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Day of Hope supports local families

Local churches partner with Convoy of Hope to provide variety of services to local families


September 20, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Day of Hope volunteer Bridget Fry hands the Truman family their free groceries at the Day of Hope event on Sept. 16. The Trumans, from left, are Georgia, Mandy and Waylon.

Local families received free shoes, groceries, health and dental screenings, and more at the Day of Hope in Arlington on Sept. 16.

Arlington-area churches partnered together with the international nonprofit organization Convoy of Hope to bring the event to the Arlington Airport Field.

The Day of Hope served approximately 1,160 families from all over the Snohomish County area in the first hour, according to Ilsa Chigbrow, event director and community outreach director at Arlington's LIFEchurch360.

Chigbrow said that her church had been looking for ways to help local families by partnering with others.

"We really wanted to do something that was bigger than we could do on our own," she said.

They had worked with Convoy of Hope on relief efforts in the past, and were able to get them to stop by Arlington this year, and were also able to work with many local organizations.

"This is an opportunity to serve together and make more of an impact. Why not bring 20 churches along and see what we can do, and bring the businesses as well," she said.

Many local families were happy for the support.

"This is such a blessing, this is so awesome, we really appreciate it," said local parent Connie Chrisien.

"We don't have a lot of money, so this is great to get things that are essential, and then all the fun stuff that they have for the kids to play," she said.

Hundreds of volunteers also came out to help with the event.

Carol Lawrence said she enjoyed helping at the event because it helped touch people's lives.

"I love it," she said, "it's being the hands of God extended.

Families that came to the event did not have to register or prove any need.

They received free groceries, shoes and health screenings at various stops across the field.

They also received items like the "Garden in a Bag." "If people are looking to eat healthy, this is a way to do that by growing your own garden," said Chigbrow.

A tent run by the Arlington Community Resource Center helped individuals and families get connected with people that can help them long-term.

"They can start building relationships with the resource center and come back after today," said Chigbrow.

Another tent that was run by the Marysville Goodwill helped with training and job skills.

A portraits tent with four photographers gave families free professional photographs.

"For a lot of them, this is something that they cannot get and haven't been able to afford ever, so this may be their first family portrait," said Chigbrow.

Areas for veterans' services and breast cancer awareness also helped individuals with those specific needs as well.

Christopher Andersson

Day of Hope volunteer Carol Lawrence, right, and local parent Connie Chrisien, center, help Tyler Chrisien get fitted for free shoes at the Day of Hope event in Arlington on Sept. 16.

A Kids Zone allowed children to participate in laser tag, soccer clinics and face painting.

Chigbrow said that the Day of Hope wasn't meant to be the end of the work though, but "the beginning of a foundation to work on and build on."

"It's something that is going to take all of the churches, not just for today's events, but for the future we're going to need to work together to meet the needs of this community," she said.

She said that organizers are working with Convoy of Hope for a 2019 Day of Hope, and that the Day of Hope may be something that returns to the county every couple of years.

Chigbrow wanted to thank all the organizations and individuals who helped with the event. More than 700 registered to volunteer and officials estimated about 1,100 showed up to help.

"We couldn't do this without all these volunteers," said Chigbrow.


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