HOPE

AAA volunteers Joy Harold (left), MP Kleckner, and Suzi Bartlett, unload bags of clothing donations arriving at HOPE Center of Edmond.

Acute emergencies never take a holiday. HOPE Center of Edmond offers solutions for when emergencies become overwhelming.

Disease, hunger, neonatal care, utility assistance, divorce, clothing, homelessness and unemployment are a few of the reasons why an average of 750 client families come to HOPE Center every month, said Chris Sperry, executive director.

This is the 30th season The Edmond Sun has sponsored the Christmas Samaritan Fund Drive to benefit HOPE Center. Today marks the fourth of a five-part series of stories to raise money for HOPE. This year’s goal is to surpass the $150,000 mark of charitable giving. Three decades of sharing stories with the community is sure to collectively surpass the $4 million dollar mark this year.

Edmond takes care of its own. Volunteers range from children to the elderly — all being a vital part of HOPE Center’s success.

“We rely on volunteers. We couldn’t do all the things we do without them because we really have a small paid staff,” Sperry said.

HOPE Center is “very appreciative” to corporate donors as well, she said with a smile. Corporate giving is a valuable resource throughout the calendar year.

“People need you,” said Joy Harold, who was one of three women representing AAA who recently volunteered at HOPE.

AAA prides itself by providing volunteers to HOPE Center, she said, while organizing clothing donations in the warehouse. In all there were 24 AAA volunteers at HOPE Center that day.

“Our company loves being involved in all kinds of volunteer work,” Harold said. “This year we’ve already attained 100% volunteering within our community.” 

Making an impact in someone else’s life brings MP Kleckner great joy as a AAA volunteer at the center.

“One of the things that is very important to AAA is that we are all part of the community,” Kleckner said. 

Suzi Bartlett likes seeing the results of of volunteerism while unloading clothing when it arrives.

“I actually saw a couple come in today. They picked a good deal of clothing they needed,” Bartlett said. “They were going to be walking home. Instead of giving them a bag, volunteers actually gave them suitcases to take that home. 

“That was very real. I saw it from the very beginning from bag to shelf and customer, and them leaving the building. It made me feel fantastic that there was immediate help for people who were desperately needing it.”

A lot of companies are giving employees half a day off from work to go and volunteer somewhere, Sperry said.

INTEGRIS has a group of nurses volunteering regularly in the clothing room. Another company that Sperry can tell is having fun volunteering is Enable Midstream Partners. There are other partners, as well.

“Last week was Scouting for Food, and Boy Scouts come and bring food. I love to see those little Boy Scouts make a bucket brigade and deliver food,” Sperry said.

HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway in Suite A, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to noon. Donation hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. HOPE Center will close from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3. 

The warehouse will be open for donations on Dec. 23, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31; and Jan. 2, 3, 4.

To learn more about HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway, visit www.hopecenterofedmond.com or call 405-348-1340.

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