Posts in Uncategorized
One Step at a Time - StepUp Sunday at WMPC

The sun shined on the StepUp Ministry family on Sunday, January 15 as we gathered at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. 

Thank you Elaine, Brianna, Taneisha, and Jamie for sharing your inspiring stories of courage, tenacity and faith with more than 700 people in the pews and thousands around the world.

At StepUp Sunday, a common thread, woven throughout each person’s story is the incredible desire to change something big in his or her life. 

  • To have a vision of what can be.
  • The courage to leave what is known and familiar behind. 
  • The faith to accept transition in order to change.
  • The realization that transition doesn’t happen overnight. 

Together – participants, employers, volunteers, donors, and StepUp staff, we take One Step at a Time to introduce the opportunities for a stable life.

One Step at a Time is the StepUp Sunday theme this year.  If your church would like to hear these amazing stories of positive change, please contact Suzanne Templeton, today.


To return to newsletter, click here.

Oakwood Waits Benefits StepUp

For over 30 years, the Oakwood Waits have been gracing Raleigh with their harmonious a cappella songs as they perform in authentic 1840s Victorian attire in parades, public concerts, and private holiday gatherings. This year, they chose StepUp Ministry as the beneficiaries of their Benefit Concert, and raised a total of $2,441! Thank you to the Oakwood Waits and to Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church for hosting this event. It was a perfect way to combine celebrating the holiday season and supporting a good cause!

To return to newsletter, click here.

UncategorizedStepUp Ministry
Calling All Young Professionals

Are you a young professional, under 40, looking to get involved in the Raleigh community? Leadership Raleigh, through the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, is starting a Young Professionals Committee that will assist StepUp in recruiting volunteers, fundraising for and organizing events, and serving as advocates in the community. If you or someone you know would be interested, please contact Neill Frantz, Development Coordinator, by email at or by phone at (919) 781-0156 ext. 122.

To return to newsletter, click here.

UncategorizedStepUp Ministry
Take Your Dreams from Abstract to Reality

In the early days of StepUp, Selena Einwechter was a faithful volunteer, teaching financial literacy in the Life Skills program.  She has just released a new book, titled Courage is Abundant in the Abstract, after 25 years of pursuing her dream of innkeeping.  Everyone dreams, but sometimes it is difficult to know how to take those dreams from abstract to reality.  Selena seeks to tell others her story of taking a leap of faith, struggles and all, to encourage others to pursue their dreams, no matter the cost.  We are thankful for Selena’s dedication to StepUp and can’t wait to see how her book is used to realize dreams. 

To return to newsletter, click here

UncategorizedStepUp Ministry
Energy-filled Wednesdays

ENER-G exists to help our participants feel empowered, have an opportunity to network, seek employment, get access to resources, and ultimately, to grow. Jobs Team hosts ENER-G on the Wednesday after Jobs Week graduation.  The next ENER-G will be held on Wednesday, October 5th, at Hayes Barton Baptist Church between 8:30 AM and 10:30 AM.  Shontice Toliver, Employment Recruiter, has invited Securitas Security Services to host on-site interviews for our Employment Program graduates.  On that day, Securitas will perform interviews at ENER-G, break for lunch between 11 AM and 1 PM, and resume interviews in the afternoon.  Securitas has dedicated the entire day just for our participants!  We are excited for the people who will gain employment on October 5th!


To return to newsletter, click here

UncategorizedStepUp Ministry
Help Us Raise $100,000 by November 1

Tami is an amazing woman. She came to StepUp after relocating from the west coast with her young son, TJ. She needed a change. A friend recommended that she try StepUp to help with her job search. After the first day, Tami did not think StepUp was for her. But, she kept coming back.


Within days of completing StepUp’s Employment Training Week and with the support of her Case Manager, Tami earned a job as an Executive Assistant. She has been there since April of 2011. Soon, Tami will graduate Summa Cum Laude, with her degree in Business. As for her next steps…she is taking things one day at a time.  She loves her current job.

When asked about what she likes to do in her free time, Tami said,

“I work full-time, go to school full-time, and am a single parent of an 8 year-old rambunctious boy. My free time is filled with homework and my son’s activities. For myself, I get church on Saturday nights and StepUp Alumni group on Thursdays.” 

This fall, StepUp Ministry has to raise $100,000 to support great people, like Tami. Please consider a gift. Click here to give. 

To return to newsletter, click here

UncategorizedStepUp Ministry
StepUp Alumni, Brandon Lowery, Gives Back

StepUp Alumni, co-partner, and small business owner, Brandon Lowery, wants to share his latest project.  After successfully launching BLLC Landscaping and Royal Touch Mobile Detail, Brandon is ready to give back by sharing what he’s learned about starting a small business.


On Friday, September 23rd, from 9:00-3:00 he’s hosting an Entrepreneurship Fair at The Frontier, 800 Park Offices, RTP.  He’s planning a day to inspire entrepreneurs in the quest for information on starting a business or growing an existing business. He’ll have 3-4 speakers, networking opportunities, and resources to share.

