emergency assistance to those in crisis
The following news articles and picture are reprinted with special permission from The Lancaster News. We thank them for allowing us to add them to our website.
HOPE staff truly care about helping
June 1, 2012
My name is Gloria D. Wylie and I am the property manager for Miller Grove Apartments. I have been in the apartment management business for more than 20 years.
Never have I encountered a program that shows so much love and concern to the community than HOPE of Lancaster Inc. The title of this organization fits it well, because thanks to those involved with HOPE, there are children all over the county that will not go to bed hungry tonight because HOPE of Lancaster has given them just that – hope.
The love and care they have shown my residents has been a blessing. There are many families here who would have otherwise been homeless had it not been for this organization.
There are two young ladies there, Elaine Adkins, executive director, and Rhonda Hare, client services, who deserve to be recognized. You will see these two ladies both helping in any way they can, even though they carry the titles that they do. I have had resident after resident tell me how kind and understanding these ladies are.
I have not had the pleasure of ever talking with Kenneth Hudson, board chairman, but I have heard great things about him as well.
I just hope he and the rest of the board members realize how hard the above-named ladies work for this county. There are many sick and elderly that this program has aided.
I, for one, am so grateful for all that this organization has done for Lancaster County. I have so much appreciation for the many volunteers who take time out of such a busy world to help others.
I know that most people don’t believe in angels, but I think there are quite a few out at HOPE; they just have their wings hidden.
Gloria D. Wylie
County Council waives HOPE’s rent
By Chris Sardelli December 2, 2011
It may only be $255 a month, but Elaine Adkins is grateful for every penny.
Adkins, executive director of HOPE in Lancaster, smiled as Lancaster County Council voted unanimously Monday night to waive rent payments for her organization. The vote was 6-0, as Council Chairwoman Kathy Sistare recused herself.
HOPE seeing record demand
By Jenny Arnold
HOPE in Lancaster broke all of its previous records Friday.
Seventy-one families came through the doors, looking for a variety of assistance from the nonprofit agency that offers a variety of help to people in need, including help paying mortgages and utility bills and assistance putting food on the table.
Of those 71 families, 38 had never sought help from HOPE in its 26 years of existence, said director Elaine Adkins.
“There’s been a lot of heartbreak today,” Adkins said.
Those seeking help lined up outside HOPE’s doors as early as 7:30 a.m. Friday, an hour before the agency opens.
On some recent days, HOPE has had to close its doors after only an hour after opening due to high demand.
“We’re seeing more need than we’ve ever seen,” Adkins said.
HOPE is helping coordinate a stop on Saturday from Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, sponsored by Feed the Children of Oklahoma City, Okla.
HOPE is also coordinating the effort with STAR Touring and Riding Association Lancaster Chapter 396, a local motorcycle group.
Boxes of food and personal-care items will be distributed to residents of Lancaster and Chester counties during the stop.
The distribution begins at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Springs Global Grace Complex parking area at 119 Grace Ave., Lancaster.
Residents wishing to qualify for aid must be pre-qualified. They will receive vouchers to be used on the day of the distribution.
Heath Springs and Kershaw residents should apply at the Department of Social Services office, 3855 Fork Hill Road, Kershaw, Monday through Friday of this week.
Other Lancaster County residents should apply at the HOPE office, 721 E. Arch St., between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m., Monday through Friday.
Great Falls residents can register at the Avant Garde Center for the Arts, 621 Dearborn St., on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until noon; Sept. 15, from 3 to 6 p.m.; and Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.
Fort Lawn residents can register at the Fort Lawn Community Center on Monday from 9 a.m. until noon.
Other Chester County residents may register at the Department of Social Services, 115 Reedy St.
To register, bring a picture identification and proof of income for all members of the family.
Founded in 1979 by Larry and Frances Jones, Feed The Children is one of the 10 largest international charities in the United States based on private, non-government support. Feed The Children is a Christian, international, nonprofit relief organization that delivers food, medicine, clothing and other necessities to individuals and families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty or natural disasters.
In 2008, Feed The Children distributed more than 133 million pounds of food and other essentials to children and their families in all 50 states and internationally, supplementing more than 760,000 meals each day.
Since its founding, the organization has helped people in 118 countries.
The organization came to Lancaster last fall with one food truck for Lancaster County residents only.
This year it’s a much larger effort, covering both Lancaster and Chester counties. Each family will get a box of about a week’s worth of food, and a second box of paper and personal hygiene products.
About 2,750 food vouchers have been distributed by HOPE so far, Adkins said.
The charity expects 4,000 families to show up for assistance on Saturday.
Adkins said many families are coming to the HOPE office to fill out forms for vouchers for Saturday’s event.
Many of these families haven’t heard about HOPE and the assistance it gives with other needs, such as utility or mortgage payments.
