Local nonprofit celebrates its community impact
By Jason A. Smith
A spirited celebration enveloped volunteers at a local non-profit agency over the weekend, as they reflected on another year of working to benefit the community.
Miracle Mission Hope House, Inc., held its annual Appreciation and Awards Dinner Saturday at Timberridge Presbyterian Church in McDonough. Board members and volunteers marked the occasion with jubilant worship while taking stock of their accomplishments over the past year, and looking toward the future with anticipation.
Miracle Mission Hope House Executive Director, Marlene Lemons (seated in center) is surrounded by volunteers at the organization’s annual Appreciation and Awards Dinner. Photo by Jason A. Smith
Marlene Lemons is the executive director for the organization. She said the nonprofit’s mission is to eliminate hunger, foster hope and promote self-sufficiency for low-income families and disadvantaged people in Henry County and surrounding areas.
Lemons praised her team of volunteers for striving to create an environment in which businesses, individuals and the faith community can work together to alleviate hunger and homelessness.
“We have serviced over 700 individuals and families,” she said. “We serve them with basic necessities and educational services, food, clothing, toiletries, GED classes, job-readiness skills, and also basic computer skills.”
Seeds for the Miracle Mission Hope House were planted in 2005, when Lemons and a team of volunteers began feeding the homeless in Atlanta on a monthly basis. The team expanded in 2010, partnering with United Way in the process to reach more people.
Beginning in 2011, Miracle Mission Hope House was able to help more disadvantaged people in the community by becoming a certified learning center and offering GED prep classes.
In 2017, Miracle Mission Hope House provided basic necessities for 175 clients each month. Lemons pointed out that the group logged roughly 13,680 volunteer hours for that year, as well as partnering with Toys for Tots and United Way for various projects.
In addition, said Lemons, the organization has amassed a growing network of business partners to increase its reach in the area.
“We have networked with United Way partners to make a greater impact,” she said. “We don’t just want to make a small impact, but we believe that by networking with all the organizations coming in, we can have a greater impact.”
Lemons touted partnerships with a number of local entities for helping to bolster her organization’s goals. Those groups include United Way, the National Christina Foundation, Midwest Food Bank, Home Depot, Kirkland Employment Agency, the Clark Foundation, Play Hard Elite and The Henry County Times.
She emphasized that Miracle Mission Hope House, currently at 466 Simpson St., in McDonough, is working with United Way to offer child well-being programs for children from infants to 12th grade. The group, she said, has other plans on the horizon as well.
“One of the most important things we are looking forward to is, first of all, trying to get a larger building,” said Lemons. “It is our goal to become a one-stop shop where we meet all the needs of individuals and families. If we are blessed to get that building, then we’ll bring in other partners and have all of us in one location.”