Welcoming Change and Celebrating Hope – October News

As summer begins to release its lingering hold and signs of fall begin to appear here in Northeast Florida, we are reminded that the only constant is change. At Operation New Hope, we embrace change every day as we champion our clients’ transitions back into the community and support their journeys towards careers with living wages. This autumn, we hope you will join us welcoming change, see the beauty in letting go, and prepare to come back stronger when we do. 

Speaking of change – we are excited to announce that we have reopened our Jacksonville office 5 days a week from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday-Friday to offer our nationally-acclaimed Ready4Work reentry services to the community.

“We are also excited about the enrollment special were are now offering,” said Reggie Fullwood, Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work Program Director. “Clients who enroll in the program now can earn a $200 stipend at graduation. We are hoping that this extra money will help people in our community who need it the most right now.”

The essential services we provide our clients – transitional housing, transportation, stipends, job training and placement, mental health counseling, connection to social services – are more important now than ever. We are taking every precaution to ensure the health and safety of staff, clients, and the community.

Operation New Hope is excited to announce a new scholarship opportunity for Ready4Work graduates. With generous support from Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q and in partnership with the University of North Florida (UNF), the Bono’s Hope Scholarship is now available to qualifying Ready4Work Graduates wishing to obtain higher education.

Josh Martino, President of Bono’s Pit Bar-B-Q, Board Member of Operation New Hope, and member of the UNF Student Affairs Community Council, generously committed $10,000 over the next 4 years to help Ready4Work graduates obtain a college degree at the University of North Florida.

“I believe we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision,” said Martino. “I believe in second, third, and forth chances. I believe in the underdog and the comeback story. If I can play even a small role in affecting that change, that chance, that hope, then I will be the grateful one for the opportunity to help.” The Bono’s Hope Scholarship is open to anyone who has ever graduated from Operation New Hope’s Ready4Work program. Additional information, eligibility requirements, and application details are available at: https://operationnewhope.org/programs/bonos-hope-scholarship/.

As the season of giving approaches, Operation New Hope is excited to debut our Case for Support. We know that there are many wonderful choices when it comes to giving to a worthy charity, and we hope that our Case for Support will inspire people to choose Operation New Hope. Click here to learn more

GivingTuesday is December 1, 2020 – a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. Please help us reach our 2020 GivingTuesday goal of raising $20,000 and support Operation New Hope. GIVE $20 and GET 20 FRIENDS TO DO THE SAMEClick here to learn more

Did you know that Amazon will give money to Operation New Hope every time you shop? Shop at smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate to Operation New Hope, at no cost to you. It’s so simple – sign up for AmazonSmile today by clicking this link!

At our last Social Exchange, we had a great discussion about Sentencing Reform with Greg Newburn from FAMM and Coral Messina from the State Attorney’s Office. In case you missed it, here is a link to watch the video

We hope you can join us for our next two Social Exchange forums as we continue our series on criminal justice reform:

  • November 20, 2020 – “Improving Rehabilitation Behind the Walls”
  • December 18, 2020 – “A Second Chance: New Path for Reentry”

To learn more and RSVP, please click here. 

We continue to make progress at our newest Ready4Work program location in St. Johns County helping to build another City of Second Chances. We invite you to celebrate a few recent wins with us:

  • One of our Ready4Work graduates was employed with the City of St. Augustine and has been on the job for over a month now as a Utility Worker earning $15 an hour with full benefits. He loves his job and is so thankful for Ready4Work and Operation New Hope!
  • Another Ready4Work graduate also found employment through us this month with a new partner, Hope Enterprises, working as a packer for earning $12 an hour with full benefits.
  • We are also excited to celebrate our newest employment partners in St. Johns County –
    • J and J Imports
    • Hope Enterprises
    • iCare Lawn Care
    • WorkStarter

What makes a City of Second Chances? Great partnerships with committed community members!  So we are so excited to have had the opportunity to talk with attorney and author Jimmy Fasig about our Ready4Work program and how it aligns with his Come Back Stronger message. Click here to check out his Facebook Group and his new video series regarding the Power of Love.

When someone finally leaves Domestic Violence, they often go without. At Operation New Hope, we wanted to help make this transition a little easier, so we set up donation boxes in our common areas throughout the month of October. We hope the items donated will help our community partners at Hubbard House and Women’s Center of Jacksonville. 

We are so thankful to be able to continue serving returning citizens – especially during a time when they need it most! We have been touched by two of our recent Ready4Work graduates – Jacqueline and Rachel. We hope you are too. Read their powerful stories of transformation below.

Click here to read Jacqueline’s story.

Click here to read Rachel’s story.

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