Adkins said more residents will be helped because of the Feed the Children event.
“We’ve been able to help some new people and that’s been a wonderful thing,” Adkins said.
A film crew will be documenting the event, and will be interviewing residents, business owners and other Lancaster residents about the needs here all this week.
For details about Feed the Children, visit www.feedthechildren.org.
YouthBuild to help HOPE expand its building
By Christopher Sardelli
January 21, 2009
HOPE in Lancaster, a charitable organization known for helping Lancaster County’s needy, will soon receive some assistance of its own.
YouthBuild, a youth program that helps low-income students learn job skills through construction projects, has agreed to build an addition to HOPE’s headquarters at 2008 Pageland Highway.
The program recently received a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor that allocated $70,000 towards the construction of a new building or renovation of an existing building for a nonprofit agency in the area.
HOPE, which stands for Helping Other People Effectively, assists county residents with food.
Elaine Adkins, executive director of HOPE, said HOPE’s operations were quickly outgrowing its building and they were considering plans to expand. After discussions between the two organizations, members of YouthBuild realized that HOPE needed their help.
“We’re so short on space out here it’s awful,” Adkins said. “This will make it so much easier for us and we’re so excited. It will be a wonderful addition for us and we’re looking forward to it.”
The addition to the building will include two offices, a food room and a storage room.
One of the planned rooms will have space for several refrigerators, shelving for food donations and a place where food orders can be assembled.
Max Melton, executive director of Communities in Schools and manager of YouthBuild, said construction of the addition should begin within the next two weeks.
“HOPE always does really good work. With the current economic situation we’re in, the services they provide are seriously needed by a lot of people in the community,” Melton said. “There’s no better organization to try and assist and for our young people to help with.”
YouthBuild is a training program for young people between the ages of 17 and 24 who have not completed their high school education.
A national program, YouthBuild has operated in Lancaster County for the last six years under the direction of Communities in Schools and received its first funding as part of a literacy initiative by the J. Marion Sims Foundation. Through the program, students earn their GED and also receive job training at the same time.
Students are enrolled in January and July each year, and at least 25 students are expected to enroll this month. The majority of students attend the program for one year. Through the program, students receive training in several areas, such as job site safety, carpentry and electrical and plumbing skills.
When working on construction projects, students are supervised by the program’s project director, who is also a licensed contractor. There is also a construction trainer on site.
Because this is a training program and work will likely move slower than a regular construction project, Melton said there is no expected end date for the project.
Adkins is excited about the project and is pleased it can help the youth in Lancaster County.
“It’s really great because the kids themselves will come and do physical work on the building,” Adkins said. “It’s also great because they learn a trade.”
HOPE picks up Christmas Basket drive
By Christopher Sardelli
When Elaine Adkins heard there would be no Christmas Basket fund this year, she was spurred into action.
Adkins, executive director of HOPE in Lancaster, became worried when she learned the annual Ward Faulkenberry Memorial Christmas Basket fund would not be run.
The local chapter of the American Red Cross, which sponsored the fund during the past five years, recently announced it would not sponsor the drive this year.
Concerned that local families could go hungry without it, Adkins brought the issue to the attention of HOPE’s board of directors and they unanimously decided to take the project on.
HOPE plans to start taking donations immediately.
“We’re definitely ready to start it,” Adkins said. “The board all had the same opinion, that they did not want it to disappear. It’s such a worthwhile endeavor that Mr. Faulkenberry created.”
The fund was named after the late Ward Faulkenberry, a former athletics officer and commander of American Legion Post No. 31. He founded the fund 49 years ago.
The fund is an annual drive that helps local families during the holidays. The local chapter of the American Red Cross used to collect money for the fund and then distribute it to Christian Services, the Lancaster County Department of Social
Services and the Lancaster County Council on Aging. The money was used to buy $25 food vouchers or gift cards that were given to families to use at local grocery stores. Last year, the fund raised more than $7,000 in six weeks.
Gina Amato, director of the Lancaster affiliate of the Red Cross, said her organization no longer has any bank accounts in Lancaster. So they no longer have the means to collect money for the fund.
HOPE’s board will meet Monday to discuss the details of organizing and maintaining the Christmas Basket. HOPE plans to set up a separate checking account for the fund.
Adkins said it is important not to let the fund “slip away,” especially during the holidays in a year when the economy has been in such a downturn.
“We know what it takes and how to make it happen,” Adkins said. “We really want to do it.”
Several churches, including Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Indian Land, also expressed interest in taking on the drive.
To donate to the fund, make checks out to Christmas Basket Fund, and send to Christmas Basket Fund, P.O. Box 166 Lancaster, SC 29721; or drop donations off at the The Lancaster News, 701 N. White St., Lancaster, SC 29721.
Donations will be accepted through Dec. 24. For details, call 286-4673.