Three local women who have overcome hardships including domestic violence and homelessness are nominees in the Families of Hope Campaign and will be recognized for transforming their own lives and raising funds to help others do the same. One will be named the “Beacon of Hope” at the event, which is open to the public to attend and offers dinner, dancing and casino games with all proceeds going to The SUCCESS Project.
Just like Cinderella, the three honorees at the upcoming Celebration of Hope banquet have hard luck stories and will be attending a ball; but unlike her, they owe their transformations to themselves rather than a fairy godmother. The women have worked to overcome significant obstacles, change their lives, and become economically self-sufficient; which is why they are nominees in the third annual Families of Hope Campaign. They are also inspiring and helping others to rise above difficult circumstances by raising funds for The SUCCESS Project, a non-profit organization that provides services to assist people in need. One of the deserving nominees will be named the 2019 Beacon of Hope at the banquet on November 2.
The Celebration of Hope is the culmination of the seven-week Families of Hope public awareness campaign and fundraiser. The event was created by The SUCCESS Project to shine a positive light on the many local families and individuals who are facing financial hardships due to difficult circumstances, but who are trying to regain or achieve economic self-sufficiency. Participants in the campaign receive a small stipend towards their personal economic goals and The SUCCESS Project receives the rest, enabling the organization to continue providing services, guidance, and training to those struggling to support their families. The public can boost the efforts of both the nominees and the organization through direct donations; the purchase of HOPE candles; by serving as event sponsors; and by attending the banquet, an evening that offers guests dinner, dancing, cocktails and a casino room. Donations, candle orders, and banquet ticket purchases can be made on the Celebration of Hope event page. Email Nicki at email@example.com for information about sponsorship opportunities.
The three nominees for this year’s Families of Hope Campaign are all natives of Maryland who have each overcome abuse, homelessness or other challenges. Read more about them here.
• Milly Conklin: Born and raised in Middle River, Milly is the mother of three adult daughters and grandmother to eight. A learning disability hindered her ability to earn a high school diploma and set the original course for her life; but Milly has been steadily working to change that direction and is on a new path to success, including earning her GED and working towards a college degree.
• Tiffany Corey: Tiffany hails from Street and is the survivor of both an abusive childhood and an abusive adult relationship. Though homeless for a time, this single mom is now a Certified Nursing Assistant and has been taking steps to provide a better life for her two children.
• Chanelle Pounds: Originally from Churchville, Chanelle became a mother at just 16 years old and is a survivor of domestic violence who also experienced homelessness. But she is looking forward not back, with a focus on creating a bright future for her five children, whom she is raising on her own.
Becky Svoboda was the 2018 Beacon of Hope. She says, “Being part of the Families of Hope campaign was an extremely rewarding experience for me. It helped me move closer to my goals, but more importantly, gave me the opportunity to give back to the program that has given me so much. I was glad to help raise funds that will assist others facing difficult circumstances as I did; and to spread the word about the life-changing services and programs the SUCCESS Project provides.”
The SUCCESS Project Executive Director Nicki Biggs says, “The Families of Hope campaign is all about celebrating the willpower of those who continue to strive for success even in the face of adversity. Each of our contestants truly has a “Cinderella story” and they have set an amazing example for others by maintaining an optimistic attitude and continually taking the necessary steps to become economically self-sufficient. This event is an opportunity to celebrate them and reward their achievements while also enabling us to assist even more families.”
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.
About the Families of Hope Campaign (http://theupwardclimb.org/families-of-hope.html)
The Families of Hope is a publicity campaign and fundraiser that started in 2016. Contestants set specific financial goals and work to meet those goals through fundraising activities. A portion of what they raise is given back to The SUCCESS Project and used to support programs, workshops and events.