I was asked this question a few days ago by a friend up north. My mind immediately went to the heat and humidity outside, but the question also struck a much deeper chord. While there is always so much in life to be thankful for, we all in the Gulf Coast area are feeling not only the summer heat, but also the unsettledness of the Gulf oil crisis. The economic impact and uncertainty it is having on our oil and gas industry is significant at the same time our unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. Cutbacks in state and local funding for services in our communities, including schools, are adding to the demand for services from us.
At Star of Hope in the past few months, we have seen a significant slump in our contributions, which is very concerning to us. Summer time is THE biggest and most demanding family time of the year at Star of Hope! Many think it’s the Christmas holidays, which are huge, but in summer, ALL the kids are home for three months – that’s more meals, more activities, and higher operational costs! Yet, our donations are always lowest during the summer months, when vacations and family activities take many out of town.
This summer, we have a full slate of daily activities planned for the 200+ children living in Star of Hope facilities with their families, and it's "all hands on deck" for our children’s ministry staff to take advantage of this wonderful time to build a relationship with God into the life of our kids. God does amazing things in these young lives during the summer. Many find a new faith in Christ, and begin to see a vision for their own lives…God’s vision for how to survive and help their parents through their present difficulties, and to begin to make the choices that will help them succeed in finding a happy and productive life as soon-to-be-adults.
If you are able, would you take a moment and make a gift to help us with this incredible task? We need your support NOW, to catch up on the $400,000+ shortfall that has developed the past two months, and keep the food, clothing, counseling, and staff resources available to our families this summer. Just click donate online and give! Share this with your friends and help us make this a “Summer of Hope”, not a Summer of Heat, for the almost 1,000 men, women and children in our care right now.
Thanks for your faithful support, and I hope you have a great summer! Please keep us in your prayers.