Hope4Gaston was founded in 2008. The concept was simple; a one day event in which churches, businesses and local government could come together and help those in need. Hope4Gaston’s first endeavor in May 2009 produced 15 refurbished and painted homes, 1000 families were provided much needed food and well over 3000 people attended the block party, which included a free lunch, information booths and a play zone for children. The event was a complete success. The entire event was free to those involved, as well as all services provided. This great day lead to a second event four months later. On the second event day in October 2009, 35 homes were refurbished, 1200 people received food, over 5000 people attended the block party and we added a new element: a free ‘thrift store’ we called our Closet of Hope, where over 2000 people received items such as clothing, shoes, toys, furniture and appliances.
In only four years Hope4Gaston has achieved great things in our community through the eight events we have held, which include: 125 homes refurbished, 7 local school transformed by landscaping projects, as well as exterior painting and repairs, over 50,000 people have been provided food and over 15,000 people have received items through our Closet of Hope. Hope4Gaston also provides a free ‘dental clinic’ where an excess of $125,000 worth of dental services have been made available at no charge to those individuals without dental insurance. In addition, in April 2012 Hope4Gaston will be partnering with CaroMont Healthcare, Gaston County Health Department
and Gaston Family Health Services to provide a free ‘medical clinic’. Six local communities have seen a dramatic decrease in crime which has positively restored citizen’s pride in their neighborhoods. Hope4Gaston was one of three stories that secured the 2010 ‘All American City Award’ back to Gastonia, NC. Hope4Gaston was the sole reason Gastonia won the 2010 ‘National Livability Award’ from the US Conference of Mayors. Hope4Gaston was the 2011 ‘Gaston Together Community Leadership Award’ winner. We were also honored to receive the ‘Wisdom of Solomon Award’ from Temple Emmanuel for our vast community outreach. Our greatest accomplishment by far has been our ability to provide all the services mentioned above at no cost to those in need. How is this possible, you may ask? Hope4Gaston has received over $50,000 in Federal money through the City of Gastonia. These funds were used to buy materials for home repairs. This $50,000 commitment translates to over 1.3 million dollars the city saved that did not negatively affect homeowners and tax-payers. Our Closet of Hope has given over 1 million dollars worth of inventory to those in need. We also receive funds from local churches and businesses, however we are in great need for additional financial partners to come along side us and join in the impactful and worthwhile work we are doing in Gaston County.
If you or your organization would like to partner with Hope4Gaston, please email or call us directly.
God Bless You!
John F Whitaker
John F Whitaker
Executive Director, Hope4Gaston