Seeing the smiles on clients’ faces as they drive around to the back of the HOPE Center to pick up their food order is what Bill Green likes best about volunteering there.
“I get to see the children, they don’t know what they’re doing here, but they know it’s good because they see mom smiling, and maybe mom doesn’t get to smile too much these days but she is today,” Green said with a smile of his own as he described what he does every Wednesday morning.
Green heard about what the HOPE Center does for Edmond and Arcadia residents through a local church and began volunteering about four years ago.
Green is one of about 200 HOPE Center volunteers.
From the food distribution to the clinic to the resale store, this nonprofit social service agency has been aiding community members for 30 years. Executive director Chris Sperry said it was founded by members of the Edmond Ministerial Alliance who wanted one place where churches could work together.
“That was the vision and that is how we started,” Sperry said. “We wanted to take care of our neighbors and that is actually what HOPE stands for, Help Our People in Emergency.”
The center provides food, clothing, utility and rent assistance for people who have lost their jobs or find themselves suddenly without resources to take care of their own bills.
The clinic offers prenatal care for pregnant women, and there’s also a Women, Infant and Children (WIC) clinic that provides nutritional education for women who are pregnant or have children up to 5 years of age.
Celebration of HOPE
In celebration of the HOPE Center’s 30th anniversary, a first-ever gala is set for 6 p.m. March 29 in the Nigh University Ballroom at the University of Central Oklahoma.