’16 successes

This was another very successful year for Father’s Hope as we were able to bless the lives of so many children, in the United States and across the globe.

We must first give thanks to God for all of our successes. He called this mission into being when a little boy at a Honduran orphanage sat down on my knee in 2011. Since then, God has opened the doors to make sure our mission has received everything it has needed to carry out its purpose.

Right behind God, Father’s Hope is thankful for everyone who has contributed to or supported our organization in any way, both in 2016 and since the day this outreach was founded nearly five years ago. Because of you, Father’s Hope has been able to reach out to thousands of children around the world who needed to know just how loved and special they are.

In 2016, Father’s Hope reached over 6,600 orphans or children in need of feeling loved in six countries. Those countries are Haiti, Honduras, Swaziland, Uganda, Ukraine and the United States.

Since our effort was officially launched late in 2012, Father’s Hope has reached over 26,600 children in 19 countries. In addition to the countries listed above, we’ve also reached children in Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, India, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Philippines and Russia.

Throughout the course of 2016, I was able to make three visits to the Oasis de Amor orphanage in Honduras. While Father’s Hope was able to support the orphanage in various ways at each visit, the most significant accomplishment came in September when we were able to purchase new outdoor play equipment for the orphanage.

This significant purchase was made possible by several individual donors, and through a generous donation our organization received from both Pennsdale Trinity UMC VBS and the church itself.

When I returned to Honduras in September, it was evident the children had spent many hours enjoying their new play equipment, which replaced some equipment that was not fit for the children to be using.

In addition to shipping stuffed animals, crayons and coloring books to orphanages or missionaries around the world, Father’s Hope celebrated other accomplishments in 2016.

In April we were awarded a $500 grant through the Warrior Run High School’s Youth in Philanthropy program with the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation.

The grant was used to purchase supplemental Christmas gifts for children reached through an Angel Tree program operated by our friend Sharon and other volunteers from Revival Tabernacle church in Watsontown. As a result of the grant, children received educational books, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons. The boys received Hot Wheels cars, while girls received Play Dough and an extra stuffed animal. We were also able to present a $110 check to the Angel Tree program to purchase other gifts, as needed, for children.

I am also thankful for every opportunity I had throughout the year to share about Father’s Hope with various community entities.

Our April Soup Challenge was a success, where those in attendance learned about our work and were able to support what we do.

Throughout the year, I was able to speak about Father’s Hope to Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, church and school groups, and during programs at community libraries.

As the year wrapped up, we received generous contributions of stuffed animals and funds that were collected by our friends from the Lewisburg Sunset Rotary Club.

Thanks to the grace of God, and your continued support, we are well positioned to grow our organization even further in 2017 to impact the lives of even more children.

Father’s Hope is always looking to be connected with orphanages or missionaries from around the world who would appreciate receiving a shipment of stuffed animals to distribute to children they work with. We can also provide stuffed animals to groups or individuals traveling on mission trips.

If you’d like to learn more about Father’s Hope, I welcome the opportunity to speak to community organizations, church groups, schools, youth organizations or any other entity. I can be contacted by email at fathers.hope@gmail.com or through the Father’s Hope Facebook page.

Tax-deductible financial contributions to support our efforts can be sent to: Father’s Hope, 9 Greenbriar Drive, Milton, PA 17847. We are an all-volunteer organization so all donations directly benefit the children we work with, by either covering the cost of shipping items around the world or to support projects at orphanages we directly partner with.

Thank you again for everything you have done to support Father’s Hope in 2016. I look forward to sharing our 2017 successes with you throughout the coming year.

Kevin Mertz, director

Father’s Hope

Children from the Oasis de Amor orphanage, enjoying new outdoor play equipment they received in 2016, thanks to Father's Hope donors.

Children from the Oasis de Amor orphanage, enjoying new outdoor play equipment they received in 2016, thanks to Father’s Hope donors.

Thanks to individual contributions, and donations received from Pennsdale Trinity UMC and its vacation Bible school, Father's Hope was able to purchase this outdoor play set for the Oasis de Amor orphanage in 2016.

Thanks to individual contributions, and donations received from Pennsdale Trinity UMC and its vacation Bible school, Father’s Hope was able to purchase this outdoor play set for the Oasis de Amor orphanage in 2016.

Among Father's Hope's 2016 successes, we were awarded a $500 grant from Warrior Run High School's Youth in Philanthropy program. The funds were used to buy supplemental gifts for children served through a Watsontown area Angel Tree program. Here, Angel Tree coordinator Sharon Bond accepted some of the gifts.

Among Father’s Hope’s 2016 successes, we were awarded a $500 grant from Warrior Run High School’s Youth in Philanthropy program. The funds were used to buy supplemental gifts for children served through a Watsontown area Angel Tree program. Here, Angel Tree coordinator Sharon Bond accepted some of the gifts.

Highlighted in red are the 19 countries where Father's Hope has impacted over 26,000 children since 2012.

Highlighted in red are the 19 countries where Father’s Hope has impacted over 26,000 children since 2012.

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Father’s Hope Director Kevin Mertz, right, recently accepted donations of stuffed animals — and financial contributions — collected by the Lewisburg Sunset Rotary Club. The donations were presented at the Lewisburg Festival of Trees, where the Rotary Club decorated and maintained a Christmas tree to represent Father’s Hope.