It’s almost here… #GivingTuesday

Good Evening, Friends!

I hope everyone had a joyous holiday weekend filled with love and laughter.

Tonight, at midnight, #GivingTuesday will begin! Tomorrow, millions of people will take a moment to give back to the world. Please join us  in celebrating this day of giving by supporting World U.P.’s mission to promote understanding and peace through the creation of cultural education experiences that are available to everyone and anyone.

One Gift can make a difference and impact the Richmond community and is one step closer to help us reach our goal! Donate on #GivingTuesday!

If you support our cause, but cannot give, please share our donation page and our social media accounts with friends and family!

Understanding & Peace,



5 Reasons To Remember World U.P. on #GivingTuesday

As we approach the beginning of the holiday season, I want to share our “Top 5” reasons to support the important work that the World U.P. Foundation is doing. We are thankful for the support we have received and look forward to the work yet still to be done.

On Tuesday November 28th we are participating in #GivingTuesday, which is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

I wanted to share a little more about why you should remember World U.P. Foundation on #GivingTuesday.

While we encourage giving year round, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season and the end of our fundraising year. Having grown in popularity over the last 5 years, I recognize that you will have so many amazing charities to choose from when #GivingTuesday hits. Any donation given to an organization that makes a positive impact on understanding, peace, and diversity is a wonderful contribution! I’ve thought long and hard about what compelling arguments I can make to kindly request you keep the World U.P. Foundation in the forefront of your minds on November 28, 2017. So, here you go!

  1. World U.P. has a track record of successful community impact. We may be a young organization, but we are dedicated and capable. Within the last 6 months we have launched our two goal programs for this year, Gear U.P. and Food U.P. Through Gear U.P., and in only 3 weeks, we were able to provide 70 families who are served by the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority with back packs and school supplies to send their children to school with tools for educational success. Through Food U.P., we have been able to provide families in Highland Park access to fresh fruits and vegetables in connection with their local food pantry. We not only want to replicate these efforts in the new year, but want to expand these programs to have a larger impact.
  2. World U.P. is fervently dedicated to using responsible and ethical spending practices. This means that we don’t use money to fund lobbying responsibilities, fund personal endeavors, or to support any activities that do not create a benefit for the communities we are trying to support.
  3. World U.P. is completely volunteer based. Currently, no one in the organization is monetarily compensated by the organization. Everyone person on our team donates their time and services. Often times, the little things we need to operate (stamps, paper, etc.) are paid for and donated by our team members.
  4. Our World U.P. Board of Directors are our #1 supporters.  Our Board puts their money where their heart is. We don’t just believe in the mission, every Board member is so personally connected to our mission, that they have pledged personal yearly donations and fundraising pledges as well.
  5. World U.P. believes that our donors are our clients. Our philosophy is that people make personal donations, because of a personal connection to our mission.  It’s our responsibility to make sure that the people who believe in us and our mission can see the success their donation has created.

After a week busy with eating, visiting, and shopping…

Tuesday is dedicated to Giving.

We hope you will join us by making a gift to the World U.P. Foundation.

With Understanding & Peace,


Humblebrags & GivingTuesday

Happy Friday, Friends!

A few months ago (about 6 to be exact), I tried to share with you our “Why”… why we do what we do, why we think World U.P. is necessary. Today, I want to share with you “How” and “What” we are doing to bring our mission to life.

Now, I freely admit that I’m going to be #humblebragging about our successes so far, because #GivingTuesday is around the corner (November 28th) and I want you to consider giving to us on thait day. If you don’t know what #GivingTuesday is, I suggest you take a few minutes to read up on it. The holiday season is upon is, and while some of us find great joy in the holidays, it can easily become overwhelming and seemingly wasteful. The good news is that this time of the year there are a number of ways to overcome these holiday blues by taking part in, what I like to call, sustainable spending events that have popped up in the last couple of years! You can participate in #GivingTuesday, #SmallBusinessSaturday, volunteer at local food pantries, and even just donate to your favorite charity in lieu of buying holiday presents.

