LYNDONVILLE - H.O.P.E, also known as Helping Other People Everyday, is a non-profit organization based in Lyndonville that vows to help families and individuals with basic life needs. Recently, the organization has been under a microscope since they have had two robberies in the past month. However, its long standing history and support from the community is what makes it possible for this non-profit to keep moving forward.
"It started like a group of moms just noticing the different needs of the community kids that needed sporting equipment, kids that needed snowpants. 'Hey you know, we can put all of our staff together and deviate out. And if you need something, take it.' I believe H.O.P.E is a hub, where if you have something to give, you can give it, if you need something you know where to go," said Jodi Wheeler, founder of H.O.P.E.
Little did Wheeler know that something as small as a group of mothers trading household items, would turn out to be what we know today as H.O.P.E. The non-profit is a thrift store, food pantry, and appliance shop. The downstairs level is for Mothers, while a small closet space houses prom dresses and tuxedos for high schoolers.
"I think that every year is a better year in the sense that every year we're more successful raising the money, but we're also finding out that there are more people that need our services every year, and so it's good and bad. It's good that we have to raise money, we have to do many things but there is a great need out their in the North East Kingdom of Vermont" said Bob McCabe who is on H.O.P.E.'s Board Of Directors.
To prevent people from mis-using the program or relying on it solely, H.O.P.E has come up with a systematic checklist where everyone benefitting from the program is added into a log book that can link them with other programs that will help assist their needs.
"Everybody needs to give. You know even we offer the free clothing for kids but we ask that you bring your old stuff in. You can have what you need for a size 6 but please bring your size 5 so somebody else can use them. I think especially in this political climate where we are right now, it's a good feeling to know that we can just rely on each other and we're strong as a community," said Wheeler.