The Rejoice in Hope Foundation believes that it is more than just telling our ambassadors what to do, we feel it is our duty to go out and serve with them and teach them how to help. It's very intimidating to go out and do an outreach by yourself and we understand, so will be coming to see each ambassador in their home state to serve and grow with them. Serving can be done at any age as long as you have the right heart.
On October 16, we introduced 17 year old Riley from Kirkland, WA to the Lord's Table organization, which has been serving hot meals nightly to the homeless since 1991. The founder of the organization, Kay Abe, is 89 years old and still serves with the teams nightly, gathering them to pray and overseeing everything. What an inspiration to us all.
Founder Sunny Chae met Melvin, a hardworking man who wants to teach his children about saving our land. Each week, he goes through the parking lot collecting cans for his young son to recycle. It has taught his son about saving the Earth and also about being wise about his money. We applaud those like Melvin who do their part to make this world better by teaching the next generation #awarenessforamerica
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the greatness of the homeless epidemic in our nation. Its disheartening to pass them on the street and know there is only so much we can do. The thing is....let's look at what we HAVE done. Here are just a few highlights of what the Rejoice in Hope Foundation has done since it began in May of 2017:
- Put on a homeless outreach and feeding on Skid Row in June
- Produced successful fundraising gala at the famous Millennium Biltmore Hotel in July
- Inducted 44 ambassadors from 28 states to make a movement through our #life4homeless program
- Opened the door for Juan from Skid Row to perform his music - he overcame years of stage fright by performing at our event and now has confidence again to get out there.
- Helped Sonja get off of Skid Row and teaching her on the job training, proper eating skills and instilling the confidence for her to return to Minnesota to reconcile with her children.
- Produced Healing Camp at Lake Hemet for women 40+ to reconnect and experience nature and heal with other women
- Inducted 10 new ambassadors in Seoul, South Korea to start a worldwide #life4homeless campaign
- SC Ambassadors Karis Wymbs and Raven Gilliard are working with local SC community organizations for homelessness. What a great inspiration to see our young people doing more in the community.
-Started a "Make Change for Homeless" campaign, where people will collect change in a piggy bank for donations
- WY ambassador Teresa Dell created a Rejoice in Hope coat drive and fundraiser for the local homeless population
...this is just the beginning....join with us and create #life4homeless
This past Saturday, WY ambassador Teresa Dell gathered her community together to have a winter coat drive for the local homeless population. In states such as Wyoming or more rural areas, the homeless are sometimes harder to find because they stay away from populated areas or live in the woods. Teresa and her team collected winter wear, donations and winter gear and will make sure that it goes to the right places in her town. Next up, another drive in Big Sur, CA where she spends half her time. We applaud Teresa for doing her part - we sometimes feel that our one piece isn't enough, but all of us together can really make a difference in this country. #life4homeless
A successful Healing Camp was held over Labor Day weekend, at beautiful Lake Hemet in Hemet, CA. Four women joined us from all areas of life, coming as far as Wyoming to experience this healing weekend.
Healing Camp was created for women with families and single women over 40 to teach them how to become self-sufficient and build confidence through the purity of nature. This is an opportunity to experience nature in a unique format with other women who may have been held back from trying this before due to lack of knowledge or lack of community.
The women were able to share about past experiences and hurts in a safe and comfortable environment, truly experiencing the peace and healing that comes from the outdoors.
Today, Sonja left us a note on the table at Marina's house and has made the decision to leave the #life4homeless program through the Rejoice in Hope Foundation.
We have realized that even though there may be a desire for many, the work that it takes to truly get off the street and become self-sufficient again is much more difficult that most people think. Change is challenging and it takes recognizing the problem and extreme self-discipline, desire and dedication to create a new foundation for life so that going back to the street is not an option.
We have seen that most people will give up before they even build the foundation to become self-sufficient or if it takes work to see results. The Rejoice in Hope Foundation can do their best to provide what is needed for each individual but without a willingness to take those opportunities, the Rejoice in Hope Foundation is limited in what we can do. As an organization committed to serving one person at a time, we are also learning too as we serve.
In Sonja's case, after 3 weeks in the program, she had a hard time with having a structured schedule and made the choice to leave. Though she did not finish the program, with what she has learned, she was able to make the difficult decision not to marry someone who may not enrich her life and chose to try and be a mother to her two youngest children. Sonja is staying off Skid Row and will be returning to Minnesota. The children are now adopted to another family and she has never seen her daughter in person, only through pictures and communicating via phone and text. Her son is also having behavioral disorders at school. Sonja has seen how life can be off the street and we pray that she will not allow herself to go backwards but only forward.
We feel this too is a success.
We would like to request our ambassadors to please refrain from contacting or responding to Sonja via social media since she has made the decision to leave the program and does not need a hand out. She needs to focus on her family and life in Minnesota.
We will continue to pray for Sonja and pray for the next woman or child who needs to be served. #life4homeless
Sometimes, it's not just about changes but about healing as well. It's also teaching and learning about value and quality. Sonja looks great in these beautiful Chanel sunglasses from Founder Sunny Chae and we want her to learn to appreciate and value herself! Brands are not only for the rich, she deserves to have one and look good just like everyone else. #life4homeless
Today, Founder Sunny Chae was stopped by an 80 year old grandma at Aroma Spa & Sports with two piggy banks full of coins from both herself and her husband and some simple toiletries to share with homeless women. The grandma had been looking for her all week, wanting to share this with her. At first, the grandma was a little worried - after all it was just change, mostly pennies in one, would the Foundation even want just simple pennies?
The answer? YES! It doesn't matter how small, even a few pennies from many can add up to much. It's not about how much you give, it's about your heart to do it and giving back to God at your best.
Ambassadors, it starts with you. Are you donating to help? Can you collect coins in your community or come up with creative fundraisers? You can sell candy, you can hold car washes, you can do services for others, you can have a garage sale, you can make things to sell...the possibilities are endless if you just make the effort. #life4homeless
A letter to share from Karis's mother, Linda Parnell:
"It is refreshing to watch Karis transition in this new role of Helping the Homeless. Karis was challenged by Sunny Chae to help the Homeless in her community and she has hit the ground running. What a good way to spend her time. She is now a volunteer at House of Hope for the Pee Dee. If you have items to donate to the shelter, please let us know.
Today, Founder Sunny Chae brought Sonja to her church in Downtown Los Angeles. This was Sonja’s first time back at church since May. Before that time, she had not been to church since October.
A week ago when Sonja was living on Skid Row, she would not have been allowed to attend service at the church. They would have kicked her out and told that she was not welcome. Sonja registered with the church as a visitor and experienced a bilingual service, with the songs and message in Korean, translated into English with a headset. she said that as soon as she walked in, she felt the presence of God in that place. During the service, the senior pastor asked Sonja and the other newcomers to stand ands be recognized and our 4000 member church sang to them in welcome. After service, there was a wonderful reception and she was greeted by Pastor Timothy Park, who she had met while living on Skid Row and the Senior Pastor Richard Shin, who had just returned from Korea. She was greeted warmly and no one treated her as an outsider. It has been less than a week, but Sonja is really experience what it is like to have new life. #life4homeless