If you are interested in attending, please rsvp to by September 10th.  A big StepUp shout out to Brandon, and we hope you’ll consider supporting or attending his event!

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

Individuals Leave with Much More than Employment After StepUp

Week after week, the Employment team encounters many special individuals. These individuals come from all different walks of life, with different stories and backgrounds. The one thing that these individuals have in common is the recognition for change in their lives, and they decide to take that first step for change with StepUp and the Employment Team. Even though participants start the Employment Week with the sole purpose of finding a job, individuals always leave saying they received so much more. Testimonies of that "much more" from last weeks graduating class ranged from the building of confidence individuals never knew they had, all the way to the rebuilding of lost faith. Hearing the personal experiences of change each person received throughout last week’s class reminded me of how special StepUp is, not only to the community but to me as well. StepUp is an organization that cares about its community and puts God first in serving that community. There are not many organizations like it!

“The Best Way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” -Barack Obama


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

The StepUp Life Skills Journey

Every three months at StepUp, the culmination of a yearlong journey for participants in the Adult Life Skills Program occurs and is capped off with a formal evening Graduation Program. Emotions run the gamut with the graduates. It is on display over the course of the night as they are entertained with music, enthralled by two graduating class speakers, and are given a motivational charge to proceed forth with for life “after Life Skills”.

During the 48 weeks of the program, participants are encouraged to stretch themselves beyond their comfort zone, so they can grow in the spiritual, emotional, financial, and relational arenas. They are assisted in actualizing their goals and dreams by a team that consists of the StepUp Life Skills Case Manager and Co-Partners who consistently encourage, motivate, and insist upon accountability.

On September 8th, the next class of graduates will formally complete their Adult Life Skills journey with a 6:00pm program at White Memorial Presbyterian Church. We celebrate the accomplishments of these individuals over the course of the last year. We look forward to seeing how they continue to Step UP in the community and beyond, thereafter.

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

StepUp has Reached Gold Status on GuideStar

GuideStar, the nation’s premier nonprofit database according to Time Magazine, has upgraded StepUp Ministry to the Gold level. In order to be upgraded to gold level, we had to provide the impact and effectiveness StepUp is having in accomplishing our mission and serving our community. This is an honor that we have received because of our commitment to transparency and accountability in our information and data. This label can be seen on platforms like AmazonSmile, Network for Good, VolunteerMatch, and dozens of other online giving portals. This has inspired us to continue to serve with honesty and strive to impact our community in a positive way. Check out our profile here:

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

RJ, Coolest Kid I Know

Eurickas Bradley, also known as RJ, has such a sweet spirit, always in such a great mood. He is one of the coolest four year olds I know!  When you discuss football or basketball with him, his face lights up. He loves to throw the football back and forth or even play basketball in the gym. Eurickas said his favorite basketball player is LeBron James. I am happy to know such an awesome kid!


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

G.G.'s Closet is Moving!

Since G.G.’s Closet opened, all the men who have attended StepUp’s Employment Week have been outfitted with interview suits, shirts, ties and shoes, helping build their confidence and prepare them for a successful interview. However, the space we have been using for G.G.’s Closet is no longer available. As we search for a new space, we will be temporarily suspending donations, but please continue to keep us in mind for future donations. Also, if you know of a space that we could use, please let us know! We are looking for 2,400 sq. ft. space anywhere in Raleigh. 


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

StepUp Ministry Announces New Board Members

On July 1, 2016, StepUp Ministry, announced six additional members to their Board of Directors:

Jacques Oury, Red Hat

Elizabeth Scott, Attorney with Williams Mullen

Angie Dowd, Retired Financial Expert and Community Volunteer

Katrina Lyons, Cardinal Advisors

John Constance, Retired Business Executive

Emmett Haywood, Attorney with Nicholls and Crampton

The StepUp Ministry Board of Directors represents the diversity of faith congregations, financial resources, expertise, community partnerships and volunteers it will take to strengthen StepUp in the coming years.

We are so happy to have them be a part of our team!

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

StepUp Ministry Alumni Program News

The StepUp Ministry Alumni Program will offer a series of Career Assistance Classes Sponsored by Wake Tech Community College- Human Resource Development between June and November 2016.  The Alumni program was identified as a lab for Wake Tech and will serve as a site for ongoing career assistance classes through June 30, 2017.  

The Alumni Program has seen a steady increase in attendance due to classes offered by WTCC. In addition to attending classes for WTCC continuing education credits, alumni are setting personal and professional goals. Since March 2016 - three alumni have achieved goals they established in January 2016.

Newly elected officers for StepUp Speakers' Circle Club of Toastmasters International for 7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017:

Club President: Laura Martin

Club Vice President of Education: Vincent Bongiovanni

Club Vice President of Public Relations: Hind Laraj 

Club Vice President of Membership: Eva Ngari

Club Treasurer: Maxine Terry

Club Secretary: Elaine Bryan-Donigan

Club Sergeant at Arms: BC Cooper


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

Summer Fun With the Children’s Program

Our Children’s Program has had a fun summer so far with our summer outings.

