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  • Writer's pictureHopeloft Team

Hopeloft Introduces "Year for Hope" Campaign

Updated: Mar 8, 2021

Nearly twenty years ago, our country was changed forever following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 which claimed the lives of almost 3,000 people. The impact of that tragic day was felt both nationwide and worldwide, and the repercussions continue to affect millions of people to this day.

The COVID-19 pandemic is another event that will forever change our country and the world. In the United States alone, over 500,000 people have already lost their lives to a virus that likely came to our country in late 2019 or early 2020 and has been running rampant ever since.

It is in times like these that real heroes stand up to help — to make a difference. On September 11, 2001, we saw first responders, firefighters, police, and medical personnel rush to the scene of the attacks to save lives. In 2020, we saw frontline medical workers save countless lives and other essential workers ensure that people could still go to the grocery store or get their life-saving prescriptions delivered — and now in 2021, we see the heroes working the logistics of delivering and administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

The team at Hopeloft wants to do something to honor the efforts and sacrifices of all those heroes.

After the September 11th, 2001, many people felt a powerful desire to mobilize, to inspire hope — to create change. A year after the attacks — on September 11, 2002 — Hopeloft founder Melissa Helmbrecht brought this impetus to life. With the support of communities worldwide, she organized the United Day of Service, one of the largest youth-led initiatives in history. It drew more than 3,000,000 volunteers from all 50 states and from 150 countries around the world. Now, two decades later, the Hopeloft team has a vision to inspire hope through mobilization after tragedy, which has led to the Year for Hope, a year-long service campaign leading up to the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

The Year for Hope campaign launches on March 6th, exactly one year after the temporary closing of Hopeloft’s building in downtown Bridgeton and transition to work-from-home due to the burgeoning COVID-19 pandemic. The past year has been rife with tragedy, anxiety, and isolation for millions; and yet, in the wake of trauma, communities have banded together to support each other worldwide. This spirit of unity in the face of tragedy inspires our work every day, and has sparked the launch of our year-long campaign honoring the precious lives lost due to both 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The answer has always been the same,” says Melissa. “It’s service. That is the path forward in our lives for our community, for our country, and what’s great is that the answer is simple and we can all be a part of it.”

Our campaign is a call to action urging community members to unite in service and remembrance. The campaign centers around five core areas that have been largely affected or exacerbated by the pandemic, and how we can help ameliorate the negative effects impacting these groups: Education, by supporting students and teachers; Food Scarcity, by providing food for children and families; Disconnected Youth, by providing services for homelessness and foster youth; and Isolation, by providing connections, resources, and services to those isolated throughout South Jersey.

2021 is our Year for Hope. It is our year to unite in a common cause, to give back, to serve those most vulnerable in honor of all those we have lost. There is no better time than now. If you would like to join us in our cause, learn more about getting involved on our website or contact Together, we can transform this year into a beacon of hope.

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