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.
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."
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.
|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|
Dr. Rin Receiving the Empathy Amplified AwardClick here to watch .
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.