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Join HOPE’S IN Saturday for Hot Cocoa with Santa to Empower Guatemalan Families in Need

Join HOPE’S IN Saturday for Hot Cocoa with Santa to Empower Guatemalan Families in Need

Create a classic Christmas memory with cocoa, compassion and Jolly Old St. Nick hosted by HOPE’S IN from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 4th. All are welcome to join Team Hope for your family photo with Santa at Barrington’s White House. The price of family admission is $25. Click here to register today.

Step into HOPE’s In’s winter wonderland for your photo with Santa. Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa as a family, write letters to Santa, and taste test some cookies that Santa will have on Christmas Eve! Made possible by the Barrington Area Community Foundation, this family friendly event provides a special memory for families in our community while empowering families in Guatemala through the work of HOPE’S IN.

We caught up with HOPE’S IN co-founder, Courtney McGovern, to learn more about their goals for the new year.

365: How will this event impact HOPE’S IN’s mission?

Courtney Quigley McGovern: “100% of the proceeds will go towards our mission to empower families living in Guatemala and help develop the next generation of humanitarian leaders. As we end the year and set goals to continue our impact in 2022 we are grateful for the generosity from the Barrington community!”

365: What have been some of HOPE’s IN’s biggest accomplishments to-date? What your goals for 2022 and beyond?

Courtney Quigley McGovern: Hope’s In began with the dream to build one home for one little girl living in Zone 3 of Guatemala City; an area often referred to as the garbage dump communities because the families living in them are completely or partially reliant on the city’s landfill for means of survival. Since my twin sister, Ashley and I founded HOPE’s IN as Barrington High School students in 2012, the organization has now built 43 homes in Zone 3. The organization has partnered with over 475 volunteers from the Barrington Area and beyond to build the homes and work alongside Guatemalan families and leaders to empower their communities!

In fact, the dream for one home has since grown into a nonprofit that runs several programs. HOPE’S IN NFP’s mission is to empower families living in Guatemala City and develop the next generation of humanitarian leaders. We empower Guatemalan families by defending their rights to shelter, education and healthcare. This is done by building homes, investing in local tutoring programs, and financially supporting and volunteering at local health clinics. More specifically we seek to empower populations within Guatemala that are most vulnerable to repeating the cycle of poverty in their family. Therefore we focus on serving marginalized communities, teen mothers, and persons with disabilities.

The development of humanitarian leaders is done through both international service trip opportunities and local volunteer programs such as our HOPE’S INternship program and Hope’s In Academy (HIA). The HIA is a service learning and leadership development program at Barrington High School sponsored by the Barrington Area Community Foundation. These volunteer opportunities give students and adults a unique perspective of the world that allows them to enhance their skills as a leader in a global narrative.

365: What your goals for 2022 and beyond?

Courtney Quigley McGovern: In 2022 we are excited to continue our story of hope! One thing we really look forward to is getting back to Guatemala! After having brought teams to Guatemala for seven consecutive years prior to the pandemic, we are very excited to get back and see the families we love so much in Guatemala! This year we are planning a Spring and Summer Service Learning Exchange trip to Guatemala. We hope to bring volunteers to do home building, medical clinics, and special projects with our Fortaleza program for teenage mothers and at-risk girls.

Additionally, another highlight on the horizon is the growth in our Fortaleza program on the ground in Guatemala. We will be doubling our staff from one to two members. Katie Rosales, the program leader, will be joined by a Education and Employment Leader that will be able to help the teenage mothers that return to school navigate classes, networking, and employment opportunities that will empower them to support their family outside the garbage dump.

The Inclusion Alliance is another awesome program at HOPE’S IN. The program comes alongside special education programs in Guatemala with training and financial support. Currently we have a team of three educators and social workers at Barrington High School that do trainings each trimester for a residential program in Guatemala for young women with disabilities who have aged out of the child protection system. The Barrington educators provide training to the special educator that HOPE’S IN sponsors as well as direct care staff members at the residential program.

This year we continue to work with the next generation of humanitarian leaders! Our HOPE’S INterns program is well underway with 17 high school students that meet weekly to learn about nonprofit management, social impact, and raise awareness for HOPE’S IN’s impact. The students are planning various events throughout the year, including our 10th annual Hope’s in Style fashion show fundraiser! Right now, they are focused on the Hot Cocoa with Santa event! In fact, they may or may not even be the Santa’s Helpers that respond for Santa to any letters written to him at the event. 🙂

Alongside our HOPE’S INterns program for high school students, we also have our HOPE’S INterns Young Adults program. This is an internship program for young adults with disabilities. Our goal is to promote independence, develop professional skills, and be present in our local communities.

As an organization we continue to work towards our goal of seeing Zone 3 transformed into a place where families are empowered to live a life of purpose and dignity without dependency on the garbage dump. We also continue to work towards our goal of being the most meaningful and inclusive service experience.

Co-founded in 2012 by twin sisters, Courtney McGovern & 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.

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