2017 Annual Report

 

Thanks to the help of more than 50 volunteers and partner organizations, Hope Full Life Center blessed thousands of people in 2017 through its various programs.

 

What is Hope Full Life Center? 

  • Hope Full Life Center (HFLC) is the hands-on ministry of Abounding Love Christian Fellowship.

  • The organization assists the needy in Ravena, southern Albany County and around the world through programs that encourage self-sufficiency. 

  • HFLC is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in 2012.

  • HFLC oversees Helping Harvest, Gracefully Chic Boutique, Peace of Home, Cross Culture Market and the Linda Civill Community Garden. 

  • Mission Statement: Hope Full Life Center empowers people. Activated by compassion, our multi-faceted outreach provides a helping hand, not a hand-out, to improve life for our neighbors.

 

2017 Program Achievements

 

 

Helping Harvest

  • Helping Harvest sent home at least $300,000 worth of groceries with low-income families in the area. 

  • The food assistance program served more than 1,000 people in the region. Many members are from Ravena, Coeymans and Selkirk, but we have people travel from as far away as Rensselaer,   Schenectady, Berne, Mechanicville and Nassau. 

  • When we had an over-abundance of food we shared it with the Ravena Senior Projects, Teen Challenge, the Capital City Rescue Mission and area food pantry programs. 

  • We supported Capital Roots, a Troy-based not-for-profit, through the purchase of produce throughout the year. We also supported local farmer Jon Audietis who purchased produce on our behalf at auctions this past summer and fall. 

  • The Linda Civill Community garden had another successful year with plentiful produce. One Helping Harvest member participated and some of the beds were maintained by volunteers from ARC. 

 

Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home 

  • Provided the community with a convenient way to recycle unwanted clothing, furniture, housewares and other gently used items.

  • Sold nearly 40,000 items with proceeds benefiting the charity’s food assistance program, Helping Harvest.

  • In conjunction with local ministry Justice for Orphans, we launched Cartwheels for Kids, which provides free clothing, footwear and fills other needs for foster kids in the Capital Region. Three families utilized the program in 2017.

  • Assisted 5 area families with emergency needs.

  • Sowed into the Salvation Army, Capital City Rescue Mission, Grace United Methodist’s Book      Nook, and Jezreel with its overflow.

 

  Cross Culture Market

  • Helped to support 21 ministry and humanitarian organization partners and the artisans they work with through the sale of handmade crafts in our Ravena shop in Faith Plaza, at fairs and festivals, and online. 

  • Served on the planning committee for a Fair Trade Market at the Albany School of Humanities, an Albany City School District elementary. 

 

Other 2017 Accomplishments

 

 

Events & Special Projects

  • HLFC hosted its fifth Harvest Fest in conjunction with Abounding Love Christian Fellowship in October, which drew several hundred people with free activities. 

  • Cross Culture Market participated in four Fair Trade events. One in April (which we helped to plan) and three during the Christmas season. 

  • We welcomed 15 students and several senior citizens from Stars Intergen Corp. for a community service day in November. Every program was bustling with volunteer activity.

 

 Volunteers

  • Albany Teen Challenge provided us with help two days a week. We depend on their student’s strong backs and energy to help us with labor intensive projects. 

  • Living Resources, ARC and the Special Education Department from the school sent student and adult volunteers to assist us each week. New in 2017, the Wildwood Program began sending us a team each week; they work in Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home.

  • The Albany County Community Justice Outreach Center consistently sent us defendants for community service hours. 

  • Nearly 50 volunteers worked in various capacities in all programs and events, which helped us achieve success last year.

 

Grants and donations

  • HFLC generates the bulk of its operating income from individual donations. However, the charity was grateful to receive grant money from The Bank of Greene County and Stewart’s. We also received donations from Gould Erectors, Port of Coeymans, P&M Brick, Trader Joes and many other local businesses.

 

 

 

Impact

 

Hope Full Life Center is proud to lend a helping hand to improve life for our neighbors. In addition to giving access to low-cost food, clothing, furniture, housewares and decor to low-income families in the RCS community, we supply a benefit far less tangible - dignity. 

 

At Helping Harvest, Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home, our staff and volunteers strive to offer clean, friendly, professionally operated stores where customers can make selections to suit their individual tastes and needs. Through modest donations, customers contribute to their well-being and ensure the survival of the programs for others. 

 

Dignity is also a guiding principle at Cross Culture Market where we buy goods from collectives of artisans who are paid a fair wage for the products they make. These people don’t want to accept handouts; instead they earn their way in life and provide for their families. 

 

We are inspired by the people we serve and lean on Matthew 25:35-40 for direction: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

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