Gainesville Kiwanis Hope Foundation
Board of Directors:
Jay Jacobs, Chairman
Ricky Pugh, Vice Chairman
Barclay Rushton, Treasurer
Steve Cornelison, Secretary
History and Mission of Gainesville Kiwanis Hope Foundation, Inc.
In early 2007, the Kiwanis Club of Gainesville created the Gainesville Kiwanis Hope Foundation, Inc. as a 501(c)(3) public charity. The Kiwanis Foundation's vision was to provide transitional housing for homeless schoolchildren and their families and to provide programs which could offer these families hope for a better life. The Kiwanis Foundation purchased land suitable for building the transitional housing and established project goals. As the project developed, it became apparent to the Kiwanis Foundation that it would be beneficial to join forces with a local organization that was already providing transitional housing and services to families with schoolchildren who would otherwise be homeless. In 2010, the Kiwanis Foundation approached Gateway to explore whether the two organizations might work together to achieve their mutual goals. Later than year, Kiwanis Foundation donated its land to Gateway to assist Gateway to realize its goal of expanding its transitional housing programs, with helpful parameters to ensure that the Foundation’s vision to help homeless children was attained.
After the donation to Gateway, the Hope Foundation shifted its focus to assisting the Kiwanis Club with its mission of changing the world one child and one community at a time. The Kiwanis Club has had for some time a Hope Project which assists needy families, especially at the holidays. The Hope Foundation's board believed that it could expand that program so that needy children could be helped year-round. There are children in our community that fall between the cracks, i.e., where not one government or non-profit agency can render assistance, but where a little assistance can make a big difference. The Hope Foundation now provides assistance to pay for needs of such children in our community identified by or through Kiwanis Club members. These needs are identified through sources such as the juvenile courts, school counselors, social workers, churches, and others in the community who encounter children with needs. The requests for assistance are made by or through Kiwanis Club members. The needs have included things such as eyeglasses, shoes and winter coats, prescriptions for medicine, assistance with rent or utility bills to prevent eviction of the child's family, assistance with tuition for special camps, field trips, and tutoring programs, and inexpensive computers to provide internet access required for school homework. During 2019, the Hope Foundation disbursed approximately $7,800 for its board-approved charitable expenditures. The Hope Foundation hopes that its ability to meet these needs will continue to grow over the years.