HOPE

HOPE Center receptionists Kristen Strecker, at left, and Cindy Tarron witness how the community’s giving of itself to HOPE Center improves lives.

Faith, hope, and love has never let the HOPE Center of Edmond down. Edmond’s good samaritans give to transform lives, to lift people from despair. One kind act could potentially impact generations.

About a decade ago, Cindy Tarron volunteered for three summers in the clothing room at the HOPE Center. She never forgot HOPE Center. So after retirement from Deer Creek Schools she began volunteering as a receptionist at HOPE by greeting people answering the phone.

“I love the fact that it was started by a group of churches,” Tarron said. “And they’re very organized about how they do things. I feel real comfortable donating my time, goods and services.”

HOPE Center shows how Edmond is blessed by helping others, Tarron said.

“And we want to give back because of the blessings. I know that’s why I do it. I’ve been blessed that I’ve never had to use the services, and I want to get them to the people,” she explained.

As a public service to our community, today is the last in a series of five weekly articles for the 2019 annual Edmond Sun Christmas Samaritan Fund Drive benefiting the HOPE Center of Edmond. The community’s goal this year is to surpass the $150,000 goal.

People have had life-altering illnesses causing them to no longer be able to work, Tarron said.

“I love the little kids and the fact that we can help them. I can’t imaging being a single parent with little kids,” she added.

Tarron greets single mothers with children waiting for their turn to apply for emergency services.

“I think that would be very hard,” she said. “A lot of them are without a father — and you know — the kid belongs to two.”

Many HOPE clients do not own a vehicle, but appreciate the CityLink bus service transporting them to HOPE, said Chris Sperry, executive director. Clients say they appreciate being able to do everything at one place. Expectant mothers might need to see a nurse practitioner for a prenatal service at HOPE.

Most people receive food, clothing, utility, and rent assistance during their visit. HOPE Center is now able to initiate food stamp applications. 

“For a lot of our clients that is a big deal because they may not have a computer at home,” Sperry said. “They may not know where to begin, and this way it begins the application. DHS contacts them to make an appointment, and they don’t have to sit and wait.”

Clients must provide verification of their income to make sure they fall within the center’s income guidelines for assistance, Sperry said. Evaluating a client’s income is based on the Department of Human Services’ poverty guidelines for food stamp recipients. 

Clients must live within a City of Edmond zip code to receive services. A family of four earning less than $31,590 of gross income a year would qualify. A single person would need to earn less than $15,444 on an annual basis to qualify.

Volunteer receptionist Kristen Strecker admires the courage it takes for clients to ask HOPE Center for help. Asking for help doesn’t mean a person is giving up, she said.

“I’m not solving the world’s problems, but I am part of helping people with problems get back on their feet,” she said, adding that instead of trashing something you don’t need anymore, you may bring it here and it can be used for many other reasons. 

“There’s maybe some households that may have a bunch of stuff they may not be using anymore. You go to your closet and you look at all your clothes and you wear just a few of them. Some of those clothes — you keep asking yourself — could someone get use out of these? Make someone warm who is not, instead of being in my closet or stored in my attic.”

Strecker said she sees the giving part of Edmond by volunteering at HOPE.

HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway in Suite A, is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to noon. Donation hours are Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. HOPE Center is closed through Jan. 3. 

The warehouse will be open for donations on Dec. 28, 30, 31, and Jan. 2, 3, 4.

To learn more about HOPE Center, 1251 N. Broadway, visit www.hopecenterofedmond.com or call 405-348-1340.

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