Christ Church Cranbrook is pleased to have an ongoing, mutual partnership with Focus: HOPE in Detroit. Focus: HOPE is a renowned organization with a 40+ year old history committed to hunger relief, career training and development, and racial reconciliation.
Christ Church Cranbrook is working with staff, residents, and volunteers of The HOPE Village Initiative in a section of the Oakman Blvd. Neighborhood in Detroit on many fronts: education and tutoring, health care delivery, community improvement and development, and food programs. There are many volunteer opportunities and entry points for building relationships so that people of all ages, skill sets and interests can get involved with Focus:HOPE in the coming year. We hope that you will join us in building this partnership ! If you have an idea, bring it to the table! For information and to express interest, please contact Rev. Beth Taylor, Associate Priest for Outreach and Youth, at Rev. Beth Taylor or 248-644-5210 ext. 30. To learn more about Focus:HOPE, visit www.focushope.edu.
Volunteer opportunities include:
Technical and Professional expertise:
Do you have professional expertise or talent you could share on an limited or ongoing basis with our partner agency Focus:HOPE in Detroit? Examples of areas that are needed: Finance, forecasting, real estate law, city planning, construction, architecture, medical, computer training, secondary education administration. If you are interested in exploring a volunteer role, please contact parishioner Linda Braun at 248.227.6854 or firstname.lastname@example.org or the Rev. Beth Taylor at 248.644.5210, Ext. 30.
Tutoring opportunities at Glazer Elementary School:
We are forming a group for four or five volunteers who can make a weekly visit to Glazer Elementary in Focus:HOPE’s Hope Village Initiative neighborhood. These volunteers will meet with elementary students in the school library during the day to listen to children read. This enables students to practice their reading skills while receiving positive feedback and extra attention from an adult. Time commitment 2-3 hours, once a week. Carpool available. All adult volunteers will participate in Safeguarding God’s Children training (available online) and a background check. To volunteer, please contact the Rev. Beth Taylor at 248.644.5210, Ext. 30 or email@example.com
Ingatherings (snowblowers, lawnmowers, gloves, toys, blankets, etc.:
In an effort to provide much-needed employment opportunities in the Focus:HOPE community, Stephanie Johnson-Cobb, director of community projects, would like to establish two small businesses. Now equipped with an array of lawnmowers, tools collected from other sources and snow blowers, her first goal is to set up a landscaping company.
The second option aims to capitalize on the gourmet food market, which seems to have resiliency in spite of the uncertain financial climate. A group from Focus:HOPE and CCC are considering the idea of using herbs grown locally and top quality olive oil to produce high-end products for the metro Detroit area.
To make these projects happen, we need some expert advice, and individuals who can help supervise these programs. Do you have that expertise? Or, do you know someone who could be our consultant for this? Please contact Linda Braun, coordinator of expert volunteers for the outreach committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
|DeAngelo’s Story: A Story of Risk-Taking and Vulnerability
by Rev. Beth Taylor
I came across a beautiful story this week about a young Detroiter named DeAngelo Simpkins (liveunitedsem.org) His life was turned upside down – or right side up? – because of risk taking and vulnerability.
Simpkins shares, “A year ago, I was at a low point in my life. I had been working one temporary position after another with the hopes that someone would hire me.” By some fluke, Simpkins landed in a seat next to Judith Brantley from Focus: HOPE on a bus one afternoon, and they struck up a conversation. Simpkins took a risk – he shared with her what was happening in his life – that he had made some bad decisions in his past that were preventing him from moving forward. Brantley asked him what he wanted to do.”I just need work,” Simpkins told her.
Once she heard Simpkins’ story, Brantley took a risk herself – she encouraged him to give her a call at Focus: HOPE so that they could talk more. She started off by helping Simpkins build a resume, and introduced him to a program at Focus: HOPE’s Center’s for Working Families where he learned about financial literacy.
But she didn’t stop there. Knowing that there are many obstacles to employment, particularly for those who have been out of work for a long time, or who have never had work at all, Brantley helped Simpkins get a scholarship to attend a four-week job training program at Focus: HOPE that provided him with OSHA and First Aid/CPR certifications, as well as job readiness and computer skills. Within a few interviews, Simpkins was hired by O’Brien Construction as a general laborer.
“This opened up the door for so many opportunities for me and my family — many more than I even imagined would be available. I now have a steady income, and it has allowed me to think about and plan for my future. I realize now that I am not my past.”
Christ Church Cranbrook recently invested $24,000 into a Jobs Pipeline Program that provides training, screening and certification through Focus: HOPE. Our grant will put OVER 75 people through this program – 75 people ready to start their futures in a few weeks!
But let’s not stop there! Let’s ask how we might take a risk and help our neighbors even further on their way. Are you in a position in your own work place to hire a trained entry level person? Or to contact your HR department to let them know about these job training graduates? Talk to a member of the Outreach Committee, or call me, 248-644-5210, ext 30 or email me at email@example.com and we will talk about this and other outreach opportunities.