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“MY SON IS HOME!”

"MY SON IS HOME!"

Theo never thought he would see his son again. One day, he woke up to discover that his son, Elliot, was gone, having suddenly and strangely disappeared without a word in the night. None of his neighbors had any information. After weeks of searching unsuccessfully for his son, Theo mourned his son as dead.
But Elliot wasn’t dead. He was hundreds of miles away in Rwanda’s capital city in search of food and resources to help his family. Having grown up for years experiencing poverty and food insecurity, 15-year-old Elliot decided to see if he could do anything about it. So he left home in the middle of the night without telling a soul.

On the streets, Elliot not only realized how hard it could be to find help, but he also unfortunately experienced further trauma and exploitation. In October 2019, Elliot began attending Hope for Life’s weekly Outreach Program. There, he learned that he didn’t have to continue struggling on his own. He learned that there were people who cared about him and wanted to help him achieve the life he was seeking. After attending several Outreach sessions, Elliot decided to transition into HFL’s rehabilitation program.

While living at the rehabilitative center, Elliot took classes with HFL’s tutors and teachers to help him catch up on the formal education he had missed. He was motivated and learned quickly, so in January 2020, he began attending public school.

Soon, HFL’s reintegration team was able to trace Elliot’s family and begin the reunification process. When Theo received a call that his son was alive, he didn’t believe it. It was only when Elliot visited his family in person, that his father cried tears of joy that his son was in fact alive! Over the next several months, HFL’s staff worked alongside Theo to identify ways that he could generate more income for his family. Staff also helped Elliot heal from his experience on the streets and prepare emotionally for eventually moving back home with his family.

This fall, Elliot officially reunified with his family and moved home! His father shared, “I now have a reason to eat, drink, and work again – my son is home!” Elliot promised his father to stay home, and his father promised to support and guide him going forward. Elliot and his family will continue to receive follow-up care from HFL’s reintegration team to ensure a lasting and successful reunification. Thank you for your support to bring families like Elliot’s back together.

A WEEK OF HOPE

Thank you to our community of partners for making A Week of Hope a success!
Over $96,000 was raised to empower youth and families to leave homelessness for good. Missed the daily videos released during A Week of Hope? Head to our page to check them out!

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

Construction on our facility expansion in Rwanda continues on progress and is on track to finish in early 2021!

We are so excited to have a second rehabilitative center and administrative building, allowing Hope for Life to serve even more youth on their healing journey from homelessness to reuniting with families.

Construction has also provided several HFL beneficiaries the opportunity to work and gain valuable job skills.

Six of the young adults who are working towards becoming financially independent were hired by the construction company, allowing them to not only learn a new trade, but to earn money and practice financial independence.

We are so proud to see them grow and be a part of creating something that will help other youth thrive!

Thank you to all who have contributed to our construction efforts!

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REHABILITATION IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

REHABILITATION IN THE MIDST OF A GLOBAL PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 global pandemic has affected all of us in unimaginable ways. Despite it all, we are continuously amazed by the resilience, hope, and care shown by the greater Hope for Life community.
We would not be able to weather this storm without you!

ven in the midst of a global health crisis, child homelessness continues. With your help, HFL has been able to respond in unique ways to ensure children and families in Rwanda remain safe and equipped with the care they need.

Our Rehabilitation Program experienced significant changes, including school closure, a non-essential travel ban, and the youth spent a few months in lockdown alongside staff. While quarantine was challenging for everyone, we were also encouraged by the resilience and creativity of our youth and staff.

One of the activities that youth in the Rehabilitation Program participated in during quarantine was art therapy. They spent several weeks on a “What’s in You” series, taking the time to think about and express their thoughts and feelings.

The end of every session brought the opportunity to share if they wanted to. Amongst the plethora of positive and challenging things depicted include, “Who should I trust?,” “Why do parents hate their children?,” and “I am strong.”

The boys have been enjoying their art therapy sessions, especially those who are more reserved as this allows them to express themselves in a way that feels safe and accessible.

In addition to art therapy, the youth participating in the Rehabilitation Program created and elected their first Children’s Council! Six boys were democratically chosen, with the expectation that they will be role models in the home and work together as a bridge between boys and staff.

