Skip to content


What do you do when the needs of your community feel complex, interwoven and overwhelming? Or when your area is known for what it lacks versus what it possesses? 

For the people of Jacksonville, Florida, they don’t have to wonder. When food deserts eliminated their access to nutritious meals, and when the impact of racism and generational poverty threatened their community’s future, many were faced with a choice — leave or lift. 

And that’s how our partner LIFT JAX was born. 

In 2017, a group of Jacksonville’s business and community leaders convened to plot a path to eliminate poverty in the city. After extensive study and analysis, they decided to partner with resident leaders to begin work in one neighborhood: Jacksonville’s Eastside. 

The Eastside — “Out East” — is located less than a mile from downtown and is widely considered to be one of Jacksonville’s most important historically African-American neighborhoods. The Eastside was home to noteworthy sites, including Brewster Hospital, the first hospital for African-Americans in the city, and Mother Midway A.M.E. Church which, organized in 1865, is the oldest A.M.E. congregation in Florida.

By focusing on one single neighborhood, LIFT JAX is able to deepen its efforts. Their areas of impact include:

  • Restoring a historic general store into a community wellness anchor that provides easy access to healthy food.
  • Activating parks and green spaces by improving the infrastructure so they can better support activities for families.
  • Supporting STEM programming through the education pipeline by turning Long Branch Elementary and Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School into STEM Pathway Schools.
  • Building new single-family homes to attract new (and returning) residents to the Eastside. 

No single organization can address complex challenges such as poverty and racial inequity alone. 

Which is why, thanks to YOU, Together Rising has invested $25,000 to ensure this historic community has an even brighter future through the efforts of this incredible organization, LIFT JAX. 

Together, we can make a real difference. One community at a time.  

Photos provided by LIFT JAX