Today we’d like to introduce you to Walter Barreda.
Walter, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We are the REUP movement, a non-profit organization that focuses on servicing the homeless, low-income families along with inspiring and mentoring the youth. We were established in 2018 by our founder/CEO Walter Barreda. At the time, he was in the process of finding his purpose after completing college and wanted to find a way to be a blessing to the world. He focused on what made him the happiest, and he realized that helping others when they felt helpless was what he wanted to do. He realized this was the very thing he did his entire life. He was always interested in blessing others even when he had limited to no resources himself. He was born and raised on the Southwest side of Houston, TX to a teenage mom and a grandmother who was full of life. Living in that environment seemed normal until he was eventually exposed to more opportunities. That’s when he decided The REUP Movement was the car he needed to drive this world to a better place. At our first feeding event, we were only able to give 60 sandwiches and two cases of water, which was gone in 5 minutes. It was shocking to see just how many people were in need. Once we saw the demand of our people, we knew we had to do more. Our most recent “Last Chance Blessing” event, which was held on December 29, 2019 we was fortunate to serve about 400 plates.
Has it been a smooth road?
This event was assembled by our Events Coordinator Shakeyla Randall. We had a hot meal which consisted of two different types of pasta, green beans, sweet corn, dinner roll, and salad. We had toiletry bags, which included toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, lotion, and soap. We also had snack bags, which are items they could eat later, such as peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, granola bars, chips and cookies. The most important service we provide is our energy. The energy we give our people that are in need is the very thing we pride ourselves on. It’s not something that can be accounted for, but it is definitely the thing that stands out the most. Our energy is to reflect that God is still working through his children and that regardless of what may be going on in your life, know He has not left your side. Another entity of the REUP Movement is our mentor program, which we have implemented in several school districts over the past two years. We provide the youth with passion and information about what is needed to become the special person God has created them to be. Our Director of Mentors is Courtney Brown. He is from Lake Charles Louisiana, a graduate of Prairie View A&M University and a certified behavior specialist. He provides the students with different techniques on how to channel their energy into something positive, due to Courtney experiencing behavioral challenges himself as a child. Cecilia Hancock, better known as “Chef C,” is our Director of Nutrition. She is a native Houstonian and 2018 graduate of Houston Community College Culinary School.
Along with helping them to find better food choices such as more vegan or plant based options, she will be coming in to teach the kids how to cook. Lastly, we have our Energy Coach Me’, Leeza Comeaux. She is from California and specializes in yoga and meditation, along with being able to teach dance classes, which will be a great activity for our students. She helps our kids gain a sense of balance in their lives by teaching them positive affirmations and self-love.
Please tell us about the organization.
We are also bringing other programs such as agriculture, law, and sports. All of these programs are needed to help our youth become well balanced. Our communities are so closed off from the world, and we wonder why our kids only see the blocks, hourly jobs, and trap houses as their lifestyles. We are here to show our kids how powerful they are and can be if they really focus and put the work in to get there. We will be taking the children out to events like museums and college games, to name a few. We use these types of events, like team building exercises with our students. We know that once the bond is created, only then can we really mentor the youth to make decisions to become what God created them to be. They will become well rounded, educated individuals with a purpose that is greater than themselves. Our youth will not start over. They will step into this world with a better understanding of what it will take to become successful in their own way. Even though we are doing God’s purpose, along with helping his children does not mean we are immune to the troubles of life. We are individuals with our own problems and in search to make ourselves better every day. There have been times where we have come up short for an event and didn’t have the funds and or products to do what said we wanted to do, but we always made away. Just like we tell our kids, life is a process, and as long as you are a blessing to others, God will make a way even when you think otherwise. We are surrounded by a great team that helps our vision come to life. We are THE REUP MOVEMENT and it is our time to change the world and make the difference that is needed. Thank you to everyone that has helped and supported us throughout our journey. Thank you, God, for THE vision. Without you, nothing would be possible.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I like how diverse we are as a city. We have so many people from different cultural, religious, and ethnic backgrounds. What I don’t like is how separated and divided we are at times. If we just focused on helping each other grow, we could be so much stronger as a city. The inner-city community has to start opening their mind to more than what we are born into. WE must find a way to change our environment for the betterment of the new germination coming up now.
- $1 challenge which can be donated to our cash app $thereupmovement
- $1 challenge which can be donated on our website – www.thereupmovement.com
- Website: www.thereupmovement.com
- Phone: offcie – 281-908-0063 Cell – 346-212-3390
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @thereup_movement
- Facebook: @thereupmovement