Marysville News

Hope Center sets $30K fundraising goal

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Jessica Schulze, CEO of the Hope Center in Marysville, hopes to raise $30,000 to end the summer on a high note.

The Hope Center, 212 Chestnut St., houses several social services, ministries and programs to serve Union County residents. It is also home to Agape Community Fellowship Church and the Refuge Youth Center.

Schulze said the need in the summer is just as great as the need during the school year, but midyear is a slow time for donations.

The Summer of Hope campaign aims to change that.

"We're still serving 2,300 to 2,500 meals a month, still doing all the things we do year-round, but we just need to remind people who maybe haven't given since the holidays. It's a great time to give," Schulze said.

The nonprofit organization is asking for 100 Summer of Hope partners to give a one-time gift of $100, 10 partners to give $1,000 and one partner to make a gift of $10,000.

"The summer is a wonderful time for us because there is so much life and vitality. It's easier for people to come and go. The weather's not an issue, so we have an increase in traffic and we have more kids," Schulze said. "But the volunteers and the regulars and the staff are all taking vacations and funding is the same way. The work goes up, but people aren't thinking about you the same way.

"Part of the Summer of Hope campaign is just to help us stay on target for the year so we can go into the fall and hit the ground running with no hiccups from a funding point of view," she said.

This summer, seven interns have been learning and helping to manage programs such as the child-care center.

"We are open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for kids and youth to participate in the summer program. They do a lot of athletics and having fun together playing games," Schulze said.

Intern Mickie Schaeffer, 19, is a Marysville High School graduate who will be a sophomore at Mount Vernon Nazarene University this fall. She has enjoyed working with the kids and helping them develop relationship skills while developing her own leadership skills.

"It's been good. A lot of kids didn't know each other when they first came, and a lot of them have interacted well together and they've come together," Schaeffer said. "I think it's been great. Even for me to be able to interact with the kids has helped me a lot, too."

Schaeffer, who is studying social work, has also done some shadowing with the emergency assistance department at the Hope Center. She also will meet with a nursing home director to get an idea of that job's daily work.

"We're trying to match the interns with professionals and their fields of interest so they can have an hour with them and pick their brain about how they got where they are. Then at the end of each day, we come together and we do leadership development and processing together as a team," Schulze said.

Schulze said the youth and internship programs have been a big part of summer activities at the Hope Center. This fall, the center will offer more help for children by offering after-school tutoring.

Last year, the organization raised $280,000 -- about 45 percent coming from local churches, 45 percent from individuals and 10 percent from local grants and foundations.

The Summer of Hope campaign is expected to wrap up by Labor Day, so the center can prepare for the next season and the needs that come with it.

To donate, go to hopecenterohio.org or send contributions marked for the Hope Center, Summer of Hope, to 212 Chestnut St., Marysville, Ohio 43040.

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