By Dee Dee DeLorenzo of Hope United Methodist Church
Pastor Robin Lee and the Good Samaritan ministry team at Hope United Methodist Church, Bullhead City, were recognized as the “Volunteer of the Year” for the Arizona Housing Coalition’s 25th Annual Statewide Conference on Affordable Housing and Homelessness.
Hope UMC was nominated for the award by Sandi Flores, M.A. Sr. Program Director, Northern Region Catholic Charities, for the work the members of Hope UMC do to serve the local homeless community.
Jerry Hegedusic, Chairperson of Hope’s Good Samaritan ministry, and Pastor Robin Lee, accepted the award on behalf of Hope UMC on Tuesday, November 13, at the Coalition’s Annual Statewide Conference held at the Black Canyon Conference Center in Phoenix, AZ.
Countless hours have been donated by Hope’s volunteers to assist the homeless at the Catholic Charities Day Center in Bullhead City. Besides helping run the facility, the volunteers provide approximately 500 nutritious sack lunches per month and prepare hot meals two to three times per week. The Day Center also receives such necessities as clothing, towels, and even sleeping bags from Hope.
Recently, Hope UMC and Community Lutheran Church challenged each other to contribute as many personal items as possible (socks, underwear, toothbrushes, etc.). In a three month period over 700 pounds of these items were collected and donated to the Day Center. November 11, Hope UMC, Community Lutheran, and members of Catholic Charities celebrated this partnership with a shared spaghetti dinner at Hope UMC.
The Good Samaritan ministry at Hope provides two $50 gift cards every quarter to families in the community and will be handing out two for Thanksgiving and two for Christmas. This ministry also assists individuals in various other ways such as helping a gentleman at the Day Center receive new hearing aids and providing transportation to job interviews.
It is with great joy that Hope United Methodist Church has been able to respond to God’s call to help meet the needs of the homeless and less fortunate in the Bullhead City area.