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Past, Present & Future

As I walked across campus the other day, I began to reminisce about my earlier experience with HOPE Farm. In the mid1990s the fathering of HOPE Farm began in two small, dilapidated houses that were turned into a safe haven for young boys with no fathers in the home. I visited HOPE Farm for the first time in 1998 and it left an indelible mark. I saw a small group of young men with impeccable manners, a firm hand shake along with a square look into my eyes and an articulate greeting. I knew then that there was something special about this ministry. I saw HOPE in the eyes of every young man I met. I immediately became a donor, volunteer, and cheerleader for HOPE Farm. No matter what organization I worked for, I would talk about it to anyone who would listen. It was great to be involved at the 35,000-foot level. I was so impressed with the young men and the passion of the co-founders to teach the boys to be leaders. It was easy to see this was a God-ordained destiny.

Today, I look out across the campus which is now a full three acres in the Morningside neighborhood. It consists of buildings dedicated to our mothers, and students as well as our transportation and administrative staff. The heart of the campus is the Family Life Center which houses a basketball court, weight room, classrooms, a state-of-the-art reading lab, a performance stage, and a commercial kitchen. HOPE Farm began small with a mission that was big. Looking over our current campus reminds me why I continued to volunteer and was drawn in by the vision and the journey of HOPE Farm. I didn’t fully grasp it at the time, but I knew God had His hand on the grounds of HOPE Farm as well as in the hearts of those who led it.

Past, Present & FutureAfter spending 34 years in mortgage banking, I retired early—at least that is what I thought. However, God had other plans. I came by for a visit to see how I could help HOPE Farm one day and had a brief conversation with co-founders Gary Randle and Noble Crawford. It was clear that they were looking to transition HOPE Farm into the next generation. Within two months I had gone from a volunteer and donor to Executive Director. HOPE Farm was evolving and growing. It was time for the co-founders to take a step back and let their seeds harvest, and it was my time to take the lead. HOPE Farm was blessed with a dedicated and competent staff, so the transition was seamless. I understood the mission and the Board of Directors’ goals. Our staff, volunteers, donors, and other partners all dug in and bought in to the future of HOPE Farm. When we were hit with the Pandemic a few years after I arrived, we were convinced of the need of a HOPE Farm Academy which has become the inspiration for our upcoming Capital Campaign (www.hopefarm.org/thefuture).

The name of our Capital Campaign is “HOPE for the Future.” Our long-term goal along with the Academy is to create a Vocational Center. We understand that not all our young men will want to go to college, so we need an alternative for those students. We will offer welding, light automotive mechanics, plumbing, IT & culinary arts which will be available to our students and their moms. It is well-documented that there is a huge gap in the skilled-labor industry and vocational opportunities will provide a level of potential success and high-paying jobs. We invite you to help us empower these young people and their moms to not only survive but to thrive while breaking the cycle of poverty and fatherlessness.

We have seen tremendous physical change over the years on our Morningside Campus and we have added two additional campuses in Como & South Dallas. The best way to make a bigger impact is to get into more communities. There is a need for HOPE Farm in every major community. Although we have multiple campuses and have grown exponentially, our values and mission are the same across campuses and generations. Our mission is to mentor underserved youth and equip them with Christ-centered values and leadership skills so that they may have a chance in the world once they leave our program.

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