. Topics discussed included COVID-19 issues, everything surrounding George Floyd’s death, the on-going violence in our cities, and, more recently, the plans for returning to school. The current attendees are very enthused about continuing to meet virtually for prayer into the future. We have seen the Holy Spirit be powerfully present in our Prayer Gatherings, so please join us when your schedule permits it.

Do you desire to join an upcoming Prayer Gathering? Click the button below to contact Ken Norman, Director of Enriching Schools, to receive information on how to join our next meeting through Zoom.