Hometown Highlights: Hope Pkgs
At Michigan Mortgage, we were born to serve. We are so blessed to be surrounded with so many like-minded people in our community, Lisa Hoeve included.
Lisa created Hope Pkgs in 2015 to serve foster children in our community.
“Too many children enter foster care with just the clothes on their backs,” she said. “Hope Pkgs provides new backpacks that include pjs, socks, underwear, toiletries, diapers and more to get them through their first night.”
“As a foster family, we learned of this big need right away. We have also witnessed kids using a garbage bag to bring items into our home.”
“I’m so thankful to help supply these important items that provide dignity, hope and love,” Lisa said. “As you can imagine, part of me is sad that it is even needed. But it is, for various reasons such as removing children abruptly due to extreme danger, children coming from very unsanitary places and just not owning anything because they may be homeless.”
To date, Hope Pkgs has served 3,942 kids (and counting) in Michigan. Every number has a name.
There are approximately 12,000 children in foster care in Michigan – Hope Pkgs hopes to reach each one of them.
“Our short-term goal is to reach one new foster care agency a month and provide first night bags, so they are able to disperse them to the kids they care for,” Lisa said. “We currently serve 24 agencies in 20 counties. We are also recognizing the need for diverse skin and hair products and getting those to kids who need them.”
Hope Pkgs is run by dedicated volunteers that manage all aspects of the non-profit. They manage three different spaces, organize orders, plan events, shop for needed items, deliver bags, and many other needed tasks.
The long-term goal is to obtain and operate out of one 1,200-foot facility to make storing and assembling first night bags much easier.
“People can get involved by sharing our ministry, making online donations at Hope Pkgs, even hosting a donation box at their church or place of business,” Lisa said. “Businesses are welcome to be a sponsor at any of our events. I’m also open to speaking about foster care in general as well as our ministry.”
It’s a community that many are unfamiliar with, and I enjoy sharing how people can become involved, which doesn’t always mean actual fostering.”
“For two years we have hosted a Fashion Show Fundraiser, complete with music, speakers, desserts, prizes and more,” she continued. “We look forward to hosting it again next May 26, 2022. Mark your calendar! It’s also a special event for foster moms as they are pampered and get to model gorgeous outfits on the runway.
“Currently we have 5 businesses hosting a donation box. We’d love to add a few more locations. Items that we find best to include in a new backpack are new pajamas, socks, underwear, throw blanket, toothbrush, tooth paste and body wash. Deodorant for the teens and diapers and wipes for the little ones.”
For more information and to get involved, visit www.hopepkgs.org.
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