How can we make a difference for the homeless and needy in our community? The Community Hope Center(CHC) in Cottage Hills has been exploring and demonstrating possibilities for several years now, and their efforts and successes continue to grow with the help of community volunteers.
• The Community Hope Center has been open for nearly 27 years, providing a food pantry and clothing closet to the needy in the area.
• Soup for the Soul, which operates in CHC’s Hospitality Building, serves up lunch & fellowship three days a week, with menus donated & prepared by local volunteers.
• Now in its third year, the Garden of Hope, located on the grounds of CHC, is blessing the pantry and the Soup program with fresh nutritious vegetables.
• Adopt a Night of Hope is an exciting program that hosts homeless people through a partnership with Room at the Inn(www.roomstl.org), to transport them, feed them & house them overnight at CHC, then return them to Room at the Inn in Bridgeton the following morning.
Here’s how it breaks down by numbers:
• Denise Ukena, assistant director at CHC, estimates that the pantry, lunch program and clothing ministry served approximately 7000 individuals in 2014. Individuals may visit the pantry every two weeks, and the lunch program daily.
• On a recent(average) summer day, the pantry & clothing ministry served 56 households, with an average of three persons per household.
• Approximately 50 volunteers DAILY make this all possible, sorting clothing, preparing meals, receiving food donations, and cleaning the facility. (CHC has only three paid staff members)
How can you help this great work? ALL KINDS of skills and donations are needed. Individuals or groups can volunteer on an occasional basis, or make a commitment to serve more regularly.
Currently the Adopt a Night of Hope program is only operating 3-4 nights per month, but could do more if local groups could provide staffing. Room at the Inn provides training & support for volunteers, and its clients are very appreciative of the clean & pleasant facilities at CHC. Frank Sparks, pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in East Alton, says his church enjoys their participation in the Adopt a Night of Hope program(now entering their fourth year), and that they have a regular group of 9-10 people who are “very committed” to the program. They host a Night of Hope once a month at CHC, transporting & hosting about 10-12 people for the night, and they have found it to be a blessing to the volunteers as well as the clients.
Do you have a heart for missions? Contact CHC to find out how you can serve or donate.
618-259-0959 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Make a commitment of your time, money and/or prayers to make life better for someone else.