A single mom fumbles in her purse for another dollar to pay for a gallon of milk. A former energy industry executive scours the want ads for something to pay the bills after being laid off. A young boy wonders if he’ll ever be able to get his grades up and break the cycle of poverty in his family.
For all of these people and many more, there will soon be an organization that can help not only with emergency needs, but with needs that go beyond the moment.
It’s called Family Hope and it is the brainchild of the pastors of 14 churches in the Fulshear-Simonton area who felt as though there was a great need for an organization that could not only give people immediate assistance, but that would help to create stronger, healthier families in the community.
“About a year ago, the one food shelf in the area closed its doors. It left a great void,” said Family Hope Launch Director and Pastor of New Creation Lutheran Church, Dale Olson. “The pastors got together and said we really need an organization that can help take care of some of these difficulties in people’s lives.”
The group brainstormed about what this organization should look like and what it would do.
“Our vision is transforming hurting people into healthy families through the love of God,” Olson said. “We want to bring the faith and business communities together and assist people with emergency needs like food, but most importantly, we want to equip people for a better life through counseling and tutoring services.”
Olson said Family Hope has two points of focus: compassion and transformation.
“This a place where they can receive compassion if they’re going through a tough time, whatever their economic level,” he said. “We’ll also walk with people in making some healthy choices to create healthy families.”
Right now, Olson and the other pastors are raising funds to make their vision a reality. One way they are doing this is through a gala event on March 27, put on by their parent organization—Fulshear Outreach & Development.
“There will be a meal, a silent auction and a live auction and a program featuring live music,” he said. “It will be held at the Fulshear United Methodist Church and will hopefully raise some funds to begin this organization.”
Some of the businesses partnering with Family Hope have already begun helping launch the organization by donating baskets for the silent auction and buying tickets to the gala.
Olson said the organization will need all the help they can get as their community grows.
“Fort Bend County is the fastest growing county in the US,” he said. “We are banding together because we know in the coming months and years, those poverty issues and difficulty issues will remain with us as the area begins to grow. We need these kind of organizations to help the community.”
The pastor and those working with him hope to help people living in the Fulshear-Simonton area to break the cycle of poverty and make better choices for their future.
“We feel that the love of God is something that spurs us on to fight for justice and be able to care for the people,” Olson said.
The launch director hopes that in the coming year, Family Hope will be able to fill immediate needs, equip people through counseling and tutoring, and to be a connecting rod to other organizations who are working to make the Fulshear-Simonton area a better place.
“Mother Theresa said, ‘the greatest evil is the lack of love, charity and an indifference toward one’s neighbor,’” he said. “Our goal is to care for our neighbors, and by caring for our neighbors, strengthen our communities.”