Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The First Ever Bright Hope Gala is a Success!

Chicago, Illinois – On Saturday, November 15 Bright Hope held its first ever Gala. More than 850 guests from all over the Chicagoland area and other parts of the country came to the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile to see keynote speaker and former First Lady Mrs. Laura Bush, special guest emcee Roy Patterson from Moody Radio Chicago, and Major League Baseball All-Star Pitcher Justin Masterson.

Special Musical Guest, Chicago Tabernacle Choir moved hearts with their songs and lifted people up out of their seats. A personal story of Hope from Dennis Juma, a teacher from Bright Hope’s partner Outreach Community Church in Mathare Valley, Kenya, inspired guests as he shared how his life had been transformed thanks to God and Bright Hope’s program in Kenya.

Mrs. Laura Bush brought laughter to each table as she shared personal memories of her family, and she brought many to tears as she explained why she was passionate about helping those in need. She challenged the guests at the event with statistics on the level of poverty that plagues many communities around the world.

“Extreme poverty is heartbreaking and easily overwhelming—it breaks a child’s spirit, destroys families and crushes entire communities. It depletes a person’s ability to think beyond the day and the hour in which they are living,” said C.H. Dyer, President and CEO of Bright Hope. “Bright Hope is working to dismantle the grip that poverty has over peoples’ lives and their communities.”

The Bright Hope Gala was the launch of the NOW. initiative—a three-year plan to move 50 communities towards self-sustainability. As Dyer describes, “After approximately 10 years our goal is that each community will be sustainable and no longer need us—essentially, our goal is to work ourselves out of a job.”

One of the key elements of this initiative involves the experience of mutual transformation. Not only does Bright Hope care about the extreme poor, but the organization cares about the allies who join in the fight against extreme poverty. As Dyer stood on stage between Justin Masterson and Dennis Juma, he explained that Bright Hope wants to help allies discover their own passion and heart for the poor and join them in partnership with those living in these poor communities. Justin Masterson brought this idea to life as he explained the term ‘ally’, “There is a reason Bright Hope calls their supporters allies. It’s because we are in a war against poverty. All of us together—you, me, and the people that are living in it, like Dennis. “

Visit the NOW webpage to learn more about this initiative and how you can get involved.