Thursday, January 3, 2008

A Gift of HOPE

The Optimist and his girlfriend received a lovely letter in the mail today thanking us for our clothing donating to The HOPE Program over the holidays. Signed by the organization's Executive Director Barbara Edwards Delsman and Development Director Rovika Rajkishun, the letter points out how essential professional quality clothing is for poor New Yorkers when applying for jobs.

We discovered The HOPE Program while searching for a local organization to donate the part of our wardrobe that doesn't get adequate rotation to justify closet space. We thought of The Salvation Army, but we preferred a not-for-profit that didn't sell the clothes, but actually gave them to people in need. Moreover, we wanted to give to a group that would help our fellow Brooklynites in particular.

When I dropped off our donation to The HOPE Program's office in downtown Brooklyn, I saw immediately that HOPE does far more than distribute clothing. It has a large, state-of-the-art computer center, which I observed to be in a flurry of use by job seekers. The organization also provides a host of classes, work internships, and emergency grants, among many other services, to those it assists. Even better, HOPE follows up with the individuals it helps for years to make sure that the good it does takes root and flourishes, rather than just providing a temporary solution to a long-term problem.

The Optimist urges all his readers to take a day to clean out their closets and put their excess clothes to better use.

Donations to The HOPE Program can be dropped off during business hours at its office at One Smith Street in downtown Brooklyn. Just look for the buzzer on the left side of the door to enter. If you have any questions, you can contact Barbara Edwards Delsman at (718) 852-9307 ext. 17. The HOPE Program also accepts monetary gifts and volunteers.

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