Photos by Perry Memorial United Methodist Church
These are only a few photos from a long day and the numbers speak for themselves. Today was an incredible blessing—from children laughing in glee to adults shedding tears as someone talked with them, listened to their stories, and prayed for their wholeness. One of the honored guests was so weak from hunger that a meal was eaten before she could gather the energy to walk from the tent. Lord, hear the cries of your people…
The numbers for Day of Hope 2017 indicate the great need in our community but also point to warm welcome and hospitality from compassionate volunteers:
Honored Guests: 2,936
Hot lunches: 4,599
Bagged groceries: 4,880
Children’s Haircuts: 216
Dental screenings: 230
Eye exams: 177
Family Portraits: 400
Pairs Kids’ Shoes: 1,450
Veterans served: 44
Garden In A Bag: 800
Organic Plum Product: 12,000 samples
200 children prayed with
190 adults prayed with
25 Children/Youth Professions of Faith
21 Adult Professions of Faith
127 Adults requested follow-up from area churches.
Thank you to Rev. Scott Mayberry for his leadership with the Day of Hope organizing committee and to the churches of Beckley for working together to serve so faithfully!
A reflection about A Day of Hope, by Joanne Davis
On any given day, you can find hope in many places in Beckley and environs. On Saturday, August 19, much of that hope was concentrated at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization based in Springfield, Missouri. It’s people—board, staff, and volunteers alike—share a “driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, and disaster response.” On August 19, Convoy of Hope lived out that mission in Beckley.
The doors opened 45 minutes early on Saturday morning as hundreds lined up for links to needed social services, free medical and dental care, and a free healthy meal. For the children, there were bounce houses, balloon sculptures, and face-painting. Hundreds left the Convention Center in comfort and style, wearing the free brand-new shoes donated by footwear retailers.
It wasn’t all about meeting a physical need, important as that is. Volunteer hair stylists offered free haircuts and styling, providing the personal grooming so important to us all. Photographers provided free family portraits, something that many of the guests feel is a luxury they could not otherwise afford. Such things don’t pay the rent, but what they do for a person’s sense of dignity and rootedness in family can’t be measured in dollars.
The prayer support offered to the guests is a critical component of every Day of Hope event. Here in Beckley, volunteers prayed with and for 200 youth and children and 190 adults. Twenty-five children and 21 adults made professions of faith, and 127 adults requested follow-up from area churches. These brothers and sisters could soon be blessing our congregations with their presences and their gifts, and building up the Body of Christ!
Overall, more than four thousand persons participated at this great event. More than 35,000 pounds of groceries were distributed along with 4600 hot lunches, 216 haircuts, 230 dental screenings, 177 eye exams, 400 family portraits, and 1450 children’s shoes. The need in Beckley is great, but more than one thousand persons from all Christian denominations came to help meet the need. We pray for the need to become smaller, but while there is a need, the Body of Christ can make a difference.