If you walk into a group of Elim’s Adults working on HOPE Packs, you will see a group of people dancing around to music, laughing, and working together towards a common goal – to spread hope. Giving back to your local community is no small task, but our Adults at Elim are up to the challenge!
HOPE Packs started as an effort to provide Elim’s adults with meaningful work opportunities and has turned into a program that significantly impacts the surrounding Chicagoland community. This hidden treasure at Elim has become a staple part of the lives of our adults at Elim, and it continues to grow every day.
Elim offers three types of HOPE Packs: School Kits, Military Kits, and Food Kits.
School Kits are a favorite among Elim’s adults. Every year, from January to June, they work hard to assemble thousands of kits, including pencils, erasers, crayons, and more. They even create unique kits for different grade levels – one for primary school, elementary school, and middle school.
The adults take care of every step of the packing process: they form, fill, label, and wrap up each kit that then gets hand-delivered to schools located in the city of Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and local schools near Elim.
“Any child could take our school kits and start the first day prepared,” Felecia, Elim’s Program Manager, shares.
Military Kits, another one of Elim’s HOPE Packs initiatives, happens once a month. These kits are filled with World’s Finest Chocolate and sent to different military bases in the United States and overseas. These food kits are used by military chaplains to connect and share the love of Christ with military personnel serving in difficult and sometimes desperate situations.
The one HOPE Packs initiative that consistently goes year-round is the Food Kits – packages of beans that get put together and sent around the world – to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and even countries in South America!
These two-pound bags are filled and packaged by Elim Adults, then loaded into trucks to be shipped out. Typically, these trucks can hold about twenty skids, which equals around 34,000 pounds of beans, and Elim’s Adults could complete a full truck within a month if needed!
Pinto, black, and cranberry beans are all included in these food kits, and if needed, Elim Adults could pack around 1,000 beans a day. In addition to the average amount of Food Kits produced throughout the year, around Thanksgiving, Elim Adults package additional Food Kits to be sent to locations within Chicago and provide nutritious meals to those who may not have easy access to them.
“Adults are coming into their own when they do HOPE Packs – they are truly making a difference. They love that they are contributing, and it feels important to them.” Felecia tells us.
In the future, seeing the HOPE Pack program grow and spread to more parts of the world would be something that both Elim staff and Adults would love to see. They are all eager to continue to give back to the community, and this program gives them that opportunity. Because of their hard work and dedication, and the generosity of those who invest in this work, they are impacting thousands of lives worldwide – one HOPE Pack at a time.
Want to give to the HOPE Packs program? Donate here to send a HOPE Pack today!
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