This time of year is very important for many nonprofits, as many of us are finishing out our fiscal year (December 31), sending out tax-deduction letters, and trying to figure out how we are going to fund all of the initiatives that we have started in the community in the last year! So, with all that being said, here’s what we have accomplished thus far this year, with your generous support!

Our First Birthday!! (9/8/17)

The World U.P. Foundation officially celebrated its first birthday on September 8th, 2017! Thank you so much to everyone, near and far, who has contributed toward such a wonderful first year. As we go into our second year as an organization, we want to start it off strong by sharing some updates, progress, and what all we plan to do next. We have got a lot in the works, and hope to see you soon!

Gear U.P.

Richmond Behavioral Health Authority reached out to us asking for help to send their students back to school with the tools they need to succeed. We were humbled and touched by the generosity we saw from everyone. In less than 2 weeks, our community was able to:

– Raise over $1,800 in cash and school supplies

– Fill 70 backpacks (school supplies + additional supplies)

– Help 70 students start the school year strong by having all of the needed supplies

This just goes to show what a number of dedicated people can do to improve the world! If you wanted to contribute, or want to contribute again, we are always accepting donations – students and teachers need supplies all year round!

Food U.P.

In May, we began attending Northside Outreach Center’s monthly food pantry. While they have plenty of non-perishable foods to supply, they are unable to store perishable fruits and vegetables between each food pantry date, so that’s where we come in! Each month we have been able to provide various fresh fruits, cold water, and juice to those to patiently wait in line each month. The pantry is capable of distributing groceries to 100 families each month, and we would love to be able to see that number grow.

While we are humbled to have been able to provide what we have, we are still looking to expand to fresh vegetables and healthier juice options. We believe that with a $100 sponsorship/donation per month that we could start sending people home with sustainable and storable produce (ie. potatoes, squash, etc.) that could provide nourishment throughout the month. Please check out this link to see how to donate. Alternatively, if you know of a produce supplier that is looking for a partner, please let us know!

In addition to these, we have launched this beautiful website, our giving page, and made some great friends in the Richmond community!

If you dig what we are doing and want to join our small, but mighty tribe, please check out our social media pages and contact us. Also, keep an eye out for my next blog, where I talk more about sustainable spending opportunities, and our philosophy on responsible spending of donated funds!

Peace, Love, and Understanding,


A Letter From The Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our new and improved website. Thanks to my dear friend and previous RVA resident, Devon Charles, our webpage looks professional, clean and bright!

I thought that I would christen our new web presence by finally  posting a letter from the World U.P. Executive Director, me. I’ve been fighting this post for a while. You see, this letter hasn’t come easy, because there’s the letter to everyone that I should write, and then there’s the letter that I need to write. The version I should write is poised, professional, inspirational, and creates confidence in the community that I have every ability to create the most diverse, dynamic, and successful non-profit that the Richmond community has every seen. I should write you a cover letter that makes you want to donate all your time (and money) to World U.P., and tells you numbers and statistics.  I should reiterate my professional experience for you and why I’m qualified to be an Executive Director. In fact, I want every person to know all these things, but the problem is that should has never worked for me. Instead, I’m going to share with you what I need to write. If you want my qualifications, I’m happy to share my resume.

The letter I need to write gives you the raw honest truth as to why World U.P. exists, the amazing people I get to work with, and what exactly it is we are trying to accomplish. I’m going to share my heart. So, stick with me friends, because once my heart starts talking – it’s difficult to shut up.

