David Culver, Gala Emcee, NBC-4 reporter and Saturday Morning News anchor, and the Rev. Keary Kincannon
The Hope Grows Gala benefiting Rising Hope Mission Church of Alexandria held Oct. 13 at the Waterford in Springfield was an evening filled with dining, dancing to the Moondaddies band, silent and live auctions led by auctioneer Donna Bolton. NBC-4 Reporter and Saturday Morning News Anchor David Culver emceed the program, featuring four life-transforming stories as examples of how Rising Hope provides food, clothing, shelter and empowerment to help those in need.
One of the four speakers was Samantha Jacobs, featured in the National Geographic book “Feeding America: Stories of Hunger and Hope.” Jacobs shared how Rising Hope’s food pantry, in partnership with the Capital Area Food Bank, made a difference in feeding her family. Now she and Rising Hope will be at the center of a national Ad Council public service campaign to encourage Americans to support their local food banks.
Desire Christian expressed how Rising Hope helped her find a place to live in partnership with New Hope Housing. Formerly homeless, she knows that life is more blessed when one gives rather than receives. She now serves in the same food pantry and clothing closet that she needs to make ends meet. She often brings her gift of music into worship services, leads prayer ministries, and counsels others in need.
Other speakers included Jeff Lisanick, who first came to Rising Hope 9 years ago for help after being released from 20 years in prison. He described his journey from living in the Eleanor Kennedy Shelter to now working as the coordinator for Residential Services for New Hope Housing.
He also serves on the governing board of Fairfax County’s Office to Prevent and End Homelessness, is a member of the Community Services Board, and was honored with the title of “Lord Fairfax 2017” as citizen of the year by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Shonna James described the welcoming atmosphere of love and support she has received as a member of Rising Hope’s congregation. As a single mom of two children, she earned a Master’s Degree from American University and holds a Federal job in Washington, D.C. She is now the Lay Leader and Worship Leader at Rising Hope.
The Gala was planned and coordinated by the Rising Hope Fund Development Committee co-chaired by Maria Ward and Karen Booker. The committee includes Sharon Emory, 20-year organizer of the Gala, Jane Gandee, Kat Roman, and Shonna James.
Rising Hope’s goal of netting over $50,000 was supported by a $30,000 matching gift by Beyond Coffee, Beyond Church. During the live reverse auction alone, $17,000 was raised toward this match. Donations and pledges may still be made to Rising Hope Mission Church.
Contributions with “Match” in the memo line must be received by Dec. 31, 2017, to be applied to the $30,000 matching gift. To donate, visit risinghopeumc.org/shop or contact Kat Roman at Rising Hope, 8220 Russell Road, Alexandria, VA 22309, phone: 703-360-1976, email@example.com.
Rising Hope’s Yard Sale Fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 28, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Wesley United Methodist Church, 8412 Richmond Ave., Alexandria, VA 22309. For more information or to sign up to sell items at the yard sale, visit www.risinghopeumc.org/special-events/.