Giving back: New nonprofit offers hope for the holidays and beyond
ANTHEM – When people work together, they can do amazing things. New non-profit Web for Hope focuses on working together; a group of dedicated volunteers have joined forces to provide resources and fulfill needs for struggling local families.
“Web for Hope is composed of a network of experienced, knowledgeable, and remarkable community members who believe in and know the value of helping others,” explained Web for Hope board member Holly Matson in an email interview. “We create a ‘web’ of hope and help around deserving families with resources, education, financial assistance, and support so families achieve their potential and in turn, give back to their community.”
Matson noted that Web for Hope is holding a Holiday Adopt-A-Family program, which is focused on making the holidays special for families that have fallen on hard times. Already, Web for Hope has adopted out over 20 families in need, and deliveries of toys and other supplies have begun. If you would like to contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Web for Hope received 501c3 status in October 2016, and they’ve been providing project-based support for struggling families for the past several months.
“Web for Hope’s first project was for a very special boy named Landon,” Matson said. “Landon spends way too much time in the hospital.”
Landon has multiple chronic illnesses, including primary immune deficiency. As a chronically ill child, Landon needed a safe, comfortable place to play.
“Despite what Landon goes through, he always has a smile and tries to make others laugh,” Matson said. “Web for Hope brought together local volunteers, Azteca Landscaping and Unique Landscapes to build a backyard for Landon, giving him a space away from the hospital where he can be a normal kid in a safe and healthy environment.”
Matson is one of the Web for Hope Board of Directors, along with Directors Janet Russeth, Chris Fuerstenau, and Mindi Wagner. The inspiration for Web for Hope developed as Matson observed specific needs of struggling local families.
“I had served for 6 years on a number of local nonprofits, each doing amazing works in the community. However, I noticed an unmet need; the existing nonprofits were focused on providing assistance (food, clothing, utilities, rent) versus project driven,” Matson wrote. “Over the years, I spearheaded project-oriented fundraising programs such as a disability van to transport a 4 year old named Sarah and a guide dog for an 8 year old with autism. In each project, I loved seeing the end goal met; and thus began Web for Hope, a grassroots desire to give back to our community.”
Web for Hope volunteers screen and assess family and project needs, then goals are set for that family.
“The family is then assigned a ‘web’ of support through volunteers,” Matson said. “We don’t give out funds, instead, we work together to reach goals. At each step, Web for Hope assesses and celebrates the accomplishments and once we reach goal[s], each receiving family gives back to the community by becoming a Web for Hope volunteer.”
The families Web for Hope supports have fallen on hard times due to serious illness, job loss, or recent personal loss. Web for Hope volunteers look for ways to help these families, while collaborating with local nonprofits for community projects.
“The mission of Web for Hope is to make a lasting change in the lives of families,” Matson emphasized.
Matson noted that people from all walks of life have teamed together to support the Adopt-A-Family program. Web for Hope plans to expand this program into a year-round offering that focuses on times of the year that create particular financial burdens, such as holidays and back-to-school.
Matson and other Web for Hope volunteers are doing what they can to help make the world around them a better place.
“My grandmother always said ‘give back to your community’; be it your school, your work, your friends, your team, your family, or those you have never met…just give back,” Matson shared.
Matson related the joy she’s witnessed from both the families who have received assistance and the volunteers who are able to help.
“I have goosebumps every day from hearing the excitement of both the family in need and the giving family. There truly is nothing that feels better than kindness,” Matson emphasized.
If you would like to volunteer with Web for Hope, contact email@example.com. Learn more about Web for Hope at www.webforhope.org.