I live in a major city in an under-served community. There are people from all economic backgrounds and levels of education. The problem is we have hundreds of vacant houses, vacant lots, schools that are beginning to improve and people who because of their income have given up hope of moving up or moving out. We have now selected a developer to rehab homes that will be for sale. These houses will first be offered to people in the community wanting to buy a home and remain in the community before they are to be sold to anyone else. There are plans to start providing them help with their credit by the first of next year.
Since April of this year, I have been working with the Police Department and a collaboration of ministers and a few community members to bring the Day of Hope to our side of town. A police commander on the other side of town said we have all these churches who take from the community and never give back. He called a meeting with community leaders and the ministers of the churches and the Day of Hope was born.
The idea is to bring hope to people who seem to have lost all forms of hope by providing services that will benefit them. From April to last night it appeared the Day of Hope was totally hopeless. It was hard to get the ministers to get on the same page. This morning I was not going to participate until our Community Relations Sgt. sent me a text message asking if I was coming. I said no. Finally after several text between us I agreed to come and he sent an officer to get me.
I arrived at the field and it was a chaos of disorganization. I was frustrated until I said. You have all been praying why not pray that everyone focus on the task at hand and at least have a semblance of order. By 12:30 everything was in place and we opened the gates.
It is said that if you build it they will come. People came on crutches, in wheelchairs, on scooters and by foot. There were single moms and dads, husbands and wives with their children as well as mixed families of grandparent with their adult children and grandchildren in the same household. There was fresh produce and some canned goods for those needing food, employment information, housing assistance, energy assistance, legal advice, private and group prayer service, kids played on moon bounces, while others lined up for health screenings. We provided hope and prayer to over 1700 people in 4 hours. The longest line was for diabetes and cholesterol screenings. People thanked us and asked for additional help. We are going to plan next years event.
People came with hope and left satisfied. The hope of getting help with gas and electric, canned goods, fresh fruit and veggies, getting free hair cuts for the kids first day of school, how to find adequate housing for the family, how to write a resume and were to find a job or job training, how to keep a baby and children healthy is no longer just a hope. Today it became a reality. Those who signed in with worry left with smiles. Those who had lost hope found hope. Those who thought no one cared found that people cared about them as a person.
I don't complain about what I don't have because I know there are people on my block and community with both more and less than I have. I don't complain about being ill, not when I signed in a lady who had a stroke and struggled every step of the way to get to that field today because she needed help with food and energy assistance. A volunteer took her home. I don't complain about my house needing a new roof when a man with no roof came to find out about finding a place to live.
Today we came together as one and treated those in need as VIP's. They were guest of the churches, community and the police department and everyone left with a better opinion of their community, the churches in the community and the Officers who patrol our streets.
No matter what you may be going through, with hope it makes the road you travel much easier. I know that tonight someone isn't worrying about food for tomorrow, about finding a job or keeping their gas and electric on. When a person loses hope, I am so proud to say, we found a way to give hope to the people in this community. When you help people you know are in need without asking for anything in return help comes back to you and hope is never lost.
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