Hope America visited Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) for the holidays and brought smiles to hundreds of area families.
The nonprofit organization from Ypsilanti, Michigan provides food, clothing, educational workshops and home buying seminars to low-income people. And, this year chose the Mississippi Delta as one of its major donation spots.
The event was held at the Charles Lackey Recreation Center on the MVSU campus.
According to Eleanor Walker, executive director of Hope America, Valley and President William Bynum welcomed the organization, “without hesitation to hold this event on the campus, and his wonderful staff has assisted us for months coordinating the event.”
Mississippi Valley State Chief of Staff La Shon Brooks was lead coordinator for the event and assisted volunteers in preparing for the big day.
“We’ve been working on this for about a year,” she said. I asked Dr. Bynum if he wanted Valley to host and he said do whatever it takes.”
Brooks mentioned the effort put into pulling the event together was a community effort.
“We had volunteers from all over the community helping us. Students, sororities, fraternities, firemen, faculty and staff as well as high school students assisted. Dr. Abigail Newsome was instrumental in helping to get things together and Coach Lee Smith really helped a great deal,” said Brooks.
Brooks was excited about the turnout from the public and how the university came together to brighten the lives of so many people.
“The impact the university along with Hope America had on so many people was really positive. It was a blessing to those families and the look on the kids’ faces when they walked in and saw all of the items on the floor and lined across the room was amazing,” said Brooks.
Not only did Hope America and Mississippi Valley help hundreds of people in attendance, but they were also able to help neighboring communities as well.
“We had people from all over the Delta here. There were even people from as far as Columbus, Mississippi to attend. There were so many items left over that we were able to offer it to other organizations. We gave to the Salvation Army, Community Kitchen, L.T. Brazil Center and the town of Moorhead,” Brooks said.
“People were so grateful that some sent thank you cards, others sought out the executive director from Hope America on that day to personally thank her,” said Brooks.
The donors and sponsors for the event included Feed the Children, Kids in Distress, Fashion Delivers, Soles 4 Souls, Burlington, Toys R US, Baby R US, Carters, Gymboree, MARS Foods, Pepsi Cola, Mitchell Distribution, Walmart, Double Quick, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Market Place, KFC, Captain D’s, Pizza Hut, Honest Abe’s Donuts, Thompson Hospitality and Mississippi Valley State.
Hope America’s mission is to provide hope and resources to families in need during their toughest and trying times. The organization believes stronger families make stronger societies. America is one of the riches countries in the world and no struggling family should be without the resources and support to help maintain their household.