Bill is a frequent visitor to Hope House, although he seldom accesses the services. What he likes about being there is a sense of community, of someone to talk to, of being useful to someone. He likes to empty our garbage, break down our cardboard and help those dropping off donations carry them in.
Don, who I have written about before on this site, is now an official volunteer. He helps us get ready to open in the morning, setting out coffee and cookies, stocking the food shelves, and making sure there are bags and baskets ready for our clients to use.
Sally is not a client at Hope House, but she is a frequent visitor also. She drops off wonderful donations, big and small. Sometimes it is a bag of canned goods or socks, sometimes a winter coat she talked her neighbor out of! She is a proud supporter of all we do.
Everyone who comes to Hope House has a reason for being there. Some need our services, some need to feel useful, some need to feel they are living out their faith. Many are there for the sense of belonging; of comfort that someone knows their name, their story, and their needs. We are hoping, in our planning for a remodel, to increase the size of the waiting area to make it useful for activities after hours. Whether that is support groups, flu shot clinics, tax help, or parish meetings, it is all part of creating “community”. Hope House is a community of those who care about each other and their neighbors.
This last week, a gentleman came in for the first time—his daughter brought him, she is a client herself. For the first time in his life he had to ask for help and he was very upset about it. He literally would not look up at me. As I explained to him, we are a community, we are in this bad economic time together and we will make it through if we help each other.
Sharing, participation, and fellowship define a community. Come join the community at Hope House!