Photos by Mark Early
HopeTree Family Services is best known for offering a wide range of ministries for at-risk children and youth such as Residential Care, HopeTree Foster Care, HopeTree Academy and The WOODS Program.
Last Saturday, volunteers of all ages participated in Project HopeTree, a one-day community volunteer event dedicated to improving HopeTree’s Salem Campus.
There was plenty to do and only two requirements were mandated to participate: a left hand and a right hand. Throughout the day volunteers trimmed bushes and planted trees among other things. People stayed hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids such as water, apple juice and Gatorade.
d Wilson, HopeTree Director of Advancement, said he was very pleased with the overall turnout. “We normally have about 100 volunteers show up,” he said. “It’s just an awesome way for our staff and the community to come together for a great cause.”
When asked what was her favorite part about Saturday, HopeTree Family Services Advancement Manager Amy Duncan said, “getting people on our campus.” She added, “events like today are important because it raises awareness about HopeTree. We have a lot of programs that serve a lot of people and the more that community is aware of this, the more people we can serve.”
HopeTree President and Executive Director Stephen Richerson grabbed a shovel and assisted volunteers. “It’s very important for us to get people from the community on campus to build a sense of support for what we do,” he said. “Next Friday evening (May 5) we will have our annual Glow for Hope 5K Run/2K Walk which is a fundraising event.”
Around noon volunteers were treated to a free lunch courtesy of Comcast. “They sponsored this event,” Amy said. “We work directly with them by ordering supplies, letting churches know about HopeTree and recruiting volunteers. Comcast certainly helped make today possible.”
“We (HopeTree Family Services) have been at this for over 125 years,” Richerson said. “We take tremendous pride in working with young people and adults who need our help.”