The kids come together with staff and volunteers on Thursdays during the summer. They spend the whole day together doing activities and going on field trips filled with fun and enrichment.

One of the places we have gone this summer is Hope Reins of Raleigh, a long time partner of StepUp that provides one-on-one sessions for children with counselors and horses. The children have the opportunity to learn how to properly care for the horses and learn their individual stories. The kids always have a blast, and we are so grateful for this partnership.

We also traveled to Durham to the Stagville Plantation, which comprises the remnants of one of the largest plantations of the pre-Civil War South. The plantations belonged to the Bennehan-Cameron Family, whose combined holdings totaled approximately 900 slaves and almost 30,000 acres of land by 1860. It was an awesome opportunity for our kids to experience such a big part of history right next door to us.

Although we love to learn, some of our outings are strictly reserved for fun, such as an afternoon of skating at United Skates of Raleigh or swimming the day away at Sandlin Beach.

By participating in these field trips, it gives us the opportunity to bond with and get to know our kids in an environment outside of our normal Tuesday night program. For them, these trips provide exposure to culture and learning in a non-traditional way. The children have the opportunity to serve and give back to the community through our community service portion of the trips.

All kids in the program are required to complete at least two community service activities before graduation. This summer we served meals at Shepherds Kitchen in downtown Raleigh.


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

Team Building for the Jobs Team

During the month of July, the Employment Team participated in team building exercises facilitated by GoApe! The team took to the field to build trust and a better understanding for each individual’s communication style through hands-on activities, including a Blind Trust Walk. Each Jobs Week the Employment Team is challenged by connecting with as many as 30 new participants, so it is important that the team is unified in all efforts. The Employment Team left the day with a sense of renewal, eager to inspire during the approaching Jobs Week!

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

Register Today for the Volunteer Summer Gathering!

Save The Date

StepUp Volunteer Summer Gathering

Saturday, August 20, 2016

9 am – Noon

St. Ambrose Episcopal Church

813 Darby Street, Raleigh

Meet fellow StepUp volunteers to get updates on program areas, meet new leaders and spend focused time together!  

State of StepUp

Linda Nunnallee, Executive Director

Department Updates

Jamie Almond, Angela Coleman, Colisha Gilbert and Mary Allison Raper

General Session: "Poverty, Privilege, and Partnership" 

Presented by:  Paul Daniels, II an aspirant for ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and intake coordinator for the StepUp Jobs Team and The Rev. Deacon Chuck Wynder, a Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy for the Episcopal Church, USA.

Mark Your Calendars and RSVP today to:


To return to newsletter, Click Here.

StepUp Summer Meal Supporters Serve 625 Plates!

Thank you for all those who discounted or donated food, or prepared and served plates during StepUp Summer Meals in July and August!  Every week, there has been fantastic food; helping hands and sweet smiles to fuel the spirit and soul of our Life Skills participants and volunteers. We are grateful to all of these wonderful supporters including:


Hungry Howies, Oberlin Road

Farmer’s Table – Q-Shack

Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church


Jim Kellenberger, Kellenberger Enterprises Inc.

Hayes Barton Baptist Church

St. Michael’s EYC

Dude Solutions

And more than 30 individual volunteers!

Want to help with 2017 Summer Meal?  Please contact Suzanne,

To return to newsletter, Click Here.

Calling All StepUp Volunteers!

Save The Date

StepUp Volunteer Summer Gathering

Saturday, August 20, 2016

9 am – Noon

St. Ambrose Episcopal Church

813 Darby Street, Raleigh

Meet fellow StepUp volunteers to get updates on program areas, meet new leaders and spend focused time together!  

State of StepUp

Linda Nunnallee, Executive Director

Department Updates

Jamie Almond, Angela Coleman, Colisha Gilbert and Mary Allison Raper

General Session: "Poverty, Privilege, and Partnership" 

Presented by:  Paul Daniels, II an aspirant for ordination in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina and intake coordinator for the StepUp Jobs Team and The Rev. Deacon Chuck Wynder, a Missioner for Social Justice and Advocacy for the Episcopal Church, USA.

Mark Your Calendars and RSVP today to:

StepUp Impact Luncheon

The Impact Luncheon is StepUp Ministry’s annual fundraising luncheon. This year we had over 300 guests in attendance and raised $160,000. Thank you to everyone who attended and those who made a donation. We could not do our work without your generous contributions!



Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors:

Medical Mutual

Martin Marietta

Baker Roofing

Custom Home Exterior

Capitol Broadcasting Company


KDI Capital Partners

Sentinel Risk Advisors

Fred Smith Company

Kane Realty Corporation

Hamlin Companies

Mako Medical Laboratories


Thank you to our Individual Sponsors:

Bettie and David Sousa

Tom Darden

Gregg Sandreuter

John Martin