This blog post was written by Giving Children Hope’s Executive Director, Sean Lawrence.
2018 marks the 25th year of Giving Children Hope serving vulnerable families both across the street and around the world! During this time, we have responded to hundreds of disasters around the globe through the sending of thousands of shipping containers filled with food, medical resources, and basic need items, bringing relief to tens of thousands of people in crisis. Giving Children Hope’s service to our local communities has continued to grow over the past ten years as well. To date, over 25,000 at-risk children have received weekly backpacks filled with nutritious food through our We’ve Got Your Back program!
While these numbers are huge, each of them represents a person in crisis who Giving Children Hope was able to help write a better ending to their story!
I’d like to share with you two stories Giving Children Hope was invited into this year. One of them is a young woman named Jennifer, who I met in Houston, Texas just days after Hurricane Harvey destroyed her home. Jennifer had just moved to Houston a little over a month before Harvey hit, to care for her dying mother. Her mother passed away shortly after her arrival in Houston, leaving Jennifer and her three young children with no family or friends in the city.
We met Jennifer while passing out hot meals to families in an apartment complex that had been flooded by Harvey. Jennifer asked if it would okay to get a meal for her and her children to share. We gladly gave them all a hot meal, as well as several days’ worth of non-perishable food and hygiene products, such as diapers. We were also able to share her story with our ground partner in Houston who contacted Jennifer and located a safe place for her and her children to stay!
Me and Jennifer in Houston, Texas directly following Hurricane Harvey
Another memorable story we recently heard was Jasmine’s. Last month, Jasmine and several of her college classmates volunteered at Giving Children Hope and when they left, she shared this incredible story.When Jasmine was in the third grade, her father worked hard as a gardener, but his salary was barely enough to put food on the table. During this time, Jasmine’s family began to receive a weekly backpack of food from Giving Children Hope, through our We’ve Got Your Back program. For Jasmine and her siblings, having enough to eat meant better learning and more opportunities for them to further their education. This past year, Jasmine graduated from high school with a 4.6 GPA and a full scholarship to California State University, Fullerton’s College of Business & Economics program. What a blessing it was to have her return to Giving Children Hope as a volunteer to help distribute food. “Thank you,” shared Jasmine. “Because of Giving Children Hope, my family was able to save money and get back on our feet.”
Jasmine and her classmates volunteering at Giving Children Hope. She is 3rd from the right.
Your financial support has brought hope to so many families across the street and around the world. Across the street, families just like Jasmine’s have received weekly backpacks full of nutritious food. Around the world, communities affected by disasters or crises, such as Hurricane Harvey, the Mexico earthquake, and the Syrian refugee crisis, continue to receive life-saving resources.
Giving Children Hope wants to kick off our 25th year by inviting you to join us to deliver hope all throughout 2018. We believe the gift of hope should be given all year long, so each dollar raised will help us continue to respond to families like Jennifer’s and Jasmine’s. Will you join us in helping write a better ending to their stories? Join us at www.givingchildrenhope.org/giftofhope.
Sean Lawrence, Executive Director