IN THE NEWS!
We live in a very giving community.
Check out these highlights!
We closed out the 2022-2023 school year and summer food bag pick ups with nearly 13,000 food bags provided to local children! At Abundant Blessings, we expect to served nearly 1,000 individuals this year as well! We have been working to raising funds through grants and other fundraisers to hire our first staff person that would help to operate Abundant Blessings as well as provide more community outreach for both of our programs. The Board leadership has determined that this level of commitment is beyond what Hope Alliance of Missouri is capable of sustaining and is currently in the process of restructuring our organization for the benefit of the community. Check back as we navigate these transitions! In the meantime, both of our programs continue to serve the local community! Our first food bag packing took place on August 29 and Abundant Blessings is staying busy with over 620 individuals served by the start of school!
Hope Alliance of Missouri launched our first online fundraiser this year! Our online silent auction launched July 19th, just after our Grand Re-Opening where we unveiled the re-designed logos and announced some other major changes. Faith Barnes, the founder and Executive Director for the past 14 years, stepped down from that role and accepted a position on the Board of Directors. Barnes was voted in as Chair of the Board and joined new and old Board members as the organization works to hit the ground running in this first year post-COVID! Kari Lane accepted the position as volunteer Executive Director and the organization now has the goal to bring on it's first full time staff person. The job duties for this individual will be primarily focused on running and building the volunteer base at Abundant Blessings but they will also fill in and coordinate volunteers for the Friday Backpack Program as well. Having a paid staff member able to dedicate a full schedule to advancing Hope Alliance of Missouri will allow the organizations programs to remain sustainable and allow us to better serve our community! Abundant Blessings has been busy as ever with some new volunteers helping in the shop and many appointments scheduled each week! The Fall semester of the Friday Backpack Program has averaged 376 food bags each week!
The world post-COVID has been slightly different. We continued to run the Friday Backpack Program with limited volunteers but we were able to invite local university student volunteers back late this year. We worked to provide local students with weekly bags and offered summer pick up locations as well. We were incredibly blessed with a few large donations that have helped to offset increased food costs this fall too! Abundant Blessings has continued to grow and has closed out 2021 with over 550 individuals served at 370 appointments! Over 206 families were blessed by our communities incredible giving and 78 beds or cribs were provided to families needing them. We partnered with First Baptist Church to provide foster families free tickets to Pete's Pumpkin Patch and for each child to pick out their own pumpkin! Abundant Blessings also works to engage with other community organizations and works regularly with The Mission, Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, CASA, and the Phelps County Child Advocacy Network (PCCAN). We partnered with and signed 19 children up for the PCCAN Angel Tree and got last minute Christmas presents for children entering foster care in mid-December. It was a great year of serving local families and so incredible to see just how giving our community truly is!
COVID certainly threw us all for a loop but we adapted and jumped right in. The Friday Backpack Program moved our packing operations from a local elementary school to First United Methodist Family Center Gym and we kept working with limited volunteers and packing a week ahead of time to allow food bags to sit prior to getting sent home. While school was virtual, we worked to provide bags for pickup at several locations! Families could pickup from schools on certain days, local gas stations and other locations to try to ensure children were still getting supplemental food during these trying times. Abundant Blessings was quite busy too. For a few months due to various closures, our shop was the only resource in three of the four counties of our circuit that foster families could obtain free clothing for foster children since the only retail outlet accepting state vouchers was closed! The need skyrocketed as well. We served 456 individuals at 157 different appointments. We provided 88 beds and cribs to families in addition to clothing, car seats and other items families need when adding children to their home. We also had our first Packs for a Purpose! We matched 93 children from local foster homes with a sponsor in the community. The sponsor received a school supply list as well as favorite colors or interests and every child was able to get all their supplies as well as a back to school outfit! Our community is truly amazing!
What a year! Hope Alliance of Missouri closed out 2019 with the Friday Backpack program going strong and we continue to serve 250-300 students each week through our partnership with the Rolla Public Schools. We have also had a great year at Abundant Blessings. Over 60 families were served which included 138 children! We provided 22 beds and 9 cribs and served 44 foster families! We held three trainings for foster families in partnership with Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association that provided supper and childcare as well as required training hours. We can't wait to see what next year has in store!
Hope Alliance of Missouri has added a new program! Abundant Blessings will be a new resource to serve foster children and referred families by providing everything from gently used clothing, car seats, cribs and more. We are excited to support families in our community!
Thanks to Rolla Rotary (Noon Club), Rotary International gave Hope Alliance $10,000 to purchase hygiene products for all 450 children in the Friday Backpack Program three separate times! Thank you Rolla Rotary Noon Club and Rotary International.
Kiwanis International granted Hope Alliance of Missouri $10,000 for the Friday Backpack Program! Thank you Rolla Kiwanis for your hard
work on this amazing and generous grant!
Once again, Fairground Chevrolet in Rolla set up a community garage sale and donated the proceeds of $1,000 to Hope Alliance of Missouri. Thank you again Carol Harris and all employees for making it another successful garage sale! In November, Walmart Foundation graciously gave a state grant of $25,000 to be used for the Friday Backpack Program! Thank you Walmart! Local university students stepped up as well when Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity held a Lunch-Sack-A-Thon for Hope Alliance of Missouri and donated all proceeds, which amounted to $2,000! What an incredible community we live in!!!
Hope Alliance of Missouri received a donation of $1,100 from Fairground Chevrolet in Rolla, after the employees set up a community garage sale and donated all proceeds to Hope Alliance of Missouri. A special thank you goes out to Carol Harris for coordinating this massive event!
Hope Alliance of Missouri is pleased to announce a generous donation of over $19,000 towards its Friday Backpack Program. This generous donation was given to Executive Director, Faith Ann Barnes, at a banquet sponsored by Christian Life Center of Rolla, Missouri. Hope Alliance of Missouri would like to give a heart-felt thanks to Dr. Balakrishnan, GPD Insurance, and all of the people who helped raise the funds. The money will help feed 200 students over the weekend through the end of the 2008-2009 school year. Thank you!