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Orange County Nonprofit Provides Hope, Empowers the Needy – Cerritos Community News


Pictured with a big provide of meals to be donated to shoppers in want is “Sylvia,” a devoted volunteer with Serving to Others to Put together for Eternity (H.O.P.E.), a nonprofit in Backyard Grove that has seen a rise in want with the coronavirus pandemic.

 

By Laurie Hanson • December 11, 2020

Their identify actually spells out H.O.P.E.

Giving each assist and hope to these in want through the pandemic is the Backyard Grove based mostly nonprofit, Serving to Others to Put together for Eternity (H.O.P.E.). They’re empowering shoppers in the direction of self-sufficiency and have carried out so now for greater than 20 years.

“For the previous 23 years it has been my honor to place religion into motion on this blessed journey referred to as H.O.P.E.,” stated Gayle Knight, president/CEO. She based the nonprofit in October 1997 after “being referred to as by God to direct her compassion in the direction of serving to ladies and kids.” She has freely served full time ever since with none private compensation.

And, like Knight, everybody from their Board of Administrators to different volunteers give of their time and sources to make a optimistic impression. There are numerous tales of creating that distinction together with one not too long ago of a person who actually cried with gratitude whereas selecting up groceries for his grandchildren. One other is of a as soon as 9-year-old boy receiving free music classes with them solely to return on the age of 23 as considered one of their music instructors.

Not solely does the nonprofit present rapid help for meals, hygiene and diapers, case administration and advocacy are supplied together with workshops that encourage long run shopper self-sufficiency. Workforce improvement is supplied of their Serving to Girls Succeed Program, and a long-term impression is made of their M&M Youth Mentoring Program. It supplies tutoring, instructional enrichment, arts, music appreciation and free music classes.

“We search to interrupt the multi-generational cycle of poverty by means of our youth mentoring program,” Knight stated.

Although a few of their providers are briefly on maintain, case administration and security checks are nonetheless carried out, however over the telephone. This helps to make sure stability for his or her most susceptible shoppers through the pandemic. The nonprofit has seen a profound impression from COVID-19 for each their shoppers and the group’s operations, in accordance with Knight.

“Even in the very best of occasions, lots of our shoppers struggled to satisfy their most elementary wants like paying lease or utilities and placing meals on the desk,” she defined. “They’re the ‘working poor,’ who’ve been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

“Dad and mom wrestle with the not possible choice of paying lease or feeding their youngsters,” Knight stated. “Moreover, dad and mom who should have some kind of employment should take care of childcare points and helping their youngsters with distant studying. That is particularly troublesome for folks who’re non-native English audio system.”

To satisfy the ever-growing want for meals, H.O.P.E. has expanded their partnership with Second Harvest Meals Financial institution in Orange County. They’ve elevated their weekly efforts to “rescue” nutritious meals from three to eight grocery shops every week. Workers members and volunteers now make 31 weekly pick-ups, in accordance with Knight.

“That is labor intensive work however is important in assembly the demand,” she stated. “It’s effectively value it to see the faces on those that in any other case would go with out. Simply final week, an older gentleman with medical points, who’s elevating his grandchildren, wept upon receiving recent meat and produce by way of H.O.P.E.’s drive-up, pickup line.”

As a service group that has traditionally relied closely on direct shopper contact, H.O.P.E. rapidly realized that new and progressive measures had been wanted to proceed serving the group.

“One innovation was drive-up appointments for meals and primary provide pickups in our again alley,” stated Knight. “[It’s one of the ways] our employees maintains security.”

As soon as meals safety and primary wants are addressed, H.O.P.E. supplies the case administration and workshops essential to extend alternatives for his or her shoppers. Their workshops embody confidence constructing, empowerment, and employment help. Ever for the reason that pandemic’s starting, the general want for his or her providers has elevated considerably, and continues to develop.

“Previous to the onset of the pandemic, we served on common 800 to 900 individuals every month,” Knight stated. “In October alone, we distributed 15 tons of meals, equal to 18,750 meals to 2,200 individuals.”

“The challenges of elevated demand are compounded by many different non-profits and church buildings decreasing or altogether eliminating their providers,” she stated. “However our Board of Administrators by no means thought-about shutting down or decreasing providers.”

H.O.P.E. continues to increase providers thanks long-standing companions just like the Second Harvest Meals Financial institution, Group Motion Partnership and beneficiant help from non-public foundations, companies, church buildings, and particular person donors. Knight spends a lot of her time as of late soliciting donations to maintain their packages and doorways open.

With the assistance of eight Cal State Fullerton interns, the nonprofit continued to not solely meet shopper bodily wants however stored their long-standing dedication to serve the entire individual. The interns developed distant modules for his or her Serving to Girls Succeed Program, for his or her piano and cello classes, and for added instructional enrichment.

“Traditionally, considered one of our most profitable and well-received packages are our free music classes to low-income and at-risk youth,” Knight stated. “The stay-at-home orders and social distancing protocols may have considerably disrupted the music program. Nevertheless, we rapidly switched to digital music classes.”

“By persevering with the teachings, younger individuals are given at the least a small sense of normalcy, whereas pursuing their ardour for music,” she stated. “Furthermore, by providing the digital music classes, we proceed to supply our instructors with revenue.”

Going ahead, H.O.P.E. is carrying on with their mission of, “Turning despair into HOPE.” Their objective is to be probably the most environment friendly and efficient one-stop security internet in all of Orange County, in accordance with Knight.

The group holds to the reality of an previous proverb which says, Give a person a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Train a person methods to fish and also you feed him for a lifetime.”

“Addressing the rapid want is totally important, however it isn’t sufficient,” Knight stated. “If individuals are not supplied with schooling, alternative, and instruments for enchancment, starvation won’t ever be eradicated.”

For extra details about H.O.P.E., please go to on-line at www.hopebiz.org.

 

 

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