Together, We Rise

RISE, EARLY 2000’s

How it all began -

For over fifty years, we have worked with our local community to better serve our neighbors in need. Although the demographics of our clientele have evolved over time—from migrant agricultural workers and African Americans to the 1970’s Southeast Asian refugees and the present day Latinx Community—what has remained constant is our indelible commitment to enabling our neighbors to better achieve their personal and professional success, health, and happiness.

The Rise Pantry came to life in 2006 to provide non-perishable groceries to one hundred qualified families per month and has grown exponentially. In addition to non-perishable groceries, we distribute fresh produce, personal products, baby items, household cleaning supplies, coats, children’s books, and pet products. In 2019, we moved from the Green House to our larger location on 133 Broad Street, enabling Rise to increase capacity.

Through community partnerships and direct services, we assist local families and individuals in recovering from setbacks and achieving their full potential. It’s not only our official mission, it’s what energizes us every day!


Providing a range of complimentary services from assistance with official documents, school supplies, or any other type of support.

Where it’s easy and affordable to find great things, and previously loved items get a new loving home.

Nourishing every family member. From wholesome foods to personal care, baby essentials, and even pet food, we’re here to support our community.

Find a local connection to learning, community and care where you can take a class, watch videos and learn a new skill.

The Rise Team

Rise has been fortunate to assemble such a talented, thoughtful and warm-hearted team that is truly motivated and driven by their clients’ successes. Our team is not complete without the inclusion of our hundreds of partners and volunteers who make such work possible. Their collective generosity ensures that our Vision and Mission is delivered daily in our offices, our stores and our community at-large.

Leslie Koppel
Executive Director
Kristen Cere
Director of Development
Julia Badulescu
Rise Pantry Director
Juan Cobos
Rise Pantry Operations Coordinator
Maitiel Jimenez
Senior Case Manager &
Holiday Gift Program Coordinator
Nico Colon
Case Manager
Sanziana Penafiel
Youth Council Director
Valerie Benites
uRise Content Curator
Agueda Concepcion
Case Manager
Monika Jochecova
Digital Store Front Manager
Neziah Hanton
Thrift Store Assistant
Emilio Louis Perez
Thrift Store Assistant
Iohann Moreno
Rise Pantry Assistant
Hernan Plaza
Thrift Store Manager
Jean Desravines
Jade Jaramillo
Case Manager
Will Ostergaard
Rise Thrift Assistant Manager
Jessica Sanabria
Case Manager
Siva Yallapragada
Marketing Coordinator

Our Board

In order to effectively develop a strategic plan to serve our community, our board ensures diverse representation from the local government and business sectors, as well as consumers. The common denominator of our Board’s diversity is their singular determination to affect change in the local community. We find that their collective, worldly knowledge and expertise fits nicely into our own backyard.

Nancy Walker Laudenberger
Board President
Marjorie Gutman
Board Vice President
Susannah Hollister PhD
Board Secretary
Abzal Ayubeally
Board Treasurer
Carlos Fernandez PhD
Board Member
Tom Davidson
Board Member
Kevin Perlmutter
Board Member
John Wuertz
Board Member
Debora Codella
Board Member
Vincent Davis
Board Member
Karin Mitchell
Board Member
Jill S. Westerberg, Esq.
Board Member
Nalini Singh
Board Member
Sanju Soni
Board Member
Maryanne Quinn
Board Member

Join our team and become a champion of hope.