H.O.P.E.4Kids…what’s it all about?
How the H.O.P.E Project started
It was mid 2016 and we were heading towards the half way point in a partnership Karen and I had believed God wanted us to be involved with; the re-planting of a church that had been in a close neighbourhood setting near Wollongong NSW, for the best part 6 decades.by Graeme Hush
We were trying to be a consistent and good neighbour in a street that had varied and historical views about this church that operated at its doorstep. I have learned over the years that views and opinions change given enough time, if the fruit of your life and effort speaks louder than words.
Some Crazy Ideas
Being the sort of person who has never sent anyone to do anything he wouldn’t do himself, I grabbed the only young bloke I knew at the time that would be crazy enough to join me to hold a 24hour Table Tennis marathon. (I thought I might need his health and energy). Thanks, Josh Rowles!
I had NO desire to raise money for ourselves. But I did want to inspire within our community with a belief that we are on the earth to serve others. At the time, through connections to a long time close family friendship, we met the incredible and gorgeous Chloe Saxby. Chloe was 7 or 8 years old at this time. When she was just 3, she was diagnosed with one of the rarest, currently incurable, childhood diseases called ‘Vanishing White Matter Disease’. You can find out more about this @savingchloesaxby.
When we met Chloe and her amazing, selfless Mum Nyree, Dad Grant and older sister Mads, we fell in love. Corrimal Community Church began an effort to consistently support the Saxby’s, an effort that continues today! That first fund raising effort also included a proportion of funds and awareness raising about something I’m passionate about finding a solution to. Youth Homelessness and the fact that couch surfing is often the first awful step to the homeless outcome.
Kids and Couches
We supported the Salvation Army’s Couch Project, which I had the privilege of being a working patron for during my work contract with the Salvos between 2013-16. In 2017 we had started serving the combined churches in the northern Illawarra Christian education board, raising funds from scratch each year to employ 3 quality scripture teachers/chaplains in our 3 local high schools.
I decided to take our serving the community effort outside of the church walls. So, I did a 6 Hour Backwards Walk past the front gates of our three local High Schools. We continued to support Chloe also. After the Backwards Walk, the neighbourhood’s view of our small church re-plant shifted significantly in a positive direction.
Long story short we started what we call The H.O.P.E Project. Simply stated, it’s based on our belief that Jesus was sent to earth by the Father God to declare, represent and demonstrate the kingdom of God ON earth as it IS in heaven and so the Heaven On Planet Earth (H.O.P.E.) Project was born.
H.O.P.E. Project Launches
During the following 12 months we learned a lot and grew in our resolve to serve others. So, in 2018 we planned to have me play Drums for 24 hours. We set this event up as a festival with neighbourhood activities running concurrent with the drum marathon. This crazy event launched The H.O.P.E. Project which received favourable broad media attention. H.O.P.E was the descriptor and framework for all we were and are attempting.
Earlier in 2018 I had dedicated a beautiful little boy who belonged to a family I had conducted a number of life celebrations for. Beau suffers with Ohtahara Syndrome. This is a rare childhood disease with an unclear future and is a form of epilepsy causing extreme numbers of full body tremors and fits.
We also became aware of the young son of a family that my wife Karen had been closely associated with for many years. Michael has a childhood affliction that was only identified as a rare childhood disease in about 2005. Neuroendocrine Hyperplasia of Infancy (NEHI) affects the lungs and breathing capacity of its victims and with that comes obvious challenges.
HOPE4Kids was launched at the 2018 24 Hour Drum-a-thon as a simple platform for raising awareness and much needed research and support funding, for children dealing with rare childhood diseases and their wonderful families.
We could easily become overwhelmed by the great needs across our community. Nevertheless, we decided to work hard to support children we had a growing level of relationship with so that we can connect hearts to this effort as well as other things. It makes things more tangible and measurable and so for now we support Chloe, Beau and Michael.
Better Now album project funds H.O.P.E. 4 Kids project
In 2020 From the very beginning of the Better Now album project, we decided that a significant percentage of total sales of both the Limited Edition CD AND the digital download version supplement any ‘once off’ fund raising efforts. From time to time we will advertise special seasons of fundraising. During the month of mid-August to mid-September 2020 50% of album sales will go to the H.O.P.E.4 Kids Project to coincide with Corrimal Community Church’s annual fundraiser . We hope you’ll join us with your presence and support!
Corrimal Community Church NSW and the Better Now Album, proud are ongoing supporters of the HOPE4Kids project.