MLK Day 2017: Neighbors Helping Neighbors

  • By Hope Worldwide
  • 24 Jan, 2017

January 18, 2017 - This past weekend, HOPE  worldwide  USA Chapters followed Dr. King’s example by identifying needs in their communities and taking action. Volunteers of all ages stepped up to meet the specific needs across the nation.

Communities Take Notice

Good news about this year's MLK Day of Service is still streaming in, but the HOPE ww  Chapter efforts did not go unnoticed. HOPE ww  Denver Chapter volunteers served more than 1,000 hours in 10 different service events. When 75 Denver campus students mobilized to help the city of Lyons, CO recover from a recent disaster, one of the town council members commented, They [the Denver campus volunteers] have accomplished more work in one day than was accomplished in the last month.

Across the nation in Orlando, 600 volunteers rallied to collect 8,000 pounds of dried and canned goods in just one day for a food bank in Central Florida. Their accomplishment even made local television news. The food bank was reported as saying, " It's the most a volunteer group has donated in a single day."

"Everybody Can Be Great...Because Anybody Can Serve"

The Denver Hope Scouts, a HOPE ww  volunteer group for elementary and middle school children, created cards for the patients at a local VA hospital. Many included Bible verses. One eight-year old Hope Scout did not anticipate the big reaction his small card would have on the man who received it. As the elderly veteran read the card's verse, he wept - “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”(Isaiah 41:13) . Through his tears, he told the young volunteer, “God is talking directly to me through your card. I was reading and meditating on this scripture just this morning.” This small act beautifully illustrates the famous quote by Dr. King: “Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.”

HOPE worldwide  USA is grateful for our volunteers and the multitude of ways they united in service in remembrance of Dr. King.

MLK Day of Service - A Few Highlights From Our Chapters...

Bakersfield (CA) Fed the hungry at a local park
Baltimore (MD) Community clean-up; refugee, elderly & handicapped outreach
Boston (MA) Distributed food and clothing to homeless in downtown area; cleaned and stocked shelves at the Merrimack Valley Food Pantry; entertained children residing at a local women's shelter; conducted blood drives
Central Valley - Fresno (CA) Canvassed for Red Cross fire prevention
Denver (CO) Held feeding events for the homeless; hosted carnivals for children in foster care; conducted disaster response; visited VA hospital; cared for members of their church; packed medical supplies for clinics in underdeveloped countries
Grand Strand (SC) Held a singing devotional at an assisted living facility
Greater Philadelphia (PA) Distributed fire prevention materials; installed smoke alarms; held school supply drive
Jacksonville (FL) Partnered with HandsOn Jacksonville
Los Angeles - Orange County (CA) Packed boxes at OC Food Bank; cleaned a homeless shelter and park; conducted several feeding activities for the hungry; distributed food and toiletry supplies; landscaped an equine therapy center for disabled veterans; conducted food drive; distributed care packages and cleaned up Cabrillo Beach
Metro Atlanta (GA) Hosted a time of fellowship with residents at a local personal and memory care facility
Minneapolis (MN) Partnered with Feed My Starving Children to donate and pack meals for homeless shelters; fellowshipped at assisted living and nursing homes; packed care packages for the homeless; wrote thank you notes to members of the armed forces; volunteered at a thrift store for the needy
New London County (CT) Canvassed for home fire prevention
Northern Virginia Conducted activities at local senior center and food pantry
Oahu (HI) Beautification efforts at two elementary schools
Orlando (FL) Conducted food drive
Phoenix (AZ) Canvassed for fire prevention and installed smoke detectors
Rio Grande (TX) Conducted a health fair
Roanoke Valley (VA) Canvassed for fire prevention
Seattle (WA) Visited residents at local assisted living facility; community beautification; served local food bank
Tallahassee (FL) Partnered with the American Red Cross to install smoke alarms
Toledo (OH) Served food to the homeless

Want to get involved? Find a HOPEww Chapter near you!

By Sihanouk Hospital Center of Hope 22 Jun, 2017
Dr. Phavarine Menh, a member of the Phnom Penh Church of Christ and a HOPE worldwide physician in Cambodia since 1998, recently inspired an international audience at the Cleveland Convention Center in Cleveland, Ohio as she became the first international recipient of the “Empathy Amplified” award for compassion and empathy in medical care.

The occasion was the 8th annual conference entitled “Patient Experience: Empathy and Innovation” and was hosted by the renowned Cleveland Clinic (ranked the #2 Hospital in the United States by U.S. News and World Report). The “Empathy Amplified” award goes to only one recipient each year and “Dr. Rin,” as she is affectionately known, became the first ever international awardee.

