Run For HOPE 5K: A Volunteer's Perspective

One of our littlest (and cutest) HOPE supporters with her game face on!

As a first time volunteer for HOPE and their annual 5K event, I didn’t really have any idea of what to expect from the event. I figured the event seemed straightforward enough. A 5K race on a trail in Arlington and all that is expected of me is to hold some signs up and cheer the runners on. Simple enough, right?

Well, as I discovered, this event, this organization, and this experience was anything but simple. While on the surface it appeared that was all I was asked to do, it felt like so much more. When I arrived, I looked at the sign that was given to me, and it read, “67% of ‘at-risk’ children could not identify a single positive relationship in their life.” This was made to show the runners that their support of this organization was making a difference through their indirect support of one of HOPE’s programs that provides mentors for “at-risk” local children in Arlington. When I read that statistic, I was shocked at just how many children could not find positive influences in their life to guide them and encourage them to reach their full potential. I immediately thought to my own life and thought of where I would be were it not for the great role models I had in my own life, including my parents and others. 

And while that was both disheartening and enlightening, when I turned the sign to the other side as the runners started their run back to the finish line, I found the other side had a message of encouragement and hope to the runners. It said, “You can be the hope that a child needs to succeed.” How cool is that!? As the runners stated their race, a sign to remind them why they were running and who they were running for. And on their way back, a note of encouragement to finish strong because they were the “hope that a child needs.” I was so inspired and touched by that message and I felt like in a very small way, I was able to contribute to that same cause.

So I want to thank HOPE for giving me that opportunity to participate in this awesome event for this awesome cause and amazing organization. Hopefully, in the future, I can continue to be involved with them and I encourage everyone who reads this to volunteer with them in any capacity so together we become the “hope that a child needs to succeed.”

A Greater Chapter

As we conclude and celebrate the completion of 3 years at the HOPE Association, it almost feels like a graduation, or commencement, of sorts. And commencement maybe the most appropriate word to use as we re-launch our new and improved website and move into the next chapter of this organization. Because here at the HOPE Association, we believe this is the beginning, or commencement, of a greater chapter with a future that is more promising with every passing day. Just this past year, we’ve increased our local service programs from 2 to 4 programs, giving more children in need in the DC area hope and support in the various needs of our local community. This past summer, we extended our reach for children in need by creating a leadership in service trip abroad to visit the one of the poorest slums of Cairo, Egypt, taking 15 leaders there to serve with orphans and children in the Garbage City of Cairo to experience firsthand servant leadership.

Also domestically, we added another site for our renowned leadership conference, Momentum, to be held annually in the LA area, as well as a brand new 1 day leadership summit in the LA area as a prelude to the 3 day conference event. And finally, we hired our first full-time staff member this past month as Executive Director to further the work that HOPE is doing and create more opportunities to “meet people’s greatest needs using people greatest passions.”

So for all of those reasons, and so many more, we are so excited at this next phase of the organization and can’t wait to see where the road ahead will lead. And what better way to highlight all those great accomplishments and plans than with a brand new design for our website?

 On the site, you’ll find plenty of information about the organization, its beginnings, the mission and vision, structure of the organization, and so much more. You’ll also find information on all our local community service programs and events, including our Project Playtime program, HOPE Mentor program, and the Love Your City day, as well as information on how to get involved and serve with us. You’ll also find the latest information on all our leadership events, including Momentum and where to register for our conference. Finally, you’ll be able to stay up to date on everything regarding the organization through our upcoming calendar, as well as social media feeds.

We encourage everyone to take a spin around the site and if you have any feedback or comments, reach out to us on social media or email us at info@thehopeassociation.org. We’d like to give a special thanks to Julianne Youssef, Creative Director of Johara Studio, for all her help and effort in designing this great website for us.

Thank you again to the many supporters, volunteers, and donors that are regularly carrying out the mission and vision of the HOPE Association. We are eternally grateful for your support and we believe that the beauty of our organization is not in the accomplishments, programs, and events that we put on but rather in the hands and feet that carry out those initiatives and the hearts that yearn to give HOPE to those in need.