Marquette Catholic High School is one of the 6 schools that are part of the RiverBend Growth Association Young Adults Committee (RBGA), a committee that is committed to helping its community. Marquette is a private college prep school that prepares its students to graduate college. Marquette offers their students many different opportunities to grow in faith, be a part of a beautiful community, and form good values and friendships that will last a lifetime. There are four students from Marquette on this committee, Morgan Hornsey is one of the students. She is in her senior year at Marquette Catholic High School. Outside of the committee, she takes part in cheer, theater, and the National Honor Society (NHS). Jacob Rose is also a senior at Marquette. Apart from this committee, he is a part of the Student Council, Diversity Club, theater, NHS, and Scholar Bowl. Tyra Wells is in her junior year at Marquette Catholic High School. She participates in track, Student Council, and NHS. Rodger Zawodniak is also a junior at Marquette. Apart from this committee, he is a part of NHS, Student Council, track, and scholar bowl

Recently RBGA Young Adults Committee has had the opportunity to visit the Community Hope Center to volunteer and learn about all the good they do for their community. During this experience, students were split into groups to assist in the center’s different facilities. Some students helped label letters to send out to their patrons. Others helped to declutter storage rooms for better organization. In addition, some worked to organize and review food donations. One thing that is noteworthy about the center is its determination not to waste things. A good example of this is when they sort through clothing donations not every article of clothing is suitable to be handed out to the community. Instead of the clothing being thrown away, they donate the clothes to an organization that uses the fabric to make cleaning rags. During the tour of the facility, a volunteer named Sheri, with a kind spirit, was inspecting a container of oats. She explained to some students that the oats could not be used due to their condition, but they would not go to waste. Sheri said that the oats would be sent to somebody who makes bird feeders. Later Morgan asked one of the kind, hearted volunteers to elaborate on this quote from their website “It takes more than food to fight hunger. Offering help. Cultivating hope. Creating community.” Also asked if they could elaborate on the importance of creating a relationship based on trust to build a community. They answered that it is all about creating a safe, loving community, which is done by showing respect and learning to trust one another. They show this with their care and dedication to maintaining dignity to create trust. One example of this is visitors aren’t handed boxes with predetermined items of food and clothes. Instead, they’re allowed to use a shopping cart and choose the food and clothes they need just like anybody else.

Community Hope Center was founded in 1998 by Crystal and Leameal Davis, who had personally experienced the trauma of poverty and hunger. They decided to work to create the center to serve their neighbors and share the love of Jesus. Since then, the center has been a great beacon of hope in the community. Community Hope Center assists people in difficult circumstances by providing physical, medical, and spiritual resources such as food, clothing, hygiene items, and encouragement. They strive to allow all community members to thrive and find hope even in the darkest of circumstances. They provide greatly for the Riverbend area, as they assist an average of 550 individuals each week. They typically have 25 to 40 volunteers and only 6 paid staff that work together to serve their community. When asked what season is in most need of volunteers, the students were told that all seasons need volunteers, particularly Christmas.

Community Hope Center strives to be a loving neighbor to all no matter their circumstances. By doing this they became a beacon of hope to those in need and a reminder to those who aren’t to appreciate what they have. Their volunteers are full of joy and are amazing individuals to talk to and laugh with.