Hi everyone! My name is Kerri and I am one of the directors for LiveUp Philadelphia! March 20th marked the first day of spring and I’m so excited to celebrate the warmer weather with making some of my favorite smoothie recipes. Smoothies are my FAVORITE thing to cook at LiveUp. They are a healthy and refreshing way to cool off and so easy anyone can blend them up!
Kerri Berry Smoothies
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve right away
Peanut butter & Jelly Smoothie
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve right away
In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we want to celebrate our incredible participants! Every year, we have the opportunity to meet new participants and returning friends. Since March is also Women’s History Month, we’ve decided to celebrate Girl Power by featuring just a few of the absolutely amazing ladies we know:
We’re so proud of all of our participants and volunteers! Thanks for all the awesome things you do!
This post comes from Allie Weiss, one of the program directors at LiveUp NYC!
On Saturday March 4th, we held our 2nd annual beer pong tournament fundraiser at Brother Jimmy’s in New York City. This event was held in order to raise money for scholarships. We had the support of over two hundred people including members of the LiveUp family as well as friends and family who wanted to support our organization! We received amazing donations of raffle prizes including a variety of workout classes, passes to Disney World, tickets to various comedy shows and many other great items! We raised over $6,000!
In attendance was Meghan Latini, who says her favorite part about LiveUp is meeting new people and making new friends. Cristin Durkin said “It was great seeing everybody I know from LiveUp at the fundraiser” and that she loves LiveUp because all of the fun activities she gets to do over the weekend. Katie Moore said “I really liked going to the fundraiser” and her favorite things about LiveUp programs are the dance and going to the water park.
Sara Norelli attended and says, “LiveUp is such a wonderful program because it brings people of all ages and backgrounds together for one purpose – to enjoy and celebrate life to the fullest. It’s been such an amazing experience to build friendships and make memories with my LiveUp family!” Brett Cohen, was present as well as says he loves LiveUp because it “affords me an opportunity to connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to, and allows me to celebrate the uniqueness and individuality of each person”.
A big thank you to everybody who attended our event, donated to our organization and contributed to the planning and the fun of another successful event! Thank you to everybody who supports LiveUp year after year by attending our programs and volunteering!
Why do you love LiveUp? Share your favorite photo on Facebook or Instagram and let us know why you love LiveUp! Don’t forget to tag us at @LiveUpPrograms!
Program Alert: Best Buddies NYC!
This post comes from Alyssa, one of the program managers at Best Buddies NYC!
Who doesn’t want more friends?! Best Buddies is an organization that helps form one-to-one friendships for adults with and without disabilities. When you become a best buddy, you’ll have another friend to laugh with, go to the movies with, or anything you choose! If you live in New York City and are 18 or older, you can apply to become a Best Buddy in NYC!
What is Best Buddies? (https://bestbuddies.org)
Best Buddies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves people with and without Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities (IDD). The mission of Best Buddies is to establish a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with IDD. Best Buddies was founded in 1989 by Anthony Kennedy Shriver and has programs in 50 countries & all 50 United States. Best Buddies offers seven programs – Citizens, e-Buddies, Colleges, High Schools, Middle Schools, Jobs, and Ambassadors.
What is the Citizens Program?
The Best Buddies New York Citizens Program provides opportunities for one-to-one friendships for adults (18+) with and without IDD. Buddy Pairs commit to one year of friendship, get together 2 times each month, and share communication (email, text, phone conversation, ect.) each week.
Does it cost anything?
There is no cost to join! Once matched, participants are responsible for their own costs when on an outing.
How are matches made?
Matches are based on same gender, location, common interests, and similar age.
Who is in the match?
Each friendship consists of a:
What is the application process?
If you would like to join or learn more about Best Buddies, please contact Alyssa Greenstein at AlyssaGreenstein@BestBuddies.org
Today’s post comes from Sarah, who will be co-directing LiveUp DC!
Can you believe that it’s Valentine’s Day already? Summer is just around the corner! In the meantime, here are 10 Ways you can show your LiveUp Love:
• 30 seconds high knees
• 30 seconds butt kicks
• 20 toe touches
• 20 arm circles
Repeat 2 Times!
Almond Butter Berries Brownies
•2 cups unsalted raw almond butter
•1 cup raw organic honey, melted
•1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•1/2 cup cocoa powder
•1/2 teaspoon sea salt
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
•1 cup fresh berries such as blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries
•1 very ripe banana
•Preheat oven to 325°F.
•Grease a baking dish with coconut oil or organic butter and set aside
•In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to blend almond butter to a smoother consistency.
•Beat in the eggs one at a time.
•Add in the honey and the vanilla and continue to blend.
•Add the salt, baking soda, and then slowly add in the cacao powder to prevent the cacao powder from getting all over you.
•By hand gently fold in the chocolate chips and berries and mix well.
