130 Years Rooted in Community Service

For 130 years, The Up Center has served as a safety net for the Hampton Roads community. Back in 1883, running an orphanage for abandoned children and caring for impoverished families were the primary goals of Norfolk United Charities, the forerunner to The Up Center. Unemployment and economic hardship were widespread with many people in need. With a budget of $6,000, the agency assisted nearly 600 families, providing shelter, coal for heat, and shoes so children could walk to school.

Over the next century, under several different names, the agency evolved to meet the changing needs of the community, from helping individuals sick with scarlet fever to assisting those who were abused or living with a disability. Following the landmark merger of Family Services of Tidewater and Child & Family Services, The Up Center became the official name of the organization in 2008.

Thanks to our generous supporters, The Up Center continues to grow, serving more than 10,000 people each year in Hampton Roads with a budget of $14 million. Throughout all the years, the focus has always been the same – giving a hand up to people in need.


Above: Children who were adopted through The Up Center 55 years ago and just last year.

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