The HOPE Program (HOPE), a highly effective workforce development organization empowering New Yorkers to build brighter futures through training, jobs and career advancement, will host its 7th annual “A Taste of HOPE” fundraiser on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at The Prince George Ballroom in Manhattan.
Tickets can be purchased directly through HOPE.
The nonprofit’s signature evening of great food, wine and spirits attracts more than 300 of New York’s most philanthropic residents, top corporate sponsors, and award-winning food and beverage purveyors that come together to support HOPE students and graduates, who share inspiring stories of strength and overcoming adversity. Nearly 95 percent of event proceeds will be invested directly into The HOPE Program.
HOPE’s highly anticipated annual event will raise money to support the program’s core mission of empowering New Yorkers who face significant barriers to employment. Over the past seven years, “A Taste of HOPE” has become one of the organization’s top fundraising efforts supporting comprehensive job training provided by HOPE and its subsidiary Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx). Last year was the organization’s most successful event to date, with more than $450,000 raised to directly support HOPE’s core initiatives, which include investment in mental health programming, environmentally sustainable hiring opportunities and the expansion of program staff to develop new training opportunities.
“HOPE’s comprehensive programming is unique because we not only prepare our students for the workforce, but also enable individuals to meet their own needs and their family’s needs, creating more stable and sustainable communities,” said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director of The HOPE Program. “A Taste of HOPE is a celebration of the amazing accomplishments of our students and an acknowledgement of the support our corporate sponsors and food and beverage providers give us that help to make it all possible.”
This year’s “A Taste of HOPE” event will honor art collector and board member Carla Shen with the prestigious Founder’s Award for her longstanding dedication to HOPE. Shen, a graduate of Yale and board member of the Brooklyn Museum and Green-Wood, has been a member of the HOPE board for more than ten years. Her mother, the late Carol L. Shen, was also a committed board member and volunteer. Shen has honored her mother’s legacy by following in her footsteps.
“The most rewarding part of being a HOPE board member is hearing the stories of the graduates who have completely turned their lives around,” said Shen. “I am honored to be recognized by the program that has been an integral part of my family’s life for generations. I am thrilled to continue improving the lives of New Yorkers, and in turn continue to be inspired by the graduates’ relentless positivity and determination. HOPE changes lives, and I am grateful to serve on the board of an organization that makes this possible.”
Event sponsors include Capital One, Macquarie, Prosek Partners, Kirk Palmer Associates, Neuman’s Kitchen Events and Catering, Breaking Ground, Day Pitney LLP and Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP, among others.
This year’s event promises delectable tastes and toasts from 20-plus local restaurants, bars, caterers and other food and beverage providers. Many of this year’s food and beverage participants are HOPE partners, employing numerous students and graduates after completion of HOPE’s FOODworks program, which prepares jobseekers with skills needed for careers in the food and beverage industry. Employer partners who will be represented include Brooklyn Seltzer Boys, Butterbeans, Catskill Provisions, Indiana Market & Catering, Murray’s Cheese and Neuman’s Kitchen. Additional sponsors include Amy’s Bread, Bonbite, Bronx Beer Hall, Due Cellucci, Four & Twenty Blackbirds, French Louie, Lighthouse, Li-Lac Chocolates, Maialino, Melt, Old Monk, Ruccola, Smith & Vine, SPOTS, Tito’s Vodka and XO Oysters.
HOPE will also celebrate numerous successes it has had over the past year. In October of 2017 the non-profit landed the largest contract in its history with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office to expand an innovative green social enterprise model and provide training and work experience in green infrastructure and solar installation. In addition, most recently the organization was selected by the Citi Foundation as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of its 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses and municipal agencies.
HOPE continues to be recognized as a leading workforce development nonprofit, not just in New York but nationwide. Through its partnership with SSBx, HOPE nearly doubled its impact to serve 450 New Yorkers across all five boroughs each year. The program’s job retention and job placement outcomes continue to be amongst the strongest in the field; with a 76 percent job placement rate, 92 percent 90-day retention, almost twenty percent higher than the national average, and 78 percent one-year retention rate.
About The HOPE Program
The HOPE Program was founded in 1984 by a soup kitchen volunteer and PhD student who believed that with the right support and resources, the clients she served in the soup line could succeed in the workforce and build bright futures. HOPE empowers New Yorkers to lift themselves out of poverty through training, jobs and career advancement.
In 2015, HOPE underwent the boldest phase of growth in our history with the acquisition of Sustainable South Bronx. We now operate rigorous and effective job training programs for low-income New Yorkers in both Bronx and Brooklyn – the counties with highest unemployment rates in the city and among the most impacted by unemployment statewide.
HOPE offers training for diverse careers as well as sector-specific training in the food and green collar industries, with outcomes among the strongest in the field. To learn more, visit here.