With three major projects completed through community outreach, the LaVergne based “We Are Hope Foundation” has been formally established. The mission of the Foundation is to provide hope for people in need of a helping hand.
The non-profit organization elected its Board of Directors on December 1. Board members include: Kathy Tyson, President; Deborah Balthrop, Vice President; Melissa Joyner, Treasurer; Montique Luster, Secretary; Pastor Brenda Bryant, Life of Victory Church; Roger French, Kroger Co. (retired); Dr. Isaac Labeb, Good Samaritan Veterinary Clinic; and Jim Anderson, First Horizon Bank. The foundation is a 501(c)3 organization affiliated with Life of Victory International Ministries.
“We here to provide compassionate assistance for people who need a helping hand,” said Tyson. “Our ultimate goal is to work together with our entire community to help vulnerable people in our area. We are seeking partnership opportunities with industry, local churches, and other organizations to provide assistance that is otherwise unavailable or denied. The We are Hope Foundation is coming from a place of love to help improve the lives of people in need.” To date three major projects have been completed that include:
HVAC Unit for Single Mom, Two Children (ages 9 and 3) and their Grandmother
A family who had been living for two years without heat inspired Operation Give Back and $2,000 was raised within one week for a new unit. Lee Company accepted the job and installed a new unit including labor costs on a job that would have normally cost more than $6,000.
New Roof for Disabled Woman
Dottie Dunaway had asked for help in replacing her roof for years. She owned the home but not the land which made her ineligible for a THDA Home Improvement loan. With every storm her home was damaged more and more, including the presence of mold, mildew, holes in ceiling and buckled floors. When they heard about her dilemma, Southeastern Roofing Company, ABC Supply Co., and GAF Co. donated all materials and labor for a new roof. The $1,200 raised was then used for interior repairs including flooring.
Help for Single Mom with Four Children
A mom found herself in a desperate situation and with the generous assistance of the La Vergne Firefighters Association, the home was cleaned and items including bedding, diapers, kitchen necessities, clothing, and food were donated. Additionally the community helped her catch up on her utility bills. The young mother was able to get her daycare voucher and has returned to work.
Two more major projects are planned by the Foundation. The first is to build “Blessing Boxes” in La Vergne. Kayleigh Balthrop, granddaughter of Vice President Deborah Balthrop, has addressed food insecurity through her work as Miss Volunteer State-Little. She proposed establishing the little food pantries throughout the city of La Vergne and the Foundation is partnering with Father’s House Church, Skyline Exhibitors, and Life of Victory for the first location.
“We are seeking donations of materials and locations for the Blessing Boxes,” said Vice President Balthrop. “After they’re established we will also be asking residents for help in keeping them stocked with non-perishable food items and toiletries like women’s products, socks, gloves, and more. Our immediate need is for materials to be donated and once our volunteers put them together we will identify more locations.”
The Foundation is making tentative plans to sponsor an art project that will bring art education and beauty to the city of LaVergne. The project Take Flight for New Beginnings will feature butterfly sculptures designed and decorated by local artists and school groups. The sculptures will be placed on public display throughout the city for up to six months before being moved to their permanent homes. Sponsors are needed for this project.
“Until you spread your wings, you have no idea how far you can fly,” said Tyson. “It’s important to experience a sense of lightness and joy, and butterflies will represent this joyful transformation as we strive to improve lives in middle Tennessee.”
If you are interested in making a tax-exempt donation to the We Are Hope Foundation, if you are interested in sponsoring a butterfly sculpture or a blessing box, or if you want more information, contact the foundation at WeAreHopeTN@gmail.com. You can also find us at www.facebook.com/WeAreHopeTN.