Harford County residents age 21 and older are invited to sign up for the positions and assist a family in need by
connecting them with information about local resources and services which could improve their lives.
There’s a saying that no one can help everyone, but everyone can help someone; and that adage is at the heart of the SUCCESS Project’s call for volunteers to serve as “Hope Coaches” in their annual Families of Hope Campaign. A Hope Coach acts as a community guide for a Family of Hope nominee, providing encouragement and support and serving as a conduit between the individual and various agencies which could help them on their journey towards economic independence. No special skills are required, just a desire to help others achieve along with knowledge of local services and programs that assist those in need. Volunteers must also commit to an orientation program. Download the Hope Coach application here. Completed forms must be submitted by June 29, 2018.
As the Executive Director of The SUCCESS Project, Nicki Biggs has witnessed the impact a Hope Coach can have. She says, “A Hope Coach is really a personal cheerleader. They see beyond an individual’s past or current circumstances and help the nominee see past those situations too, instead of feeling embarrassed or ashamed. That change in attitude can make all the difference between a person giving up or continuing to work on their goals.” However, the duties of a Hope Coach extend beyond just verbal support. Biggs continues, “A Hope Coach also introduces the candidate to individuals and organizations within the community that provide services to those experiencing financial difficulties. This is critical to a nominee’s success since often those living in poverty are isolated, which prevents them from learning about the very services which could help them move forward.”
Becky Svoboda’s family was named the 2018 Family of Hope and she agrees that a Hope Coach can make all the difference. Of her Hope Coach, Carla Ciallella, Becky says, “Having someone talk to me who I might not ever have spoken to otherwise made me feel special and important and gave me the confidence to keep trying.” Her Hope Coach Carla adds, “The whole experience was as rewarding for me as it was for Becky. I learned things, gained a friend, and became inspired myself. And in the end, I not only helped change someone’s life, I changed my own.”
Families of Hope was launched by The SUCCESS Project in 2016 to build awareness about the many families in Harford County struggling to realize the American Dream. It also celebrates the efforts of these individuals who are working hard to achieve or regain economic self-sufficiency by utilizing the services of churches and assistance organizations, including the SUCCESS Project. Nominees raise funds to support future SUCCESS Project programs and set a personal goal, such as a down payment on a home, to further their own efforts. At the end of the nine-week campaign contestants receive a stipend towards their goal and elect one of their peers to be the 2019 Family of Hope. The winning family will be announced at the Celebration of Hope Gala on November 2 at Bulle Rock.
For more information about The SUCCESS Project and the Families of Hope Campaign visit www.theupwardclimb.org.
About The SUCCESS Project (www.theupwardclimb.org)
The “SUCCESS” in The SUCCESS Project stands for “Supporting the Upward Climb to Continued Economic Self-Sufficiency.” The mission of the non-profit is to provide at-risk youth and low-income adults with services that teach life skills and encourage personal economic independence. The program is free and provides case management and referral services in the following areas: education, job training, employment opportunities, health care, financial education, credit counseling, home ownership, career advancement, transportation, life skills and entrepreneurship.