They begin this video with a request:
"Tell me about your kids."
And the people who follow do exactly that.
People like Christina, who got pregnant at 18. Everybody told her that her life was going to end, that she'd always be stuck in minimum-wage jobs. But she pulled herself up, with help from LIFT. She's now an advocate for the nonprofit, and as she tells it, "I work with [the members]. I don't make them feel like they're in this word alone."
Teaser: Her adorable kid shows up near the end of the clip. Well, OK. Here he is:
LIFT is a member-driven nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people get out of the cycle of poverty and into a place where they can excel, grow, and learn.
People like Kelsey, who ended up working there:
Currently, LIFT is active in six major cities: New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
The problem they're trying to fix?
The problem is made worse by the system itself.
LIFT takes a three-pronged approach to working with its members in creating that foundation:
People arrive at LIFT near the end of their rope, sometimes beat down to a point where getting back up is an insurmountable challenge. The staff at LIFT helps folks build the self-confidence they need to get back out into the world on their terms, through things like mock interviews, strength assessments, and access to learning new skills.
Support networks are huge: family members, advocates, and friends who know what you need, when you need it. When you lose those — for whatever reasons — a crucial part of your safety net is lost, too. LIFT helps people build and rebuild these support networks to function, grow, and survive.
People near or in poverty find themselves with fewer and fewer financial resources to go around, and it's like a dead end … or a vortex that eventually pulls them down into oblivion. In combination with the other two pillars — social and personal — the financial piece is crucial to helping members find jobs, safe homes, and access to decent education for their kids so they can flourish.
What this means is that, over time, a LIFT member builds a set of skills and develops access to resources that help them stay out of the hard times in the future.
Why is it important to build that foundation?
Let's let some of those who have lived it say more.
"We are different at LIFT because we are putting humanity at the center of our work. We are with our Members every step of the way. We listen. We cry together. We celebrate together. Because we believe that all people, regardless of income, deserve the same things to get ahead, we make sure that every Member who walks through our doors are treated with dignity and respect, have networks to tap into, and have a partner with whom to work hard on to achieve goals." — Patience Peabody, Vice President of Communications & Creative at LIFT