2018 was an eventful year at the Center. Read all about what we accomplished and the people we served in this Annual Report.
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-Coeymans-Selkirk and throughout southern Albany County and the surrounding region using 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.
2018 Program Achievements
Helping Harvest sent home an estimated $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 Albany, Rensselaer and Schenectady.
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 support Capital Roots, a Troy-based not-for-profit, through the purchase of produce in the winter and spring. We also support local farmer Jon Audietis who purchased produce on our behalf at auctions.
The Linda Civill Community garden had good year with four of its eight beds in use. Local Girl Scouts maintained the beds and harvested produce for Helping Harvest as part of their Girl Scout Sow What Leadership Journey.
During the Christmas season we launched the Blessing Bag Project, where we gave food away to area charities and individuals in desperate need. Individuals bags were full of kitchen staples such as pasta and sauce, tuna fish, peanut butter, beans and other foods that offered a variety of flavors and nutrition. Agencies such as the Street Soldiers, Albany Teen Challenge, Senior Projects of Ravena and Albany homeless shelters received boxes full of rice, chicken and beef broth, tomato sauce and other ingredients needed to cook for large groups as part of the project. More than 50 families and agencies received Blessing Bags. Generous donors helped to make the Blessing Bags project possible.
Gracefully Chic Boutique and Peace of Home
Sold 35,000 items with proceeds benefiting the charity’s food assistance program, Helping Harvest.
Administered Cartwheels for Kids, which provides free clothing, footwear and fills other needs for foster kids in the Capital Region. Contributed $500 worth of merchandise to two area families facing emergencies.
Sowed into the Salvation Army, Capital City Rescue Mission, Grace United Methodist’s Book Nook, and Jezreel with its overflow.
Cross Culture Market
After six years in operation, Hope Full Life Center’s Board of Directors decided to close Cross Culture Market in April 2018. Despite our best effort with the resources we had available to us, this international economic development ministry wasn’t growing. In addition, it used a tremendous amount of staff time and financial resources.
During its six years in business Cross Culture Market:
Supported 21 ministry and humanitarian organization partners and the artists they work with through the purchase of $20,000 of Fair Trade merchandise.
Gave people in our community a great place to buy gifts.
Educated the public about the importance of ethical shopping behaviors.
Other 2018 Accomplishments
Events & Special Projects
HFLC hosted its sixth Harvest Fest in conjunction with Abounding Love Christian Fellowship in October, which drew several hundred people with free activities.
We welcomed students and several senior citizens from STARS Intergen Corp. for community service days in March and November. Every program was bustling with volunteer activity.
Worked in conjunction with Abounding Love Christian Fellowship, HFLC served as a distribution center for Toys for Tots.
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.
Late in 2018 Albany Teen Challenge’s Women’s Program began to send volunteers two days a week as well.
Living Resources and the Special Education Department at RCS sent student and adult volunteers to assist us each week.
The Albany County Community Justice Outreach Center consistently sent us defendants for community service hours.
More than 50 volunteers worked in various capacities in all programs and events 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, LargeHolicim and many other local businesses.
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 wellbeing and ensure the survival of the programs for others.
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.”