Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reflections on Thanksgiving

The turkey, stuffing, and gravy was delish, but the most meaningful part of my Thanksgiving was the thanksgiving offered to God for the many blessings in our lives. I’m most thankful for my relationship with God, a wonderful husband, loving children and grandchildren, my mother’s healing, and for the opportunity to serve at Hope Alive.

This Thanksgiving I also thought about what our families at Hope Alive are most thankful for this year. Stability, improved health, a place to call home, loving support, unconditional love and acceptance, new opportunities, peace and hope top their blessings this year.

I found myself thinking about homeless families in our community and what they might be reflecting on this Thanksgiving. Sadly, their thoughts are probably consumed with their housing instability, food insecurity, life chaos, poor health, hopelessness and despair.

My prayer is that together we can respond to the growing, complex, and unmet needs of homeless women and children in our community to help change their lives. Did you know there are 600 homeless children in Frederick County Public Schools this month? That’s an increase from 400 at the start of the school year. The recently released Frederick County Human Needs Assessment identified one of the most urgent needs in our community is for shelter ranging from emergency to permanent affordable housing. I believe God is calling us to work together to meet more of these critical needs and to continue to change the face of homelessness in our community.

Thank you for your support and committed interest in the work God has called us to do. Let’s make every day Thanksgiving by giving praise and gratitude to God for all He has done in our lives! Until next week …

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Through God's miraculous provision

God has provided for His ministry at Hope Alive in miraculous ways over the past 10 years. This year we were blessed to be selected as a beneficiary of the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Program. Today wraps up our first year as a participating charity with the final Walkathon on the National Mall. Just over 500 walkers participated in seven mini walks in October and November and today’s Walkathon – raising more than $15,000 to benefit Hope Alive’s resident families.

Special thanks to all our walkers, Catoctin High Soccer and Cross Country Teams, Lewistown Elementary, Sabillasville Elementary, Thurmont Elementary, and Middletown United Methodist Church for hosting mini walks, and to the many many donors who funded walker registration fees. We are looking forward to even greater success next year!

We are also excited about an amazing opportunity God has provided through the Ausherman Family Foundation. They have awarded us a generous $25,000 challenge grant – matching dollar for dollar every new gift received up to that amount. Just note “challenge grant” on the memo line of your check and your gift will return to Hope Alive doubled. This challenge grant and matching gifts can erase our summer deficit and position us for a strong year in 2012.

Through God’s miraculous provision, He has faithfully sustained His ministry since opening our doors five years ago even through our unstable economic times. In this season of Thanksgiving, we are grateful for God’s faithfulness, mercy, grace, life-changing love, and hope that He alone can give. As you enjoy your Thanksgiving with family and friends, please remember the families who call Hope Alive home and the many homeless families who are struggling to survive right here in our own backyard – and count the many blessings in your life!

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director