Image 1: Art therapy “What’s In You”
Image 2: The youth in the Rehabilitation Program had their voices heard by voting for their peers to represent them on the Children’s Council

If boys have concerns, they can bring them to the Children’s Council who meets weekly to discuss solutions and bring them to staff. Ethan*, a younger boy, was elected as the founding President! The older boys had too many nominees on the ballot, effectively splitting the vote and putting a 10-year-old in charge! Ethan was thrilled and is taking his role as President very seriously.

We can’t wait to see how the Children’s Council empowers the boys to have an even stronger voice in their own empowerment!

A NIGHT OF HOPE GALA 2020 CANCELLED

In March, we announced that our A Night of Hope Gala, originally scheduled for May 15th, was postponed to October 16th due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After further thoughtful consideration, the U.S team has decided to cancel an in-person gathering for 2020. At this time, it is unknown if large gatherings will be allowed or safe to perform.

As stewards of your generous financial resources, we feel it makes the most financial sense to host a virtual, week-long event instead.

Please join us online the week of October 5th for exclusive videos and to help raise necessary funds to continue empowering youth to escape homelessness and holistically thrive!

More information will come soon.

HFL HAS A NEW WEBSITE!

After nearly a year in the making, we are thrilled to announce a new and improved website! Be sure to check it out today! Please bear with us as we work through any glitches. If you would like to provide any feedback, we welcome you to contact us at admin@hopeforlife.us.

The website isn’t the only thing getting a revamp this year. You may have noticed that over the last year, we have been slowly transitioning away from our child sponsorship program. Sponsors have been an integral part of our community and we are deeply grateful for their faithful partnership. We will continue to honor all existing sponsorships until the sponsored child graduates from our programs.

However, we have ceased seeking new sponsorships and are transitioning to a new monthly giving program instead.

There are several reasons for this change. As an organization, both in Rwanda and the U.S., we feel this decision is in the best interest of the youth and families Hope for Life serves.

By not having a sponsorship program, we can better protect the identities of children, which is imperative in their trauma-healing and our ability to be ethical storytellers. Child sponsorship is also limiting our fundraising efforts and requires significant staff time and resources. By broadening our fundraising activities, we can be better stewards of your financial partnership.

On the new website, you will see a page dedicated to our new Changemakers monthly giving program! We are excited for the opportunities this program will provide both for the youth in our programs and for you, our community of partners.

The Changemakers program allows you to choose your monthly donation and if you would like to support a specific program. Then, you’ll receive regular updates on that program from us. There will even be Changemaker-only events in the future!

We hope you’ll consider becoming a Changemaker. Because that’s literally how we think of our supporters. Your partnership is making meaningful, sustainable change in the lives of youth recovering from homelessness.

Without you, youth and families would not have the resources to achieve a flourishing future! Please join us.

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A NIGHT OF HOPE GALA POSTPONED: A COVID-19 UPDATE

A NIGHT OF HOPE GALA POSTPONED: A COVID-19 UPDATE

Dear valued member of the Hope for Life community,

Like you, we have been closely following the news of the COVID-19 coronavirus. We are saddened by the loss of life and the overarching negative effects on communities worldwide.

After much thought, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone our A Night of Hope Gala, originally scheduled for Friday, May 15th in Seattle. The health and safety of our guests, staff, volunteers, and greater community is our number one priority. The Centers for Disease Control, City of Seattle, King County, and State of Washington have issued strong recommendations at this time to cancel any gatherings of 10 or more people in order to control the spread of the virus. As the event would occur in the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States at this time, we take these recommendations seriously. While we do not know what this outbreak will look like in May, we feel it is our responsibility to our guests, community, and ultimately, our mission, to make this decision now.

We are delighted to report, however, that the event has been rescheduled for Friday, October 16, 2020. It is our hope that by this time, travel and gatherings will be returned to normal, allowing for a fun and inspiring evening of celebration and generosity for Hope for Life! In the meantime, please save this new date, and visit our Gala web page for more information and to purchase early bird tickets!

Finally, we know that this feels like an overwhelming and uncertain time. While social isolation is encouraged for health and safety, we also need each other as a community more than ever. We are especially disheartened to hear about the xenophobic and racist reactions to our Asian and Asian-American neighbors during this time. We encourage everyone to reach out and check-in with your community. As we reprioritize our fundraising efforts for the year, you can expect to hear more stories about the impact you are creating in Rwanda, hopefully bringing our community of partners closer together.

