Together Serve Our Neighbors
Project Hope is an annual outreach designed to serve schools and families, representing 4 school districts, before the new year begins. During the last weekend in August, churches partner with a neighborhood school to prepare the facility and grounds before students return. The next day, at 5 locations, Back-to-School Giveaways & Fairs provide a fun environment where students receive new shoes, backpacks, school supplies, and more! Find more details about each component of Project Hope below.
meeting the need together
We've found that when we work together, we better meet the needs of under-resourced children, families, and schools in our community. Pooling our time, specialties, resources and energy, creates potential for an exponential impact. You'll find a few stories below that illustrate the blessing that comes as we join together.
what kids & families had to say about project hope 2016
- A little boy about his new shoes "I'm never taking these off!"
- “Fun, exciting, awesome, one of the greatest moments of my life!”
- One grandmother said, "My heart was so full of thanksgiving... he really needed what he got."
- "Extremely helpful for us while we are struggling."
- Some children took off their shoe's from last year's giveaway, only to hug this year's to their chest, and immediately put on the new socks and shoes. Their actions spoke louder than words.
An Administrator's Perspective on Project Hope's School work day
Last summer, a high school principal asked to thank the congregation that serves her school during Project Hope on a Sunday morning. Here are a few highlights of what she had to say about Project Hope, and what she asked of the Church:
"At the end of August, you all show up in mass for what’s called Project Hope. Please know, painting, weeding and power washing… when you come in and do that for us, it’s like cleaning our home. [It’s valuable because] the first budget cuts came as far away from the classroom as possible, but it devastated our maintenance crew. It’s like creating a space for my kids and my staff to come into a place that’s well cared for, pretty & nice. It just feels like a good place to be. And I can’t thank you enough. Thank you for creating a home for us.“
“And I’m going to ask you for something: To pray for us. Please pray that our journey would be guided by truth and light, and that we would have the wisdom and grace to do our work with integrity and love. And for humility.”
As you can see, Project Hope goes far beyond the last weekend in August. These labors of love open up doors for long-lasting relationships with our neighbors!
more about project hope
Saturday School Work Day
On Saturday, churches partner with a neighborhood public school to prepare the facilities for the upcoming year. Volunteers provide hundreds of hours of manpower by power washing, weeding, trimming, painting, cleaning, window washing and more! Churches receive a "wish list" from administrators and custodians, and they organize their volunteers to meet the need. Many of the maintenance tasks would otherwise fall on over-worked custodial staff or remain undone because of lack of resources. Each year the School Work Day proves to be full of joy, good relationships, and hard work!
Sunday Back-to-school Giveaway
The next day, 70 plus churches, organizations, and businesses partner together to serve children and families in need. Through our combined efforts in 2015, we made available 3,000 backpacks full of school supplies, 3,800 pairs of shoes, 3,000 pairs of socks, haircuts, face painting, inflatable games, and meals in five Kids’ Fairs in the Eugene, Springfield, and Junction City area.
After weeks and months of planning and preparation, volunteers arrive at the Kids’ Fair locations to begin setting up in the early afternoon. Shortly after, the line begins to form when children and families start to arrive at each location. While parents wait in line, kids freely play line games, have their faces painted, and play on inflatables supervised by cheerful volunteers. When the doors open, students choose their backpack and pair of shoes and socks. At the end of the line, they have the option of a free back-to-school haircut, provided by local hairdressers. Lastly, many local restaurants serve small meals to bring the Kids’ Fair to a close. It's a joyful day to serve with so many to show Jesus’ love by meeting practical needs of students headed back to school!
Project hope Kids' Fair stats
In 2016, more than 45 churches, and 50+ local restaurants, hairdressers, and businesses teamed up to provide 3,100 new backpacks filled with school supplies, new shoes and socks, small meals and haircuts for children and families in five festival environments. More than 36 school facilities received TLC and hundreds of hours of volunteer manpower.
In 2015, more than 70 churches, ministries and businesses joined together to serve schools, students and families. Through our combined efforts, we made available 3800 pairs of shoes, 3000 backpacks full of school supplies, and 3000 pairs of socks in 5 Kids' Fairs in Eugene, Springfield and Junction City.
In 2014, churches served more than 30 local schools and thousands of people in 4 Kids' Fairs in the Eugene/Springfield area.
In 2013, 51 churches joined together to serve schools and families. This year, the Kids' Fair was hosted in 4 locations to better serve families.
In 2012, 43 churches served 39 schools on Saturday. 34 churches and ministries joined together to host the Kids' Fair at PK Park to serve water, play games, give haircuts, handout backpacks and school supplies, provide meals and distribute shoes to thousands of neighbors!
In 2011, 32 schools were served on Saturday. At the Kids' Fair, thousands received new shoes, backpacks, school supplies, socks and a meal. Between both days, 50+ churches and ministries provided 1200 volunteers each day for the first Project Hope.