In Conversation with Christine Hope for Kids’ Jean Gianacaci
What is the cause/mission of your organization?
Christine’s Hope for Kids is dedicated to giving hope and support to children in need in our local community. In our fifth year of being an organization, we strongly believe that all children, regardless of their life circumstances, deserve to have a happy and healthy childhood. There are a lot of children, more than people might think, that are in need in Mercer County. Through raising money, collecting item donations and working closely with other nonprofit organizations, we hope to give less fortunate children in our community a better life. We also work to educate and empower children to help one another and to understand the importance of a life of giving.
What is the history or background of your organization?
Christine’s Hope For Kids was founded to continue the generous and loving spirit of our daughter Christine Gianacaci. Christine led a life of kindness and was deeply dedicated to her passion for helping children in any way that she could. In January of 2010, Christine participated in a mission trip to Haiti to help children and feed the poor. She was killed, along with three of her classmates and two of her professors, in the massive earthquake that struck the country on January 12th. Our organization is a continuation of Christine’s life passion and a way to spread her compassion, generosity, kindness and determination.
Read more about Christine’s life at http://www.christineshope.org/about-christine.aspx
What do you think makes your organization unique?
I think what makes Christine’s Hope a unique organization is how we engage the community, specifically children, in our cause. We work closely with public schools in the community helping to involve kids in some of our projects like collecting supplies for donation drives. Our program ‘Pennies From Heaven’ allows school children to donate one penny at a time and our organization then provides a matching a gift, and the children decide what cause the money should go towards. We strive to educate kids on the importance of giving back to the community and to raise their awareness of other people’s needs.
What are some specific goals your organization aims to achieve?
In general, we want to help as many children in need and engage as many kids as possible in our mission. We want to help foster a sense of pride and belonging in children across the community, whether that is through donating things like books and cozy pj’s or sending kids to a fun summer YMCA camp.
Does your organization host any special public events/fundraisers throughout the year?
Christines Hope hosts and participates in multiple events and fundraisers every year. On September 28th we will be holding our 6th annual Golf Event fundraiser at the Springdale Golf Club in Princeton. For the past couple of years we have also been teaming up with Rita’s of Pennington- raising money for each cup of Italian ice purchased. People can check out the news section of our website for updates on other events for Christine’s Hope: http://www.christineshope.org/news.aspx.
What is the best way for people to get involved with, volunteer for or support your organization?
The best way for people to get involved in simply to visit our website and look into our volunteer options. We are always in need of individuals, generous in their time and effort, to collect and donate items like clothes, toys, backpacks, etc. Another great way to get involved is to simply spread awareness about our mission- help get people in your school, work, girl/boy scout troops or sport teams involved.
As told to Carolyn Walsh for PrincetonScoop