What a Difference a Year Makes Part II

On Monday evening, we had the opportunity to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of moving our women and children to the safety of Hope Gardens Family Center. Many of the churches, volunteers, and donors, who have been the keys to success of Hope Gardens and responsible for creating an environment for change in the lives of our precious moms and children, came to celebrate the anniversary and witness a special graduation. 10 moms completed our 10 class program and some moms have achieved all of their goals and even moved into permanent housing!

Two things touched my heart the most.

Each child was exuding pride in their mom’s accomplishments, showing incredible behavior and peacefulness as they celebrated their moms! I was incredibly proud of the moms and their children.

But what made me the most satisfied and honored was the presence of our neighbors who once vigorously opposed Hope Gardens Family Center, now attended the celebration, congratulated our moms, and greeted us with thanks and warm hugs. Something special has happened in their hearts and ours!

Here is a sample of the attitude change from one of our neighbors who previously strongly opposed Hope Gardens. I hope it touches your heart like it touched mine.

Dear Andy,
Your Hope Garden yesterday was such a special day that I will remember it fondly forever. The pride I felt for your families and the joy shining from each of them for their individual and group accomplishments is so very apparent that many a moment I had tears come to my eyes.
Thank you for letting me join in your celebrations. What a splendid afternoon for all. It was lovely to see you although it is too bad you weren’t able to participate there in person for the entire festivity but you will enjoy it on video soon I’m certain.I thanked Scott Johnson a few times and told him how happy I was for all of you and I asked Scott Johnson to relay my special thanks to you and to Scott Chamberlain who did a quick disappearing act when his moment was done there. I had so wanted to express my feelings to him as well. Please let Scott C. know that I applaud you all very much.
Bravo all!

What a difference a year, hard work by staff and moms, resources provided by donors and volunteers, open hearts by our neighbors and God’s amazing grace makes in our hearts and lives. What an honor to serve at Union Rescue Mission. Blessings, Andy B.

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