Overcoming the Odds
Growing up during the reign of the Khmer Rouge, Dr. Rin like so many of her colleagues lost immediate family members and suffered a traumatic childhood with a severe disruption in her education. Despite major obstacles, in 1992 she completed her medical education in Russia and joined the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE staff in 1998. She is well known for her humility, compassion and love for the poor. Her nomination was a surprise, and unknown to her until she received the congratulatory letter from the Cleveland Clinic.

In nominating her, Maricel Manoza, a member of the SHCH finance staff, whose father suffered a stroke and was treated by Dr. Rin, noted her ability to “ understand our fears and motivations and make us feel safe. She restored our hope to a place we thought would never exist ”.

Dr. Rin stated, “It is my privilege to treat sick people, to help them have a better life and restore them to their beloved families.” She praised the culture of “kindness, compassion, integrity and respect” that has long been the hallmark of the Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE and praised her colleagues whom she felt were equally deserving of the award. She concluded by saying, “Every day I get to go home from work knowing that I made a difference, that I was able to help change a life, change a family, change a nation…one at a time.”

Dr. Rin Receiving the Empathy Amplified Award

Click here to watch .

A Timely Challenge
She received a standing ovation by over 2,000 attendees as she walked off the stage. Her message is a timely one for all those who heal the sick. In her gentle way, without even knowing it, Dr. Rin laid down a challenge for us all: to rise above our obstacles and make this world a better place through empathy and compassionate service.

To help support the compassionate work of Dr. Rin and many others serving alongside her in Phnom Penh, make a gift today, change a life tomorrow.  
By Hope Worldwide 11 Apr, 2017
Susan Correa, a fashion entrepreneur in New York City has launched a clothing line and committed a portion of the proceeds from every garment sold to support HOPE ww  Children’s Nutritional Optimization Program in Central America. At HOPE  worldwide , our volunteers, donors and business partners are as unique and diverse as the families we serve. We are blessed to have passionate people engaging in many powerful ways. Susan Correa, fashion entrepreneur, philanthropist and member of the New York City Church of Christ, is shaking up the children's fashion industry with a sustainable business model and a compassionate bottom line.

In 2014, in an effort to make a better business model, Susan launched “Empower”, a school lunch program for undernourished children in India. For every purchase from her cooper & ella clothing line, Susan committed to provide a hot, nutritious meal. What started as a simple act of compassion ended up as a contribution of 186,000 meals for children attending a school operated by HOPE  foundation  India. Like most successful entrepreneurs, this was only the first step in her passionate mission to do business better.

In January 2017, Susan launched her new fashion line, art & eden. This new children's clothing line is the result of a two-year process for Susan as she followed her dream to create clothing that is better for the planet, better for the people who make them and better for the people who wear them. This time, a portion of every garment sold will benefit HOPE ww’s  Children’s Nutritional Optimization Program in Central America.

As a part of the HOPE  worldwide  Community Service Brigades, the Nutritional Optimization Program will help children with health challenges feel better, focus better and develop better during their most formative years. Susan’s business has committed to donate 7,000 doses of albendazole to cure 3,500 kids from stomach parasites and 1 million multivitamins to help kids rebuild and maintain health. Improved nutrition gives each child the opportunity to reach their full potential height experience healthy physical brain development and fully mature in their emotional and mental health.

We are so proud to have business partners like Susan as we work together to serve those in need. The fashion industry is taking note of this inspiring social enterprise. Susan’s line and our partnership have been featured on the cover of Smallish Magazine as well as covered by Redbook Magazine, fashion blogs and other industry publications ( ). 

PARTNER WITH US! To learn more, please email
By Hope Worldwide 10 Apr, 2017
By Hope Worldwide 10 Apr, 2017

Jenny Harkabus spent Christmas serving in the Philippines. She wrote this, and also made a short video:

I did not imagine that I would be spending Christmas in the Philippines for my first HOPE Youth Corps experience. This opportunity has deeply changed my perspective on the importance of service in my daily walk.

We are created in God's image, therefore we are meant to help and serve others. I know this to be true because I have never felt so used by God and fulfilled, than the times spent serving and pouring out my love in the Philippines.

James 1:27 says, " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Some translations refer to this as true religion. The bible also stresses the importance of giving to the poor (1 John 3:17, Matt 9:21, Proverbs 14:31). God considers caring for the poor and orphans as true religion, yet this can be an area of faith that is overlooked.

I was privileged to spend time with girls who have experienced trauma and abuse at the HOPE worldwide center in Laguna. Many of these girls have been separated from their families, becoming orphans, as a result of the abuse they have experienced. I also received the opportunity to play with children within the community as we rebuilt their homes and provided them with medical care. I witnessed the children’s precious value for human relationships, as they clung to me emotionally and physically. They showed me instant love and respect, which I find to be rare in today’s society. Our focus should be about investing in others just as the children in the Philippines invested in me.

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