HAZARD — Last week, Hope House received a visit from Robinson Elementary. Robinson’s third grade class and Eighth Grade Student Council traveled to the shelter, along with principal, Kevin Fugate, and Rhonda Noble, who is head of Robinson’s Resource Center, to deliver over eight hundred items that were donated to help the homeless.
Haley Turner , an eighth grader at Robinson, said, “When I stepped into the Hope House, I felt ungrateful. I thought about all of the stuff my family and I have that we do not need or use. I thought of all the people staying in this quaint building who are struggling. I wanted to help them all. As I carried boxes of items in, it made me feel like I was making a difference in my community. Although I wasn’t ending world hunger or homelessness, I was still making a difference in a few lives.”
Hope House was established in conjunction with Journey Christian Church, and it operates with the work of volunteers, for now. People throughout the community have shown support for the facility since the day the church announced plans of opening it. A large percentage of in-kind donations funneling into Hope House have been gathered by students in Perry County’s schools.
“When I walked into the Hope House, it made me feel good,” said eighth grader, Keely Begley. “I was making a difference in my community and helping those in need. Ben Fugate took us on a tour of the building and it made me realize how lucky I am to have all of the nice things I have today. I am glad my school decided to do an item drive to help those in need, and I hope we do this again in the future.”
Another eighth grader, Allison Ritchie, shared sentiments from Robinson’s trip to Hope House. “As I walked into the Hope House, I felt as if I had helped those in need out tremendously. It made my day so much better when we delivered the items my school gathered for the homeless. After Ben Fugate’s tour, it made me more grateful for the things that I have and I will be forever thankful.”
Pastor Ben Fugate of Journey Christian Church greeted the students at Hope House and accepted the donated items, which filled several large boxes. Fugate expressed gratitude for the students’ kindness.
Troy Sharp and Brianna Little, eighth graders at Robinson, also praised the experience.
“Visiting the Hope Center was an amazing experience not only for me, but for Mr. Napier’s class,” Troy Sharp said. “We delivered supplies such as toiletries, soap and hygiene products. Our school strongly felt those were items that they would need. I enjoyed the time I spent and the tour provided by Mr. Fugate. I hope that other students in Perry County get the same opportunity as I did.”
Brianna Little said, “As an eighth grader at Robinson Elementary, I visited the Hope House. Mr. Ben Fugate took us on a short tour of the facility and told us about the residents’ daily chores and responsibilities. Listening to him talk about them made me realize how great my family and I actually have it. I am so glad my school could help out and I hope we do more activities to benefit our community.”
Hope House started with volunteers handling most of the work. The shelter opens during the evening and night to provide sanctuary for the homeless. In the future, Hope House would like to expand its services and hours of operation even further. The generosity of people like the students and staff of Robinson Elementary can help make that goal possible. More information about Hope House can be found at facebook.com/hazardhopehouse.
Sam Neace is a reporter for the Hazard Herald can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.