The Garden of Hope will host its Unity Awards and Recognition Gala on Friday, April 22, 2016, at the Wyndham Garden Norfolk Downtown – 700 Monticello Avenue. This annual fundraiser recognizes individuals and organizations that are making a significant, positive impact in the community. At the same time, it is one of the organization’s largest fundraisers to support its many programs and initiatives.
The gala begins at 7 p.m. with the theme The Harlem Renaissance: The Rebirth of a City through a Night of Cultural, Social, and Artistic Explosion! The event promises to provide an evening of celebration, entertainment and heartwarming presentations that highlight the work of honorees and includes a silent auction, talented artists (canvas), featured musical guests and a full course dinner.
The 2016 honorees are Dr. Herman Clark – Regent University Professor/ Retired K12 Administrator; Ms. Brenda Andrews – Publisher of the New Journal & Guide; Mr. Richard “Dick” Holland – President of Farmers Bank; and Mrs. Vickie Madison, Founder and Executive Director of Excellence Girls’ Club, Inc.
The Garden of Hope operates as a Community Development Corporation (GHCDC) and was officially organized in late 2008. It is the realization of the vision of Dr. Kirk T. Houston, Sr., pastor and founder of Gethsemane Community Fellowship Baptist Church. He serves as the Chairman of the Board for the nonprofit corporation. Alphonso Albert is the Executive Director.
Its mission is to build healthy neighborhoods by providing services and programs for the disadvantaged and underserved, youth, individuals, families and communities in Hampton Roads. The vision and mission are accomplished by continuously considering the organization’s values of accessibility, collaboration, cultural competence, inclusion, and results.
The Garden of Hope offers a plethora of programs and services to include the following.
Leaders of Tomorrow Mentoring Program (L.O.T.), a free program designed to lead and mentor middle school youth over a three year period. The program provides a constructive learning environment and positively impacts the lives of the youth through the use of cultural and academic exposure, life application field trips, community service, religious and educational instruction, mentoring, and short and long-term goal setting.
Financial Education Empowerment Training (F.E.E.T.) is a four-week financial empowerment program designed to provide financial training to individuals/families, including those who are burdened with debt, financially illiterate or unemployed. Training provides job interviewing techniques and employee insight on how to successfully maintain employment once a job is landed.
Second Chances (Ex-Offender Re-Entry Services) is designed to support men and women released from incarceration. A diverse range of services are offered that include life and job skills training and placement; housing; transportation; substance abuse treatment; and family engagement services.
Another program offered is the Norfolk Parents As Leaders (PALs) Initiative to provide leadership training for parents to become effective advocates for their children.
In 2013, the Garden of Hope Community Development Corporation (GOHCDC) opened Trinity Treasures Resale Store, its first business venture, which is located at 2716 Granby St. in Norfolk.
The resale store is designed to financially support the programs and services offered through the Garden of Hope such as transportation, cost for G.E.D. testing, youth programs, food, clothing and emergency shelter.
For more information on the gala or the Garden of Hope programs, call (757) 390-4328.