Hope Village shares its success with community

By Staff
NEW ENTRANCE – Tina Dyess, left, director of residential services at Hope Village for Children, and Cathy Thompson, coordinator of fund development and public relations, stand in front of an arch recently erected at the entrance. The arch has more than 500 hand-painted butterflies and was designed by Jennie Parrish Gaither of Oriental Steel Designs of Clarksdale. The creation and installment of the arch was done by volunteers, including Ruthie Irwin and businesses SpecTech Service &Signs, Slay Steel Inc., and Randy Harrison's Custom Frame and Body Shop Inc. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star.
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Dec. 22, 2002
Carrie Ponder said she keeps expecting people to get tired of hearing about Hope Village for Children but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Hope Village has served more than 150 children this year. Benefits for Hope Village are held frequently and the staff has organized some fund-raisers and other events on campus so that the community can see what is happening there.
Dyess and Ponder praised the community for supporting Hope Village, a place where needs exist year-round.
Hope Village currently has 30 children with two cottages and an emergency cottage in use. The home has 50 employees on staff, with shifts scheduled around the clock.
Officials say Hope Village could serve another 20 children if it could afford more staff.
Hope Village has two additional cottages ready to serve children, but it doesn't have the income to hire staff. Dyess said the empty cottages will cost about $150,000 each to operate per year.
Because of cuts within social service programs, Hope Village officials see private funding as the only way to get the remainder of their cottages open.
Donations from the community help in many ways, including travel expenses for children who work, uniforms and fees for extra-curricular activities, food, clothing, toys, money for school projects and utility bills.