In 2008 HOPE Helps, Inc., an array of faith groups in Seminole County joined forces to create HOPE’s Interfaith Coalition, a grassroots initiative that cooperatively and compassionately addresses poverty, hunger and homelessness in our community. The coalition provides volunteers, coordinates food and clothing drives and provides financial support for individuals and families in crisis. But more important, we proactively deal with the underlying causes of the problems that families in our region face. Our objective is to bring positive change to our community by listening carefully, thinking outside the box, developing viable solutions and acting intentionally. As an Interfaith Coalition, we set aside theological differences and unitedly focus on the pressing challenges that face us.
| Main room at Christmas in the City at
University Carillon United Methodist Church
|Faithdome Prayer Station at Christmas in the City|
HOPE and the faith groups across Seminole County share a common goal: to serve those in need. But no single partner in the Interfaith Coalition can do all that needs to be done. Working together, however, the range of needs can be met more completely and more efficiently. In some instances, professional case-management services are required to assist clients with financial or job-search needs. Faith groups can refer such cases to HOPE. Faith groups can also provide vouchers to individuals or families in need, which can be used at HOPE’s Community Thrift Store. In turn, Hope’s case managers can provide feedback to each faith group, letting them know about client progress and how the group can continue to be of help.
|Most Precious Blood Catholic Church hosts HOPE's truck for a food drive||Volunteers from St. Luke's Lutheran Church pack Kids of HOPE lunch bags at HOPE's Food Pantry|
Through bulletins and e-newsletters, the various faith groups in the Interfaith Coalition can disseminate information about HOPE’s outreach events. They can recruit activity leaders and the volunteers who work in HOPE’s Food Pantry and Thrift Store. Faith groups can host HOPE’s Donation Truck, parking it at their facility overnight and coordinating the collection of much-needed food and clothing--which benefits those in need right here in our own community. (Check HOPE’s calendar for a date that’s convenient for you and your group.)
|Volunteers from the Oviedo ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints help at HOPE's Community Garden at the First United Methodist Church of Oviedo||HOPE's Community Garden at St. Alban's Anglican Cathedral being watered shortly after sunrise|
We look forward to your participation in HOPE’s Interfaith Coalition. Any time you’d like to visit HOPE and learn more, please contact us at 407-366-3422. If you know of an individual or family in need, inform us at Resources@hopehelps.org. For upcoming event information, go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Pastor Arp leads volunteers in a prayer before the start of HOPE's Back to School Bash at St. Luke's Lutheran Church|
"I became involved with HOPE Helps Inc. through ministering in Public Affairs with my Church. I seek opportunities for our members to serve the poor and needy in their communities. In a day when needs of the poor seem to be infinite and charitable resources finite, I believe the work of helping the poor must be driven by two principles in order to be effective: True charity and good stewardship. HOPE emulates both.
HOPE assists families in crisis with the Truest of charity; they seek to restore peoples’ self-reliance. With intensive case management, H.O.P.E. works on the root causes and empowers their clients to overcome them and thus regain personal independence, industry, thrift and dignity.
HOPE is a good steward of the time, talents and capital of its donors and volunteers. They ensure clients' appropriate use of resources. And by forming the Interfaith Coalition, redundant efforts are eliminated and strength attained through unity.
My one concern is HOPE’S limited and cramped current location. Though miraculous what they have accomplished in such a space, the reality is the swelling ranks of the poor and needy are beyond HOPE’s facilities. Such a precious organization needs a larger home!"
- a Coalition member.