In June 2016, I asked myself a very difficult question – Why does so much hate exist in this world? While I didn’t know the answer (and doubt I ever will), I knew that I had never felt so blessed to be a privileged, educated, moderately traveled, white woman in this century. Living in a time when we literally have access to the world at our fingertips, I never understood how it is that we can still hate people we haven’t met and so easily judge the people we have. While there are many explanations and theories out there, I tend to think that it all boils down to fear. Fear of the vast unknown and finding out that all the things we have come to so firmly believe isn’t true. Fear is the biggest stimulant of hate and judgment – it motivates some and isolates others. So, how do we overcome these fears? Personally, I think that experiencing our fears head-on and learning about our fears unveils three things (1) the hidden beauty of the thing we fear, (2) how to differentiate the good in the fear from the bad, and avoid the bad, and (3) we are capable of more than we can imagine. So, if fear cultivates hatred and judgment of others,  then theoretically experiences our fear can cultivate love, peace, and understanding.

I believe that cultural experiences helps mitigate racism, religious intolerance, and hate.The problem is that there’s a HUGE portion of society that don’t have access to classes on religions of the world or language classes, much less access to travel. I think that anyone who wants to have cultural experiences, should be able to have them, for free. People shouldn’t have to choose between surviving and becoming a citizen of the world. I think that’s a problem – and it turns out that a lot of people agree with me.

I have to say, I frequently get overwhelmed by how many people feel as passionate about this mission of World U.P. as I do. Let’s talk about some of those people for a moment, shall we? Once you’re done reading my long post – take a look at our Team Page. Look at those smiles! Aren’t they some of the most beautiful and sincere people you have ever seen? I feel blessed EVERY SINGLE DAY that I have found such wonderful people to work with in this organization. We push each other, we compliment each other, and above everything else we support each other. When we get together to laugh, talk, plan, develop, and coordinate – it doesn’t feel like work. To me, it feels like hanging out with some of my best friends. We are all vastly different, but we who share an amazing mission/vision to live in a peaceful society that is a melting pot of races, religions, foods, music, arts, and languages – a culturally diverse melting pot, if you will.

So, these amazing people and I got together and decided to try and create opportunities for people who cannot afford them. Opportunities to learn about other cultures. Opportunities to travel. Opportunities to interact with people they wouldn’t normally meet. Opportunities to experiences things that are traditionally expensive or availability, that to some they seem frivolous or are what dreams are made of, and ten months later, here we are. Over the next few months we hope  to roll out a few programs (which can be seen on our home page) that can broaden people’s horizons and further cultivate a community of cultural understanding and peace.

I hope that this blog becomes a place of community inspiration, education, motivation, and information for anyone who wants to start something big or just see a more peacefully diverse society. All the -ations, really. Most importantly, I want this blog to be a sea of voices, not just mine, so I ask (and beg) you to contact us with questions, comments, articles, stories, etc. that think would make great content for our site.

Thank you in advance for joining us on this journey, supporting us, and tolerating my over use of terrible puns and dad-humor.

Peace, Love, & Understanding,

Liz Dukette

¡Buen viaje!


In just four short days I will be arriving in the wonderful country of Mexico and will be there for about a week. Having studied abroad there during the summer of 2015, I am so excited to be going back. Studying in Mexico City and Oaxaca was an incredible experience, but I’m really looking forward to being able to enjoy this trip without the stresses of school work!

There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding Mexico and the Mexican culture, as there are with everything, but I hope posting photos can help bring to light the day to day realities of the culture and its people. I’m excited to see some of Mexico during a different time of year and am interested to see what has and hasn’t changed since I was there last.

I hope you’ll join me through pictures throughout the week – I’ll be posting trip updates via Instagram! Follow us at @world_up_ or feel free to follow my personal account at @vicccccck (which will probably have more frequent updates).

I will have a more extensive update about the trip as a whole once I return, but until then…¡hasta pronto!

~Victoria Reichert//Director of Marketing




Welcome to the World U.P. Foundation Webpage/Blog. We are a small, but passionate, group of motivated individuals who want to make the world a more peaceful place. We believe that peaceful diversity is possible and can be achieved by breaking down barriers through cultural exploration and exchange.

We believe in the importance of cross-cultural understanding, but recognize that the experiences that lead to this understanding are not always easily accessible. We strive to bring these learning experiences to anyone and everyone.

We will use this blog to share our ideas, events, goals, and visions!