Thank you for your understanding, flexibility, and continued support to empower youth to escape homelessness and holistically thrive. We are extremely grateful for your dedicated and loving presence as part of the Hope for Life family. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our US team at admin@hopeforlife.us.

With appreciation,

team-photo-megan2

Megan Chao
U.S. Executive Director/Co-Founder

team-photo-ally

Ally Shook
Development Director

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SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

SPRING 2020 NEWSLETTER

Dear Hope for Life Family,

The past several years have been full of growth for HFL. With your partnership, more children are being served each year, programs have expanded, and operations have grown in both Rwanda and the U.S. HFL, while still grassroots, has graduated into a more sophisticated and mature organization through a decade of experience. With such growth comes changes, including within our own leadership. Over 10 years ago, Chantal Umutesi co-founded HFL with Megan Chao and Hiliary Anderson.

Their common vision to see children empowered to escape homelessness brought them together. Since then, Chantal has faithfully served the organization as a staff member, a Board Member, and the past five years as the Executive Director in Rwanda.

I would like to formally announce that Chantal will be stepping down from her role as Executive Director in Rwanda. This decision was reached with mutual agreement as Chantal focuses on her growing family and HFL continues to expand. We are immensely grateful for Chantal’s leadership and contributions during her time as Executive Director.

She helped to strengthen the Rehabilitation Program, established preventative measures to help keep families together, and initiated the idea to build a second rehabilitative home. Please join us in thanking Chantal for her countless contributions, time, and love as HFL’s leader in Rwanda.

We will soon start the process of hiring a new Executive Director. In the interim, I will continue serving as Chair for the Board of Directors in Rwanda, as well as part-time Interim Executive Director during the search, hiring, and onboarding process. We look forward to introducing you to our new leader later this year.

We appreciate your ongoing support to equip youth to leave homelessness here in Rwanda.

Peace,

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Christophe Mbonyingabo
Chair, Hope for Life Ministry Board of Directors
Interim Executive Director, Rwanda

2019 By the Numbers

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Youth actively experiencing homelessness provided with basic resources and case management.
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Youth equipped to successfully transition out of homelessness.
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Families reunited and empowered to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty for good.
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Young men reached financial independence and graduated from HFL's programs.

Thank you for making 2019 another successful year!
A full Annual Report will be available in May.

A Night OF Hope 2020

Join us in downtown Seattle for an evening of fun, impact, and generosity at Hope for Life’s annual Gala, A Night of Hope!

Friday, October 16, 2020 | 7:00 PM
Block 41 | Seattle, WA

Tickets and details

If you have been a part of the Hope for Life (HFL) community for a while, you’ve probably seen stories about one of the first boys in HFL’s programs, Pacifique, more lovingly known as Paci. Paci transitioned into HFL’s rehabilitative home after spending three years living on the streets as a young boy. Having no family or relatives to return to, Paci spent several years at HFL’s rehabilitative home healing from trauma, going to school, growing spiritually and learning valuable life skills before transitioning into independent living nearly three years ago. Now 23-years-old, Paci recently graduated from high school and underwent national exams to see if he qualifies to continue his education at the University level.

In the next year while Paci waits for his scores and evaluates his future options, we asked Paci to return to Hope for Life, but in a new capacity–as a staff member! Paci’s patient, kind, and outgoing personality make him a favorite among the younger program participants, whom he considers to be his little brothers. With Paci’s unique experience and maturity, he is able to relate to boys transitioning out of homelessness in a special way and we know he will have a positive, lasting effect on all.

“This is the life I wished for… I am becoming someone that the people who knew me before couldn’t expect at all. It’s hard for me to explain how happy I am. I want to change the world and people’s lives. I know society needs me.”

Your partnership helped Paci escape homelessness, obtain an abundant life, and we could not be more proud of the young man he has become! To see an individual not only flourish after the trauma of homelessness but to be able to give back and share hope and love with others, is nothing short of amazing.
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WHAT DOES ‘HOLISTIC CARE’ LOOK LIKE?

WHAT DOES ‘HOLISTIC CARE’ LOOK LIKE?

