Friday, September 14, 2012

New Young Professionals Group Formed

­Our guest blogger this week is Ashley Gillard, Hope House Board Member and chair of Hope House Young Professionals.

I am so proud to introduce Hope House Young Professionals (HHYP) as the newest edition to the Hope House family.  It started as an idea just a year ago, which turned into planning, and finally into an official group just a few months ago. 

The purpose for forming this group is to tap into the resources young professionals bring to the table.  Members of the group are from all areas of Kansas City and work in a variety of industries, from law to health care to psychology and beyond. 

Our members offer a willingness to take on new projects for Hope House’s benefit, and to create their own fundraising events that target other young professionals in the area. 

While people in the beginning of their careers may not be able to make a large monetary donation to Hope House, they can offer a yearly membership (only $30), participate in fundraising happy hours, and spread awareness about Hope House to their peers and at their places of work. 

You might wonder why I was so anxious to get this group started.  My journey to become a Hope House Board Member and the chair of HHYP began eight years ago.  It all started in my first women’s studies course as an undergraduate, which opened my eyes to all of the difficulties women face in our world. 

But, what truly changed my life forever was the day I met 16-year-old Nicole. It was the first day of my women’s studies internship at the local sheriff’s office in their domestic violence unit. 

On that day, Nicole had told her mother that her grandfather had been abusing her for years.  They came to the sheriff’s office to seek help in obtaining a restraining order against her grandfather.

Nicole was scared and worried.  But with the help of those around her and the local resources, she made it through the restraining order hearing and through those first difficult months.

What Nicole made me realize is that domestic violence is in all the places you expect, plus all the places you wouldn't expect.  If you and I don’t help in whatever way we can, then people like Nicole might not have caring people around them to help carry them through to better days. 

The Hope House Young Professionals group aims to be a vehicle for change.  HHYP allows people to step up and do what they can to become involved in an important cause. 

Becoming a member is simple.  For $30, you can become a HHYP member for a year, which puts you on our invite list for happy hours and fundraising events like Margarita Ball.   If you’re interested feel free to sign up on the Hope House website
, or contact me for more information at

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