A new month has arrived and with that a new charity highlight. This month I decided to go with a local Wisconsin charity that I know and love. Hope Center is a warm and welcoming place in the heart of Waukesha, WI. This center serves the neighboring community in invaluable ways. They are a day center for people who are struggling financially and need help with things like hot meals, clothing, medical assistance, job-search, financial crisis, social assistance, and so much more. They really do amazing work—which is why I chose them as the May charity highlight.
A lot of people may be surprised to find out that there are many struggling families and homeless people in the city of Waukesha. I know I was! Waukesha county overall is one of the wealthiest counties in the state of Wisconsin, yet there are plenty of people who need help—and now with the effects of the Coronavirus, they need it more than ever!
I first became acquainted with Hope Center years ago, when a Christian Women’s Group I was working with wanted to host a Packer Party Tailgate for a local shelter. I was one of the people organizing this event so I was able to meet with the director of the facility and get a full tour. I remember being astounded at all they were able to accomplish in one small building.
Throughout the facility, you can find welcoming staff and guests making use of the different services Hope Center offers. There is a dining room that serves hot meals multiple times a day. (In 2018 close to 46,000 meals were given to those in need.) The dining room also doubles as a place where the homeless can rest their feet, stay warm or cool (depending on the season) and socialize with others. In addition to the dining room, Hope Center has a large room known as “The Clothing Shop”. This shop is filled with donated clothes that are sorted and organized by volunteers. Clothes are available to anyone in need and all of them are free. Shoppers may include men, women, children, the mentally ill, and senior citizens who are on a very tight budget. (In 2018 this store had 33,529 shopping visits.) Above and beyond all of that, Hope Center staff and volunteers meet daily with guests who need help paying bills or have various other needs. In the back of the building is a large garage loaded with donated household goods, for use whenever the staff is able to move a homeless person into a place of their own. No space is wasted and no talent goes unused!
Unfortunately, right now this normally thriving center is closed as a day center because of COVID-19—BUT THEY ARE STILL PROVIDING TO-GO MEALS AT THEIR REGULARLY SCHEDULED MEAL TIMES. I am sure that the need for these meals has increased due to so much recent job loss. I am also sure that once they are able to reopen their doors, they will be busier than ever and need lots of funding and volunteers. If you would like to learn more about this center and how you can support them now and in the future, please visit their website here. https://hopecenterwi.org/
I know they will put your talents and gifts to great use!