At Hope for Life, we talk regularly about how your support is enabling holistic impact in Rwanda. But what exactly does that mean?

We believe that to be human is to be multi-faceted. Many different aspects of our lives combine to make up the totality of who we are as individuals. As such, to us, holistic care means the physical, spiritual, psychological, emotional, relational, educational, and financial aspects of each unique individual are addressed. It ideally involves working alongside the child and their family. Holistic healing is not a quick fix. On the contrary, it usually takes a great amount of time because it is complex. It is also not easy, full of setbacks and challenges. But we firmly believe the process is worth it in order for children to have flourishing futures.
9-year-old Mabel’s story if a wonderful example of the impact holistic care can have. Mabel is part of Hope for Life’s (HFL’s) Community Sponsorship program. Children in this program live at home with family, and receive services to help ensure extreme poverty does not force them to the streets.
Mabel spent her early childhood experiencing extreme poverty in a single-parent household with her three older sisters. When her mom was able to find temporary work, her and her siblings ate well and her older sisters were able to attend school. But when she couldn’t, they struggled. Sometimes they would go for days without eating. In the rainy season, sickness was rampant as the cold and rain would seep through gaps in their mud hut. If they got sick, all they could do was pray as there was no money for medicine. As the youngest of four children, there was not much hope that there would be enough resources to send Mabel to school.

Thanks to partners like you, however, Mabel’s life today is very different from her early years. When she joined HFL’s Community Sponsorship Program in 2015, she was able to go to school for the first time in her life and enjoy access to regular medical care. Her mom is able to focus on working and providing a better future for her children. In fact, after seeing her dedicated work ethic, HFL helped Mabel’s mom secure permanent employment! Your support also helped provide some much needed home repairs, providing increased security and warmth for the entire family.

By addressing these various aspects of Mabel’s life, her and her family are able to focus on making their future bright instead of worrying about survival. As a result, Mabel is truly thriving. She is in first grade and is often ranked near the top of her class! The first person to speak fluent English in her family, she is a great source of pride for her mom and sisters. She’s even started teaching them some English at home. Her mom glows with pride, talking regularly to friends and neighbors about the fact that as a result of her regular employment and HFL’s support, all four of her children are now able to attend school and create greater opportunities for their futures.

When the trauma of extreme poverty is reduced or even eliminated, the damaging cycle of poverty can be broken and children like Mabel can have flourishing futures. Thanks to your love and generosity, the unique needs of the whole person are able to be served, giving each child a chance at a sustainably abundant life.

“I want to thank you for helping me. Thank you for sending me to school. Before, I couldn’t go to school and our house was so bad and we were very poor. Now, I am eating and I am speaking English and our house is good and I love my teacher so much. I got really sick last year and missed a lot of school and got low marks. I knew I had to work extra hard so I could pass and then I ended up with 100%! I am working so hard and God is helping me and you are helping me.” -Mabel

SAVE THE DATE!

Mark your calendars for Friday, May 15th for Hope for Life’s 2020 Gala in Seattle. More details to follow.

OUTREACH PROGRAM UPDATE

The new Outreach Program has officially started! With your support, 41 boys were served on the first day of operations. They received a warm meal, had an opportunity to bathe and wash their clothes, speak with our psychologist and community resource officer, and participate in a worship service. The Outreach Program will continue to offer drop-in services twice per week for children in need. Thank you for making this new program possible and sharing a message of hope and encouragement with these children!

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I’m Not a Zombie, I Swear

I'm Not a Zombie, I Swear

A few weeks ago I walked into our home for boys and met eyes with a beautiful yet, unfamiliar face. The child was very small, wearing pink clothes, and had a fairly girlish face. My initial thought was …” Hmm, maybe two year old girl, and oh, I think I’m in love with this little angel!” That thought was quickly shaken when the screaming ensued. I thought to myself, ooooh, right, my skin color. Terrifying to some, I know. I brought such a wave of fear over this three year old that my only reaction was to drop to my knees and look as small as I could. I felt like a puddle wanting to spread over the floor. I kneeled on my knees, resting on my heels, and didn’t make direct eye contact. The little one was now softly crying. Two other small boys were home, they both rushed up and hugged me. They looked at the crying child and said, “Don’t have fear! No problem.” After some time, I stood up slowly and walked away. I knew this was going to take time. My coworker shortly after told me, he is a three year old boy and that he was told that Abazungu (white people) eat people. Haha, solid.