•In a separate bowl mash the banana. Add the mashed banana to the brownie mixture and stir in until it is mixed in fully.
•Pour batter baking dish. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle of the brownies.
•Allow to cool fully
•Cut into squares and enjoy!!
This post comes from Derrick, one of the amazing directors at LiveUp SD!
Trying to transfer to you the warmth in our hearts, or even a tenth of the ways our lives were changed would be a triumph that mere words on a page simply can’t produce. Therefore, allow me to share just a few of the magnetic smiles and irresistibly charming moments we were rewarded with thanks to our 2016 LiveUp SD family.
Friendships were both built and refreshed as the excitement of the next few days became our high octane rocket fuel. We launched towards the HI San Diego Point Loma with no idea of how the adventures ahead would jolt our joy.
With a HEART full of rules that night…
Eat healthy, Be healthy
Always be friends
Respect my mentor/buddy
Try new stuff
…we exploded into a fan filled, star-studded lip sync extravaganza. There was singing, laughing, what some would call “dancing” and a lot of sweat, but the talent-rich performances just kept coming and coming. The weekend then took off thanks to our partners listed below.
On Saturday night, we crimped our hair and donned our best digs in prep for the FIESTA that Senorita Emily crafted. We enjoyed a delicious meal and a taco piñata before dancing the night away.
It’s hard to avoid the sadness of the last day, but thanks to Parth, Brittini and Em we Zumba-ed away the tears with a finally of dance moves that would likely make even MJ jealous.
Closing ceremony blessed us all with another personality rich expression of the limitless value of LiveUp! Through words, dance and sign-language we saw a sample of the unmatched elation that can be motivated by nothing more than that precious chromosome that we staff lack.
No two LiveUp weekends are the same, but 2016 #LiveUpSD was certainly one for the ages. Thanks in part to the talents of Nurse Lisa we all made it through. Going often unseen are the countless hours of work that our leaders Emily and Vikki put in for months prior. We love you guys and can’t thank you enough. It’s easy to imagine the fun we had, but thanks to our hero photographer Jake, you can also SEE a bit of it too. The only thing this guy has more of than shoes is talent. Put your seatbelts on and grace your eyes with this motion picture masterpiece here!
A HUGE thanks to everyone who made this weekend possible, especially our friends:
Hi everyone! My name is Nadia and I am the photographer for LiveUp NYC! As summer continues to heat up, I’ve been trying to find ways to stay cool. Last year, I went to LiveUp Boston, and we made delicious Chocolate-Covered Frozen Bananas. And I know the LiveUp Philly director Kerri loves making smoothies…and is famous for them! Since I love sweet treats, I’ve decided to round up some of my favorite summer recipes. They are easy, tasty, AND pretty healthy!
We’re headed to LiveUp San Diego this week, so be sure to check our Facebook page for photos! Enjoy!
Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas
Mango Strawberry Smoothie
*Spinach is full of vitamins…and you don’t even taste it!
This post is written by Phil Johnson, LiveUp Philly volunteer!
2016 has provided us a laundry list of things to be sad about. That said, I find my resolve in the fundamental good nature of the world unshaken. It’s very difficult to be a part of something like LiveUp and not leave with an inherent understanding of the good nature within people – a layer of quiet, warm-hearted individuals with a pension for selflessness and a will to better something. If you’ve felt, in your search, that these people are hard to come by: might I suggest this great starting point.
You might start your first program, as I did in 2014, with a little knot it your stomach. It worries you are wholly unequipped for the role you’ve volunteered for. One beautiful aspect of the program is that, once it begins, you simply don’t have time for anxiety. You are responsible to another human being. If you stop to ponder how out-of-your-depth you might be, you’ll be late for the water-gun fight. Or perhaps it’s the genius of the program directors that you never truly feel that worry realized.
It’s about halfway through the weekend and you’ve forgotten about the knot because your face hurts too much. You don’t worry about your face or how unsustainable this amount of smiling is in the long term because you’ve stopped thinking about yourself so much—probably for the first time in a long time. You don’t think about things like paying rent or how you look. For the first time in a long time that great expanse of your day-to-day back in your big city now looks more like a bubble. Those little things you would worry over seem insignificant. You’re reminded how to be so excited about new little things—about dancing however you want to dance, about terrible jokes, about water-gun fights. You forget to be insecure because you’re not thinking about yourself.
I’m now back in my big city, listening to news, slowly reacclimating to my day-to-day—feeling those silly little insignificant things get bigger again and trying to slow it down.
No tragedy will make me forget the quiet, selfless people with their will to better something. Programs like this one happen to attract them in droves. I’ve met some of them (we’re friends now). I go back so that, if nothing else, I can learn to be more like them. I go back to set myself aside in service of someone else. I go back to be reminded about what is significant. I certainly go back for the water-gun fights.