Philabundance is proud to partner with over 500 agencies across the Delaware Valley. The ever-evolving network of agencies and direct neighborhood distribution programs has enabled Philabundance to address the complex factors of food insecurity by distributing more emergency food into the hands of our neighbors who need it most. Veronica shares how Philabundance helped during difficult times, and how she was able to pay it forward within her community.
Veronica Underwood has traveled the world, singing with artists like Celine Dion and Patti Labelle. She once held a record deal with Atlantic Records and you can even buy her songs on iTunes.
The single mother of two works with the University of Pennsylvania at the Life Center for the Elderly in the recreation department providing music therapy, arts and crafts and open discussion for the elderly as well as assisting the chaplain. Veronica is also planning to open her own music school, so she can teach her students in a classroom, and not out of her Philadelphia home. Not very many people have had such exciting experiences in their lifetime!
Veronica has also been a Philabundance client. As a teacher and a mother, she works very hard but it can sometimes be challenging to meet all financial obligations.
A career in music started for Veronica at the age of 12, shortly after her mother passed away. Veronica and her siblings took to the streets of Philadelphia, singing to support the family. “A lot of things didn’t happen for us because we were parentless,” Veronica said. But she pursued her passion in music until she had her first son.
Once Veronica gave birth to her first child she decided to take time off from the music industry to spend more time with her son. She would pick up a singing gig here and there to make ends meet, but things got bad in between jobs, Veronica recalled. With the help of family and neighbors, she learned of the food cupboard at her local church, Christ our Redeemer.
Although Veronica needed the assistance, she did not want to feel like she was getting a “hand out”. So, to give back, Veronica volunteers at the food cupboard stocking shelves and assisting other clients and also offers free voice lessons to the communities of Philadelphia, Delaware and New Jersey. She has even taken in children that were in need.
“Thank God there is a program like Philabundance for the people who really need it. It’s a ‘hand up’. It provided stability for me and now I can stand. And now, I donate.”