I quickly learned, our social worker was the one who had brought Berite. Berite’s mother is currently extremely sick. She has HIV, cancer, and multiple infections. The mother was making a living from prostitution and Berite’s father was not in the picture. We had agreed to take in Berite so the Mom could seek treatment and any operations that could try to improve her health. My heart hurt for the mother. She had to let go of what was likely the one light in her life so she could try to get herself healthy again. Then I thought about Berite. Here was this little angel, so very small, and innocent. Now, dropped off in an unknown place, with a house full of strangers, and white person zombie. I couldn’t fathom what was being processed in that little mind. I wanted to just scoop him up and hug him but I couldn’t. It was going to be some time before he would let my love in.

Instead of chasing the new one around the house and property, like I usually do, over the last few weeks, I got to be a bystander to the care that my boys gave to him. Even beginning to write about it now brings tears straight to my eyes. Our home has the sweetest boys, they make me melt. They have LOVED having someone younger in our house to take care of and its the most beautiful sight. They have such concern for how he’s doing. They see and hear his needs. They prioritize his needs. They do funny things to make him laugh. They run around the house playing with him or give him their last bite of food or porridge. They fight over who gets to hold him and carry him. They see him fall and they rush over to pick him up and hold him. They run home from school and greet him with huge hugs and smiles. The feeling I have in watching the boys care for him is so special, it feels indescribable. It makes me feel proud. I imagine this is how parents begin to feel when they start seeing their kids treating others with kindness and love. It brings a feeling inside of you, a joy that wells up.

It has been almost two months now and this little one has only recently finally warmed up to me! I’m grateful for the gift of just watching for a time, and the process its been. He spent the first few weeks looking fearfully at me. He would constantly watch my interactions with other boys in the house and in doing so, realized maybe I’m not so terrifying after all. A few weeks ago he came up, sat on my lap, and he was so tired just laying against me. I had this moment of “Yes! We made it.” Then, for whatever reason (I would guess fear still), he completely peed himself while sitting on me. I had pee all down my jeans, I had to laugh about it. The rest of the boys had a good laugh about that one too.

Yesterday afternoon, I sat in my office and worked on my computer. Berite came in and out of the room probably a dozen times. He sat on me, he next to me. He talked to me freely. I talked to my Mom and he sat there repeating words I said. I can’t get him to stop talking to me now. He looked at me, and smiled, and laughed. Later in the day, I looked at him, we met eyes, and both giggled. Safe to say, I think he’s let go of any ideas that I’m a zombie in disguise….

He loves acting like we’re on the phone together.

Today, I’m especially grateful for connection found on the other side of fear. What a rewarding experience, to draw near to others. I feel so fortunate to spend time working in an environment continually focused on the well-being of youth and families. Every individual continues to teach me something. What an amazing part of life to think that, at any moment our next teacher can cross our path. And sometimes, it just might start with a little screaming 🙂

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in Rwanda by following Amanda, Hope for Life’s Sponsorship Coordinator, on her blog!

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A little love, a little food, a place to sleep

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Recently, Hope for Life hosted its first group Learning Trip in Rwanda. Four supporters from the US joined Megan Chao, US Executive Director, for 10 days to learn about the factors that contribute to child homelessness in East Africa, hear stories of impact, and form relationships with the staff and children. It was a wonderful first trip and we’re excited to host similar trips in the future!

One trip participant was Michael Renda from the Chicago area. Upon returning home, he wrote a beautiful piece about his time that we’re honored to share with you below.

“A little love, a little food and a place to sleep. Three simple things my family and I take for granted every day. A couple of weeks ago, I was able to meet 30 young men and boys who at one time did not have any of those three things in their lives. Boys as young as 7-years-old, leaving their homes and deciding they had a better chance of survival on the streets than living with their families.

