Last week we came together to celebrate 20 years of HOPE. We were blessed to reconnect with past patients, volunteers, and staff members to stand for life.

I could walk you through the entire night but I would rather focus on a particular segment of the night where a former patient shared her story with class, elegance, and rawness as she allowed those in attendance to actually see a real person that has been impacted by their generous gifts.

Briana’s story is powerful because it shows us our own vulnerability. There were, no doubt, some in attendance that related to Briana in some way. Many might have seen their own daughter in her. Some might have felt as if they were looking in a mirror as she recounted her experience with an unplanned pregnancy. Most fought back tears as Briana bore witness to their sacrificial giving.

Many of our patients feel alone in their journey as they face these unplanned circumstances. I recently had an opportunity to speak to our latest parenting class participants. My message to them was brief but clear.

There will be times of uncertainty over the next few weeks and months for each of these patients. We know that obstacles may come and circumstances, at times, may feel overwhelming. The beautiful truth about what we do here at HOPE is that even in times of difficulties our patients know they are not alone.

Each of these women that participated in our most recent parenting class will receive a baby shower this week. That’s right; we are throwing 16 baby showers on Thursday!

Strangers from across this city, state, and country have made a conscience choice to love their neighbor…in this case, our patients. They have done this through their prayers, time, and gifts.

The Banquet last week and the showers this week allow us to look outside ourselves as we focus on the others around us. This has been HOPE’s vision since 1997. We opened our doors with a clear intent to love our neighbor.

This vision was founded in love and has, over the years, been contagious as thousands of individuals and hundreds of churches and businesses have joined us in this work.

Having a heart bent toward loving others requires us to see the world through a different set of lenses. Hearing the stories of those that find their way to HOPE only assists in this further as our partners are able to see firsthand the faces of those directly impacted by their gifts.

We are grateful for the work you allow us to do and the lives you have saved through your gifts and time. May we never take for granted the thousands impacted by your generosity and love for a neighbor!

posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center