Hope for Her is a local nonprofit that provides a safe place for women who have experienced crisis and trauma to find the strength, skills and support they need to rebuild their lives. The organization was founded in September 2003 by Cheryl Hickman, the executive director.
Hickman said, “Hope for Her is based on my own experience of being a single parent and my life hitting rock bottom.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hope for Her was completely shut down from March 2020 to June 2020. However, thanks to a supportive community, Hope for Her was able to resume services and more in a brand-new building.
Hickman explained, “We had been in a 1,500-square-foot modular building for the last 15 years. Bay Life Church provided it to us as an in-kind donation. We started building a new facility three years ago. Construction was completed on June 22, 2020. We were able to move into our expanded facility and start offering services to the community.”
Hope for Her gets busy over the summer months. Hickman said, “At our peek during the summer, we typically receive about 400 calls for services. In our old building, we only had the capacity to serve 100 families a month. We were turning away three out of every four families during the busy summers. We built a new 10,000-square-foot facility where we can accommodate 400 families a month, offer classes and provide a computer lab for women in need of GED, ESOL and Microsoft training.”
The new building was made possible thanks to the membership and leadership of Bay Life Church as well as the broader community. The new building will be dedicated on Friday, June 25 from 12 Noon-2 p.m. The community is invited to attend.
Hickman said, “We are expanding into classes starting in September. We will offer Wellness Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Each week we will offer a different class. One week will be nutrition, then Zumba, then emotional health and then yoga. On months with five Wednesdays, we will offer a self-care class.”
Hope for Her is in need of both donations and volunteers. If you can, please consider giving gas cards, bedding, small appliances, housewares, clothing, towels, shoes and new underwear, including bras.
If you would like to volunteer, please stop by its location at 140 Yarbrough Rd. in Brandon and fill out an application. If you are in need of help, please call 309-3357.
For more information, please visit www.hopeforherfl.org.