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I would like to share about one boy whose story is only a couple of months old. Last year, he watched both his parents pass away. With no other family, he took to the streets with his younger sister to survive. Being on the streets and feeding yourself I am sure is hard enough, but to have a second mouth to feed is even tougher. Eventually, he watched his sister die of starvation leaving only him. In a small miracle, a man found him sleeping on the streets and asked if he had anywhere to go. When he said he did not, the man pointed him to Hope for Life and said they are often able to help. Hope for Life is currently running at capacity, but after hearing his story, they knew they could not turn him away. Fast forward six weeks, when this boy with the most simple of actions brought me to tears on three different occasions.

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A Little Love I sat around a circle with him and a group of his friends. They asked question after question about silly things. I would answer and an older boy would translate. They asked me a silly question about my dogs and where they go to the bathroom. I explained we had a bell that hangs on the door and they ring it. Once the older boy translated, you would have thought I told the funniest joke of all time. The whole group was laughing but the young boy, who only six weeks earlier was living on the streets, was laughing uncontrollably.  Being surrounded by friends in a safe place and watching him laugh brought me so much Joy that I began to cry.

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A Little Food We were able to join a special event with the boys one day. It also involved all of us eating together. I sat with the boys and waited for the food to be served. Across from me was the young boy, who six weeks ago was close to starvation. Once the food arrived, I happen to look across the table at him. There were onions on top of the meat and chips. He doesn’t care much for onions, so he picked them off and handed them to the boy next to him. Again came the tears as I thought how perfect it was that he no longer worries about his next meal that he can give away some of his own. Such a simple act, but for me, so much Joy.

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A Place to Sleep The boys have two bunk beds per room. With some of the older boys back from boarding school for the holiday break, they had to double up in beds. The first day I was there, the young boy took me by the hand and showed me his bed. He wouldn’t have cared if he shared it with three other boys and there were 20 bunks in the room, he was so proud that this one was his. As you may have guessed, the whole scene brought tears of joy to my eyes.

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I personally struggle to find joy in this world. There were many times I experienced joy on this trip. The fact that this boy, whose life should have left him with no joy, could repeatedly be the source of joy is a miracle in itself.

I appreciate Hope For Life for showing me their ministry. It also has a good back story that I would encourage you to read about on their website. Two young women who befriended some homeless boys while teaching in Rwanda.

I also encourage you to follow Amanda Good on social media. She can share stories of joy and transformation like no one else. She is an amazing young woman.

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A little love, a little food and a place to sleep. Not sure the order or how much of each you need to transform a child’s life. I just know from first-hand experience that the three together lead to some amazing transformations.”
-Michael Renda

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Ways to Support the 4th Annual Gala

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Hope for Life is excited to celebrate with you at our 4th Annual Gala! This is a fun-filled evening of inspiration and generosity. The event includes a delicious catered dinner, powerful program, unlimited beer and wine, a silent auction, and raising funds to continue empowering children in Rwanda to escape homelessness.

The Gala is made possible because of a deeply generous community coming together for a common purpose. If you would like to purchase tickets to the Gala, please visit charityauction.bid/HopeForLife2018Gala.

See below if you would like to get more involved or support the Gala in other ways:

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1) Auction Items

Donate an item to be part of our silent auction! Items can be mailed to:

PO Box 75684

Seattle, WA 98175

or we can schedule a pick-up. Questions or interest should be directed to kim@hopeforlifeministry.org.

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2) Matching Sponsors

Consider becoming a matching sponsor by giving a financial donation of any size to be used toward a matching pool that will inspire guests to give more generously at the event. Businesses or individuals can donate. Please contact megan@hopeforlifeministry.org for questions or more information.

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3) Wine Donations

Hope for Life is collecting any and all wine with a value of at least $10. The wine will be used toward the fun and exciting “wine grab” portion of the event. Pick-up is available for the Seattle area. Please contact kim@hopeforlifeministry.org if interested!

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4) Dessert Donations

We are collecting professionally or home-baked goods for the thrilling dessert dash portion of the event. Pick-up options are available for the Seattle area. Please contact kim@hopeforlifeministry.org for more information. 

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5) Volunteer!

Hope for Life relies on the generous support of volunteers to make our annual fundraising Gala a success. Check out the Gala volunteer opportunities here.

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Thank you for your interest in supporting the 4th Annual Gala! If you would like to get more involved in other ways, please contact admin@hopeforlifeministry.org

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You Inspire Us

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Your involvement has shown us time and time again how powerful it is when people decide to use their time, networks and resources to impact children in Rwanda. You regularly blow us away with your passion and the innovative and creative ways you find to raise awareness and funds.

