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WHAT
WE DO

PROGRAMS & OUTREACH.

 

Day of Hope

The Day of Hope is the signature event and program across Hope for Worcester’s history serving in Worcester County. Each year on one day we serve the community in LOVE by providing: FREE community resources, food, ice cream, family and kid's games, prizes, bouncy houses, clothes, groceries, haircuts, and much MORE! 

 

In 2021, Day of Hope expanded to four locations, and then in 2022, Day of Hope expanded further into six locations. On this one day, we reach neighborhoods across Worcester and Worcester County including Lincoln Street, Main South, Chatham Street (Downtown), Belmont Street, Elm Park, and the Town of Southbridge. Each site looks a little different but all the same in unity bringing hope to the people who live and support the local communities. 

 

The organization has numerous community partners across Worcester County including over 100 across the last 5 + years. Here is a non-exhaustive selection: Greater Boston Teen Challenge, Fallon Health, United Way, Boys and Girls Club, YOU Inc., Open Sky Community Services, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and UMASS Chan Medical School. These organizations have played different roles whether in financial contributions, resource connections, social awareness, and other ways of connecting together for the common good. 

 

Many churches and faith-based organizations have supported Day of Hope across the years strengthening the engagement with new and historic church and city relations in Worcester County. Over 20 annually, including Belmont A.M.E. Zion, Journey Community Church, Vietnamese Christian Center, Casa de Destino, Living Word Church of Worcester, and Upper Room Family International Church.

 

Businesses have played a key role in partnership and support with over 15 annually, including Chick-Fil-A, Wal-Mart, Stonegate, UPS, Amazon, Abbvie, Moore Agencies, Whole Foods, and Berkshire Bank.

 

COMMUNITY
ENGAGEMENT
.

Refugee Ministry

In December of 2021 a wave of refugees arrived in Worcester from Afghanistan in a crisis situation with many needs. After learning about the gaps, we came alongside the Welcoming Alliance for Refugee Ministry (WARM) to see where we may help revitalize the community. Together we rallied behind a clothing drive in early 2022 that served 400 Afghan Refugees with essential resources to assist their assimilation into Worcester public schools and jobs. The clothing drive was hosted in proximity to where most Afghans were located which renewed hope for they had already traveled so far. Similarly, hope was restored in humanity among donors who were eager to give and serve the most vulnerable neighbors. 

 

In 2022 some of the relationships built through this outreach have been sustained and since have created a weekly soccer outreach. A group of people now meet and play in organized training as well as tournaments including the Worcester World Cup and the Thibodeau Helping Hearts Foundation 4-on-4 soccer tournament. 

 

Every third Saturday of the month we continue to provide care and support by providing free haircuts for the Afghans. 

Lincoln Street Outreach

Game Night

Like to play board, video, or tabletop games? Join us every 4th Monday of the month from 6-9 pm as we break social barriers of isolation and care for the social fabric of our lives and community. A group of college students, young adults and professionals, and others come to escape the day to day of their routine for a good night of fun with some snacks and refreshments. 

 

Cafe

Creating ongoing community gatherings for renewed hope, warm meals, service connections, and resource distribution. The Lincoln Street Outreach began in 2021 and continues to serve 100 neighbors each month on upper Lincoln Street. The relationships formed have helped with food insecurity and provided jobs and housing for some in transition. The Lincoln Street Outreach has revitalized a sense of belonging for those who pass by, and those who live close by

 

Community Meetings

 In 2022 Hope for Worcester came alongside existing neighborhood community organizers to advocate for justice and mercy on Lincoln Street. As community organizers and advocates, we help to make peace, pursue change and love all our neighbors including residents, police and first responders, city officials, elementary school leaders, small and corporate businesses, and community organizations.

Lysol Wipe Drive

The 2021 Lysol Wipes initiative made an essential Covid resource available to community partners and hand-delivered them to build personal relationships and renew hope. Hope for Worcester distributed 40 pallets, an estimated 40,000 pounds of resourcing disinfectant. Over 30 community organizations were served through this effort in September.

Open Sky Event

In 2021 Hope for Worcester supported a youth and family organization, Open Sky, by providing support for kids’ Christmas gifts. The night in December included Christmas carols & story time, family games, photos, presents, and giveaways. The Hope for Worcester team played a part and prepared gifts for 75+ individuals and helped resource these individuals and families with other clothes, essentials, and other fun gifts!

 

ADVOCACY.

Greater Boston
Teen Challenge

One of our causes of focus is centered around the addiction and recovery community. We support relationships with the Greater Boston Teen Challenge and other partners by providing ongoing donations, resources, and advocacy. The community listening initiatives found addiction and recovery as the number one concern of our community. Hope for Worcester provided essential advocacy, leading to Greater Boston Teen Challenge relocating to Worcester in 2020. Teen Challenge is internationally recognized as the most effective faith-based recovery program.

Walk Out of Darkness:
Suicide Prevention Walk

Mental health is integral to fostering a strong and healthy community that flourishes. One way we have engaged is by creating awareness and renewing hope for those struggling with mental illness and considering suicide. The community listening initiatives evidenced suicide prevention as the number two concern of our community. Hope for Worcester was a key sponsor in organizing many participants in the 2021 and 2022 Walk out of Darkness Events. 

Josh Thibodeau
Helping Hearts Foundation

Overall physical and mental health and wellness is an essential aspect of the work to revitalize communities of Worcester County. Heart health is an important initiative for our community because it guides the soul, mind, and totality of our bodies. We partner through advocacy and through team participation in the annual 4 v 4 soccer tournament. In 2022 we integrated Afghan refugees onto the community based team and brought home the championship for the adult competitive division!