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A Month of Hope 💚

The timing literally couldn't be more perfect! The month we announce and kick-off Project Hope is also the very same month that HOPE is recognized, #NationalMonthofHope. And if you're curious about how this particular day came about, you might be interested to know that it began only in 2016. "Mothers In Crisis, Inc. founded National Month of Hope to help spread hope around the world. Founded by Rosalind Tompkins in 1991 when she was just four years clean and sober, Mothers In Crisis, Inc." This foundation supports women and families in need, gives them hope, and empowers them to find a new path forward. However, the word hope is very much alive in our organization. For one, it's in our name, but most importantly, those who work for and with us are hope-bearers. This organization gives clients hope for a better life, new experiences, and belonging. Restoring Hope provides families with income that allows them to make a living working from home, have the flexibility they desire, and serve others in ways that no other role could provide. And no, being a caregiver isn't always easy; sometimes, getting restless and frustrated and wanting to give up hope is easy. Hope is a word to cling to. Hope essentially means we expect that something good will happen. We can put our trust in it, even though we may not yet see the result(s).  

Do you know the true meaning of being a bearer of hope? It's when someone brings hope to a challenging circumstance. For example, when Lorilee Mitchell, Central Missouri Regional caregiver, was approached with the opportunity to take in a young man who was non-verbal, had experienced severe trauma and abuse, and was diagnosed with a neurological and developmental disorder, she declined him based on his paperwork. After Staci Owen, CEO, and Amber Johnson, Placement Coordinator, continued to encourage Lorilee to give this young man another consideration, she decided to drive 3 1/2 hours to meet him. Within 3 minutes, she shared she knew he was special and wanted to take him home. Lorilee put in a ton of work to help this young man combat and work through his trauma. He was non-verbal, and teachers told her he couldn't read and was uninterested. Over a school break, she printed pictures out with words and got him to read page to page. At first, he would sleep under his bed. Once Lorilee added tigers and zebras, things he liked, and provided him with a padded headboard and curtains to make a tent over his bed, he began to love his room and feel safe. She ensured he wore nice, name-brand clothing that made him feel good about himself and helped him pick his outfits out the night before. Lorilee has spent years assisting him with things we take for granted daily. For instance, buttoning our clothes and holding utensils, to name only a couple. 

Even after all of this and years of pouring her heart and energy into this young man and several other clients, she states, "You never work a day when you're doing what you love!" This is a direct reflection of what being a hope-bearer is. And I'm sure there were days when Lorilee struggled and wasn't sure how to handle a situation that arose, but she pressed on, researched, and leaned on others for support and advice. And she is certainly not the only caregiver that Restoring Hope has like this! This agency is truly blessed with some of the very best caregivers in Missouri. So when things get hard, I mean truly hard; don't give up! As Dr. Karyn Purvis stated, "It's not you against this child. It's you and this child against this child's history. It is not a personal attack on you." Be a bearer of hope and spread it to other caregivers, Program Managers, your family, and your community. Teach it by living it out, and always choose hope over hopelessness!

How Can You as a Caregiver Bring Hope to Your Individual

  • Be a positive role model in a child/individual's life.

  • Provide a community of like-minded supportive adults to the child/individual.

  • Use positive reinforcement and focus on what they're doing well instead of all the wrong.

  • Get out into the community and volunteer with your individual and family. (Lorilee and her individuals made and provided her community hundreds, if not more, face masks for free during COVID-19.)

  • Shop with your individual for Project Hope and talk about the positive impact of giving to others!

How Can You as a Caregiver Bring Hope to Yourself

  • First, know that it's hard to offer hope to others if you aren't feeling well mentally or physically.

  • Think of something that might give you hope and begin to routinely practice it, think about it, or speak it out loud.

  • Connect with like-minded people who can give you hope in your situation. (Who you surround yourself with is more impactful than you may realize.)

  • Write down your hopes and reflect on them regularly.

  • Make action plans to see your hopes come to fruition!

How Can You Bring Hope to Your Family

  • Schedule time out of your day to check in with your family members. 

  • Call your parent(s), aunts, uncles, or cousins you haven't spoken to in a while, or send them a check-in text message or email.

  • It may be an appropriate time to drop in to give them a hug or a delicious coffee treat.

  •  Remind your family how much they mean to you. 💚

  •  Provide them with words of encouragement if they're going through a difficult time.

How Can You Bring Hope to Your Community

A few ideas of how to observe National Month of Hope provided by National Calendar Day are as follows:

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalMonthOfHope

  • Volunteer by reading to children in schools.

  • Experience meaningful and healthy communication with loved ones, family, friends, co-workers, and colleagues.

  • Giving time, food, and money to help families in need.

  • Minister to those incarcerated by writing letters and visiting.

  • Post on social media words of hope.

  • Sharing your story of overcoming with those who are going through hard times.

  • Cleaning up areas where there is trash, such as parks and beaches.

Hope can always be found if we live it out, share it, and model it to others. I hope that you will take it upon yourself to pursue being a hope-bearer in this harsh world. I hope you will give your all to spread light in the darkness and give joy to those who are mourning and suffering. Let's go out there and spread some hope, Restoring Hope family!

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