One such inspiration is the Bindloss-Gibb family who sponsor a child in Hope for Life’s rehabilitative program. This year for Mark’s birthday, he decided to use his birthday as a platform to raise awareness and funds for Hope for Life. Instead of purchasing gifts, he asked his family and friends to donate to Hope for Life instead. It was a relatively simple yet overwhelmingly powerful choice.

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Together, Mark’s friends and family raised an amazing $1,000! Those funds made some long-time dreams come true such as purchasing a fridge for our kitchen, building swings, a permanent soccer goal and field for our kids to enjoy, and starting a garden project for our older youth. We’re particularly excited about the garden project as it’s a way for our staff to spend quality time with some of our more introverted, older kids. In the next few months, we should start to see fruit growing!

A special thank you to Mark for pledging your birthday to bring smiles to others, and to all his friends and family who made these dreams a reality for our children.

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Interested in doing something similar? Let us know at admin@hopeforlifeministry.org.

Thank you for all you do to inspire and serve!

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Report Cards are Here!

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_imageframe image_id=”4054″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”” link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]http://www.hopeforlife.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/header-blog.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_separator style_type=”none” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” sep_color=”rgba(0,170,173,0)” top_margin=”10px” bottom_margin=”10px” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” /][fusion_text]Many of the children in Hope for Life’s programs showed GREAT success after what had been a challenging year. At the end of the last school year, many of the boys in our rehabilitation program finished with lower than expected grades. There was great disappointment and frustration. What could have turned sour, though, our tenacious boys used as fuel to encourage themselves. As boy after boy made a goal to improve in school, a noticeable shift started to occur in our home’s culture and attitude surrounding education. We added a teacher to our staff team, and the kids started choosing to spend extra time studying in the evenings. Even occasional power outages didn’t stop these boys as they would huddle around a candle instead.

We are proud to report that out of the 24 young men living in Hope for Life’s Hovde house, THREE received the top scores in their class, and FIVE others were in the top four! This is truly mind blowing as many of these children have either never been to school before or have resumed their studies after being forced to take several years off.

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UPDATE ON AIMABLE

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Aimable came to HFL last year after enduring two years of homelessness. Out of the six trimesters he has completed while at HFL, he has remarkably been #1 in his class five times! He’s only 10-years-old but this boy has big dreams to finish secondary school, attend university outside of Rwanda, and then become a dancer. We are so grateful that his future won’t be spent on the streets but in a place where he will have the opportunity to chase his dreams! Dream on, Little Dancer.

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Once children begin to shed the identity of their past, they begin looking forward instead of backward. Education provides a doorway to a new world of possibilities for their lives. Before HFL, most children’s dreams consisted of surviving another day. When you ask a child now what they envision for their future, their eyes light up, and a smile washes over their face as they tell you that they dream of becoming judges, businessmen, dancers, soccer players, pastors, and even the president.

Thank you for your role in allowing children in Rwanda to dream and to work hard toward their goals!

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Megan Chao
US Executive Director

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container admin_label=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”60px” margin_bottom=”30px” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_4″ layout=”1_4″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_2″ layout=”1_2″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_button link=”https://hopeforlifeministry.z2systems.com/np/clients/hopeforlifeministry/donation.jsp” title=”” target=”_self” alignment=”center” modal=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” color=”default” button_gradient_top_color=”” button_gradient_bottom_color=”” button_gradient_top_color_hover=”” button_gradient_bottom_color_hover=”” accent_color=”” accent_hover_color=”” type=”” bevel_color=”” border_width=”” size=”xlarge” stretch=”default” shape=”square” icon=”” icon_position=”left” icon_divider=”no” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]DONATE[/fusion_button][/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_4″ layout=”1_4″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no” element_content=””][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container admin_label=”” hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”#f7f7f7″ background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”80px” margin_bottom=”80px” padding_top=”20px” padding_right=”20px” padding_bottom=”20px” padding_left=”20px”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]65 currently enrolled in school through HFL’s programs

55% attending school for the first time

8 scored in the top four in their classes

7 pursuing vocational training[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]