New to the United States, a husband and his pregnant wife recently moved to Centerville and needed transportation. They purchased a used car, and before long they were involved in an accident. They didn't have insurance, and neither did the owner of the other vehicle. The young couple from Africa encountered unforeseen expenses because they were unaware of our customs and laws.
"In Africa, you get a car and start driving. You don't need insurance. That, of course, is not the case here, but they weren't aware of that," said Jon Gibson, lead pastor at Living Hope Church in Washington Township. "One small conversation would have prevented that problem. Through The Hope Center, we provide insight for refugees, to help with their transition to everyday life in America."
With a boost from Centerville-Washington Foundation, The Hope Center will make a positive impact for African refugees, for the short and long terms. It was recently announced that the foundation selected The Hope Center for its 2020 Impact Grant of $10,000.
"Most of our grants range from $500 to $2,500, so the Impact Grant is especially significant," said Scott Colwell, Centerville-Washington Foundation grant chair. The Hope Center stands out, because it provides something that is unique to the area; and what it does makes a monumental difference in people's lives."
The Hope Center offers after school enrichment programs and wellness services to the growing refugee community in Centerville-Washington Township. Laurent Muvunyi, a Living Hope pastor who also arrived in the U.S. from Africa, inspired the church to create the organization as more refugees became part of the congregation.
"We believe The Hope Center will become a hub for refugee families looking for support and encouragement as they build their lives in our community," Jon said. "Educational support and wellness guidance will empower these families to thrive in a new culture."
Living Hope Church will use the Impact Grant money to purchase supplies and computers for children learning English as a second language, Jon said. In 2021, The Hope Center will secure its own location and expand its offerings to health screenings and life skills training, among other services.
Founded in 1998, Centerville-Washington Foundation is a component of The Dayton Foundation. The organization is supported by donations from individual contributors, corporations and sponsors. For more information, visit www.centervillewashingtonfoundation. com
Article written by Jeff Louderback.