The Richmond Register

July 30, 2013

Local charitable group welcomes new volunteers

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — A Madison County volunteer group is making its public debut this week in an effort to attract new members.

The Hope Connection was established last year in order to “encourage, empower and assist people in our community,” according to president and board chair Sharon L. Mitchell.

One of the most important goals of the Hope Connection, in addition to making a difference in the quality of others’ lives, is to instill hope through the group’s actions, Mitchell said.

Mitchell said she and others were working in a local church’s soup kitchen when they got the idea for the Hope Connection. They were handing out meal flyers at the many Richmond organizations that aid the poor, and they saw first-hand the great need for help in the community.

They immediately formed the Hope Connection to meet those needs, Mitchell said.

The group’s works are funded by $10 monthly member contributions. The members meet at 6:30 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month in the downstairs meeting room at Central Bank, 350 W. Main St. The meetings last about an hour and a half.

During the meetings, previous activities are discussed and new volunteer opportunities are proposed, Mitchell said. Proposals are put to a vote, and once an action is approved it can usually be completed in less than a week.

The nondenominational, 501(c)(3) nonprofit is made up of five outreach groups, and members can choose which one to join. The outreach groups cover the areas of the elderly, schools, hospitals, homelessness and low-income.

Some of the activities performed by the Hope Connection in the past year include hosting free bingo at Willis Manor and the Richmond Senior Center, aiding with the school summer backpack foot programs, giving meals for the homeless, bell ringing for the Salvation Army, donating food and supplies to various aid local organizations and making monetary contributions.

After about a year of getting the organization off the ground, the Hope Connection will be having a “ribbon cutting” luncheon at noon Friday at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, 201 East Main St.

“We’re trying to get our name out there so we can get new members,” Mitchell said.

For more information about the Hope Connection and how to join, call Mitchell at 625-1763 or email her at slm40475@aol.com. Learn more online at www.hopeconnectioninc.com. The group also has a Facebook page.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.

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The Hope Connection ‘ribbon-cutting’ luncheon is noon Friday at the Richmond Chamber of Commerce, 201 E. Main St.