More than 100 Barrington student volunteers are on a mission to help HOPE’S IN build eight more homes for families living in shacks surrounding Guatemala City’s Zone 3 garbage dump.
Student organizers have been hard at work planning Decades of Dreams, the 8th annual Hope’s In Style fashion show fundraiser coming up from 1-4pm on Sunday, March 8th at Avante Banquet Hall and Conference Center in Fox River Grove.
Click here to purchase your tickets today!
They’re hoping this year’s student-run show will raise $80,000. That’s $60,000 to build 8 new cinderblock homes, $10,000 to support medical needs and $10,000 to build a brighter future for young girls and teen mothers facing a lifetime of poverty in communities marked by pollution, gang activity, violence and crime.
It all started in 2012 when twin sisters Courtney & Ashely Quigley were juniors at Barrington High School. The sisters organized the first Hope’s In Style fashion show empowering fellow students to join them in building a home for just one family living among more than 13,000 garbage dump residents.
To-date, HOPE’S IN volunteers have built 42 cinderblock homes for families in Guatemala City’s Zone 3 communities. If this year’s volunteers reach their fundraising goal, that brings the total of homes built by HOPE’S IN to 50, with $330,000 raised locally in the past 8 years.
Each summer Barrington’s HOPE’S IN volunteers head to Guatemala City, using the money raised at their annual fashion show to build homes for families crowded into unsafe shacks. Each cinderblock home costs about $7,500 to build. This summer there are 100 local volunteers heading to Guatemala City to build 8 homes over a 2 week period.
In addition to building homes, HOPE’S IN has stepped up to help meet the health & wellness needs of the families they serve.
In 2014 Barrington Gastroenterologist, Dr. Dale Coy helped organize the first HOPE’S IN Medical Clinic, providing care to those living in the garbage dump communities. HOPE’S IN co-founder & Executive Director, Courtney Quigley says they now have an endowment of about $115,000 which they use to run 12 weeks of medical clinics throughout the year.
“We see a lot of chronic illness. There’s a lot of diabetes and hypertension. The residents don’t have access to healthy foods, they don’t have safe spaces to exercise because these communities are very dangerous,” Courtney says. “These families are often eating food they found in the garbage dump and drinking water that is not very clean so there are a lot of digestive issues starting at a very young age.”
FORTALEZA | Empowering Young Girls
In 2019 HOPE’S IN started Fortaleza, a community support group for teen mother’s and at-risk girls. “44% of all babies in the garbage dump communities are born to teenage moms,” Courtney says. “A lot of them face isolation overnight once they have their babies. They drop out of school so they lose that support system and they are approaching motherhood, often with little or no support from their babies’ fathers. They end up in vulnerable situations trying to do what’s best for their children.”
The Spanish word for “strength”, Fortaleza is about empowering these girls with information, counseling and ongoing support. “We’ve partnered with a Guatemala non-profit that has developed a curriculum about reproductive health, healthy relationships and signs of abuse,” Courtney says. “We’re giving them access to resources as they navigate adolescence surrounded by gang activity, violence and crime.”
A New York University grant funded HOPE’S IN initiatives to create their INclusion Alliance, a group committed to bringing hope and dignity to Guatemalan children with disabilities. Speech pathologists, special educators and advocates in the U.S. and in Barrington are sharing training, education and resources to support children with disabilities and their families. HOPE’S IN is currently working on a project with Autism Guatemala (AGUA), providing video training to help those who teach students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
All HOPE’S IN initiatives are united by a core belief that serving others creates a lifetime of purpose. “HOPE’S IN invests in the next generation of humanitarian leaders through our Service Learning Exchange programs to Guatemala, our HOPE’S INternship program and through the HOPE’S IN Academy,” Courtney says. “Each program uniquely gives students access to tools that will change the world. We believe that we can raise a generation of compassionate and bold leaders through giving to others.”
And that’s what this weekend’s HOPE’S IN Style fashion show is all about!
HOPE’S IN STYLE
Courtney says attending the Hope’s In Style Fashion Show is a huge show of support for the student volunteers who power the organization’s mission. The theme for this year’s 8th annual show is “Decades of Dreams”. Courtney says this year’s student stylists and models have some fun surprises up their sleeves. “Each team will be showcasing decade-inspired fashion so you might have disco looks from the seventies, dresses & pearls from the fifties and we also have some creative teams that chose looks from the future.”
Hope’s In Style is happening Sunday, March 8 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Avante Banquet Hall and Conference Center, 1050 Northwest Highway in Fox River Grove.
Click here to purchase your tickets today!
Co-founded in 2012 by twin sisters, Courtney & Ashley Quigley during their junior year at Barrington High School, HOPE’S IN is dedicated to impacting and empowering the Guatemala City garbage dump communities and developing the next generation of humanitarian leaders. To-date, Hope’s In volunteers have built dozens of safe homes and inspired hundreds of student volunteers to travel to Guatemala to help bring hope to families living in poverty. Learn more about the mission at HopesIn.org.