Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Advocacy Days in Washington D.C.

I recently had the privilege to participate in the annual Advocacy Days sponsored by the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) in Washington, D.C.

NNEDV organizes this annual event to educate advocates on new legislation and the needs across the country. We then carry a common message to Capitol Hill when we meet with our elected officials.

Our message was simple: programs are in dire need. More money is needed to meet the ever increasing needs of those impacted by domestic violence. People are being hurt and killed every day and we must do something to help those programs that are working with the survivors.

In Missouri, more women were turned away than were served last year. For every two women served, three were turned away. The demand for services is increasing and the resources to serve them are decreasing. We shared many stories and the frustration of not being able to do more to help those in need.

There was much discussion about how we can increase the money in such a very tight economy, when so many are suffering. This fact is clearly understood by those of us working with survivors. Thanks to NNEDV’s work, we were able to clearly talk about strategies and ways that this can be done.

I left D.C. with appreciation for the hard decisions that our elected officials have to make every day in prioritizing needs. I hope that we will be able to have the necessary resources to do our work and to help the thousands of people that are impacted by domestic violence every year.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My Lilith Fair Experience

Sarah McLachlan presents MaryAnne
Metheny with a $4000 check.

I was lucky enough to represent Hope House at the Lilith Fair last week at the Capital Federal Park at Sandstone. 

As we’ve discussed in recent blogs, $1 from every ticket sold to the Kansas City Lilith Fair as given Hope House, who was chosen through a Choose Your Charity contest on Facebook. We received $4,000 to help us in our mission to break the cycle of domestic violence.

See our Lilith Fair pictures here.

Lilith Fair and its organizer Sarah McLachlan have been receiving negative publicity and questions regarding the necessity of Lilith Fair and if it makes sense to do it again after such a long hiatus.

Times have changed since the last Lilith Fair but does that mean it shouldn’t happen again? Yes, ticket sales are down and some tour sites have had to be cancelled, but that is happening to all concerts, unfortunately. I wish the economy was better and that people had more disposable income that they could use for entertainment such as the Lilith Fair.

It was an incredible experience and I feel sad that more people were not there to take part in it. Everyone else missed out on an amazing experience and remarkable music. In an interview on NPR, Sarah McLachlan said “it is not about ticket sales, it's about the experience of Lilith — about artists getting together to make this world a better place.”

In the same interview Sarah said, "that's one of my greatest passions: women and children. Anybody who doesn't have their own voice, or doesn't know how to reach out and have their own voice and help themselves in a bad situation. And, yes, there's a lot of horrible things going on all over the world, but as individuals, I think we all have to focus on our own gifts and our own values and bring those forth to the world the best we can.”

How perfect for Hope House to be the recipient of funds from an organization with such passion and concern for women and children. I have always felt that the mission of Hope House is to help women find their voice after it has been lost or taken away. How inspiring that Sarah feels the same way and through her advocacy and her willingness to work hard, she has helped us to do that.

I appreciate her focusing her gift of music to help others and feel incredibly fortunate that we were chosen to be Lilith’s charity. It was a wonderful experience and I would say to the naysayers: go to the concert, enjoy and don’t inject negativity into a group of people who are trying to make a difference in our world.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Lilith Fair Helps Hope House

Our guest blogger this week is Lee Marlin, Director of Marketing for Hope House.

Don’t you need a vacation day? I suggest taking off Thursday of this week (7/15) and spending the day celebrating women in music at the Lilith Fair Tour at Capital Federal Park at Sandstone. 

The show starts at 2:30pm and goes til 11pm. If you can’t take the day off, go after work; there’ll still be a lot of amazing music waiting for you.

Hope House was chosen as the winner of Lilith’s Choose Your Charity promotion. That means Hope House will receive $1 for every ticket purchased. Sandstone has a capacity of 18,000. My mind boggles when I think of what Hope House could do with $18,000! We’re sure hoping for a sell-out! Get your tickets now at

A few of the acts at the Kansas City stop include Sarah McLachlan, Heart, Emmylou Harris, Courtyard Hounds (2/3 of the Dixie Chicks), and locals Sara Swenson and Julia Othmer.

Lilith organizer Sarah McLachlan will be on-hand to perform, and to present the check to Hope House CEO MaryAnne Metheny. How exciting is that?!

The purchase of one ticket can support Hope House and women in music (and get you out of the office with a chance to work on your tan)… it’s a no-brainer. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Feeding 104 People 3 Meals A Day

This week's guest blogger is Hope House Director of Marketing, Lee Marlin.

Hope House operates on an extremely small food budget: $17,000 a year. That number sounds like a lot when you look at your own personal budget, but let’s break it down. We feed 104 people 3 meals per day, every day of the year. So that breaks down to $46.58 per day, or 45¢ per person, or 15¢ per meal.

I’m pretty tight with a penny, but I can’t even buy Ramen noodles for 15¢! So how does Hope House do it?

We are fortunate to have concerned and caring individuals, businesses and organizations in our communities that help us.

  1. They organize food drives at work or church.
  2. They buy a few extra fruit or veggies for us at the farmers market.
  3. They attend state or county fairs, buy livestock and donate it to us.
Upcoming state and county fairs in the area include:

In Missouri:
  1. Cass County Fair in Pleasant Hill - July 13 – 18
  2. Johnson County Fair in Warrensburg – July 5 – 10
  3. Missouri State Fair in Sedalia, August 12 – 22
  4. American Royal, October 2010
 In Kansas:
  1. Wyandotte County Fair in Kansas City, July 27 – 31
  2. Johnson County Fair in Gardner, August 2 – 7
  3. Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson, September 10 – 19
Every little bit helps. If you have excess fruits and veggies from your own garden, we’re happy to take them off your hands. Fresh produce is a wonderful treat for our clients. Even two home-grown tomatoes could cause considerable excitement in our kitchens!