About Promise the Children
Promise the Children is a nonprofit 501(c)(3)organization. We work together with families and child advocates to support funding for quality childcare and early education for eligible U.S. children, as well as access to health care and adequate nutrition.
The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee initiated Promise the Children in 1997 with an early focus on increasing preschool programs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. We hired one part-time organizer and recruited volunteer advocates at Unitarian Universalist churches and events. Today we recruit volunteers of many faiths, or of no faith.
The inspiration for Promise the Children came from The Children’s Defense Fund’s March For Children’s Education held in Washington D.C. in 1996. After 2000, we campaigned with other organizations, including Parents United for Child Care in Boston, and the Early Education for All Campaign (Strategies for Children). As a result, there are more subsidized early education spots in our pre-schools, and we have a MA Department of Early Education and Care to promote quality teachers and programming.
In 2006, we became a nationally oriented 501(c)(3) educational charity called Promise the Children, Inc. Later, we developed a Circle of Protection Campaign addressing the importance of funding for programs that would protect young children living in poverty. More recently we have been informing church members about the number of families with children who live in poverty and who regularly experience homelessness.
In 2014 we narrowed our focus to advocate for better funding for universal Pre-K education for low-income families, and to provide information on nutrition and improving access to health care insurance. Today, we are supporting the healthy development of children from birth through 3rd grade. We are working to develop our online marketing and to promote social media strategies to support these goals.
Our Board of Directors
Jill Libby (Medford, MA), Treasurer. Jill is a certified public accountant. In addition to her professional career, she donates time to non-profit organizations such as Promise The Children.
Doranne Jung (Los Angeles CA) manages our social media outreach program. She has been involved with PTC for a decade starting at the UUA General Assembly held in Long Beach, CA. Since then, she has attended eight GA’s helping at the PtC exhibit booth to recruit volunteer advocates and get their support for issues that affect our nation’s children including hunger, homelessness, access to healthcare and nutrition, and the need for improved K-12 education etc. As a college professor for over 25 years, she has worked with many students who are poorly prepared for higher education.
Joshua Leach (Cambridge MA) is a student at Harvard Divinity School and looks forward to a career in UU ministry. As a ministerial intern for Promise the Children, he developed our presentation on the 50-year legacy for children of the War on Poverty, and on the impact severe poverty still has on kids in America today. He also spoke to many UU congregations around the Boston area, led a worship service in Salem MA on Promise the Children’s work, and gave a talk about children’s poverty at a breakfast at UU General Assembly in June 2014.
Natasha Megie Maddrey (Lynn, MA) Natasha has engaged in grass routes organizing of parents raising children for many years. She is interested in campaigning for an elected position on the School Board in Lynn MA.
Donna McLain (Longview, WA) has been working with Promise the Children since the program began. A highlight for her was traveling to Washington D.C. for the “Stand for Children” Rally held June 1, 1996. Donna is a Mills College graduate, with an MS in Business from Antioch University (Seattle), and a K-12 Teaching Credential from WSU. She retired from the Boeing Company after 27 years, and currently substitute teaches in Kelso and Longview School Districts. A lifelong UU, she is currently serving on the UUCV Board of Trustees.
Rebekah Richardson (Nahant, MA), President. Rebekah actively manages the Promise the Children Website and writes the blog. She earned her masters degree in Community Organization from Boston College. She was hired by the UU Service Committee to work on a stipend for Promise the Children, but she has worked as a volunteer for the last fifteen years recruiting volunteer advocates and speaking at numerous churches and church events. During this time she has served on the boards of many non-profit organizations that support people living in poverty.
Our staff is almost entirely volunteers, currently headed by Board Members Doranne Jung and Rebekah Richardson. Please contact us if you would like to help in our mission to support children under 8 years from low-waged US families, or learn more about how you can get involved.
Natahsa Megie-Maddrey (Lynn, MA) is a part-time staff member and mother of four. She has been invaluable to us, helping to raise money and updating information on our email list. She also works with several parents’ groups that give parents a stronger voice so they may communicate effectively in their communities.