25 Years of LIFT: A Journey of Hope, Money and Love

The Fall of 2023 marks LIFT’s 25th anniversary! As I reflect on this significant milestone for LIFT, I am struck not only by how our work has evolved, but also by how our core beliefs have remained constant: 

Good enough is never good enough: we ask the hard questions and work to improve until we have fulfilled the promise of interrupting generational cycles of poverty.  

There is indeed enough: enough money, resources, and wealth to go around.  

And enough is enough: systemic racism sits at the root of inequity; lasting change requires that we address it head on.  

These tenets have been true about LIFT since day one — a remarkable journey that began when Kirsten Lodal and Brian Kreiter opened National Student Partnerships (NSP) on the second floor of a New Haven YMCA. The dream of college students (!!) to do whatever it takes to provide dignified wrap-around services and advocacy for those mired in the fallout of welfare reform has blossomed into what LIFT is today: an organization that supports two generations at once, changing the lives of individual families while shifting how the social service system operates at scale.   

From the resilient parents we have partnered with; to the dedicated team that has propelled our work forward; to the board who believed in our mission and challenged us to reach for new heights; to program partners whose work inspired us, there is so much to celebrate! To commemorate this incredible milestone, and share how we’ve made so much progress, we will share “25 moments for 25 years.” – a set of inspiring stories and insights from investors, program partners, and, of course, LIFT members.  We are also gathering in Los Angeles in April 2024 to celebrate together – I hope to see you there!    

As we embark on this journey towards our 25th anniversary, I hope you will enjoy the walk down memory lane and share in the joy and celebration. Your commitment to the power of Hope, Money and Love is the driving force behind our fight to break the cycle of poverty. Together, we will write the next chapter of our story.  

With Love and Gratitude 

Michelle Rhone-Collins