The fundraiser came full circle Wednesday afternoon when the students presented the local life-affirming organization with a $287 check.
CEO Tracie Shellhouse said the money is part of the almost $44,000 raised through the walk by supporters.
“The money goes toward our general operating expenses and our programs. It enables us to do everything from keeping the lights on and water on, to being able to provide diapers,” Shellhouse said. “Most of our material items given to our clients are donated, but we are able to buy some more.”
Seventy-five students in Chef Clyde Rush’s Culinary Arts classes worked together to complete the community service project. Rush encouraged his students to choose a project in which they could incorporate their culinary studies in the fundraiser. Chip Shellhouse said the walk was the perfect venue for the event.
A whole week was dedicated to preparing for the event.
“It was a long process,” Chip said. “We had to take an entire week where we prepared and created. It came down to the day where we really stressed we had to get everything done.”
The final menu included: ham-and-cheese quiche; spinach quiche; iced sugar cookies; non-iced sugar cookies; muffins like lemon poppy-seed; brownies; and coffee and iced tea.
Rush said everything, with the exception of the quiche crusts, were made from scratch.
“The students peeled down the oranges,” Rush said. “They took fresh spinach, froze it, dried, squeezed it out and chopped it up. They used fresh feta cheese.”
Tracie Shellhouse noted the work placed into the additional fundraiser by the students and said she would be interested in having them return next year.
“I think our walkers and people who came and participated really like the fact that as they were getting something to eat and drink, all of the money was coming back to New Hope,” Shellhouse said. “So it was just another way for them to donate. That was really neat.”
Anyone interested in following Cleveland High’s students by supporting the local nonprofit will be welcomed by Shellhouse. She said New Hope is in desperate need of volunteers. These volunteers can serve anywhere from crocheting baby blankets to becoming crisis pregnancy counselors.
According to Shellhouse, counselors are provided with 24 hours of training prior to beginning. Individuals must pass both a 100- and 200-level course. Additional in-house training and job shadowing opportunities are also available.
“I think a lot of people think, ‘I don’t have a degree in counseling,’ [concerning becoming a crisis pregnancy counselor],” Shellhouse said. “Well, most people here don’t [have counseling degrees]. Really you don’t have to because we will help you attain the education.”
New Hope is primarily a life-affirming organization, although there are also services provided for those in need of psychological support following an abortion. Those who utilize abortion related services are clients for about 10-12 weeks. Those who choose to deliver their babies are often clients for 19-21 months. Curriculum, formula, diapers, maternity clothes and additional needed materials are available to clients through various in-house programs.
“Ultimately we want to educate them,” Shellhouse said. “We want them to be better off when they leave than when they got here. We are wanting to impact their family to create a stronger family unit.”