On Sunday, September 11, 2011…
our church, in partnership with First UMC Des Plaines, New Hope UMC Chicago and United Methodist Communications in Nashville created a community-wide commemorative event called HOPEFEST 2011. On that day, the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, we reached beyond our church walls for a day of volunteer-driven community service, with special emphasis on first responder awareness, education, and appreciation.
Community partners included Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Maine Township Emergency Food Depository, LifeSource Blood Services, The Salvation Army, the Park Ridge Youth Campus, Des Plaines Self Help Closet and Pantry, New Hope Food Pantry, Avenues to Independence, Bethany Terrace, Resurrection Hospital, Maine Township High School District 207 and local police and fire departments.
A snapshot of what we accomplished together:
• 600 Thank You bags given to the first responders and ER medical staff made with 600 dozen cookies, 600 prayer squares and 600 Thank you note cards;
• 23 people participated in CPR classes;
• 50 volunteers at Park Ridge Youth Campus doing yardwork, planting etc.;
• 20 volunteers at Avenues to Independence doing yardwork, planting etc.;
• 4,000 items of food donated and dispersed between 3 food pantries;
• Over 25 people visited Bethany Terrace Assisted Living in Morton Grove, where a choir performed, worked with residents writing life stories, and decorated a party room for Grandparents Day;
• 1200 people participated throughout the day;
• Over 600 people learned about improving their health and safety;
• 80 units of blood were donated at two blood drive locations;
• 1400 thank you notes were written to our first responders and military.
• Over 200 people began the day with a commemorative service at 7:30 am, which included the presentation and unveiling of a 6′ steel beam from the World Trade Center.