My name is Abigail Wocher. I am an incoming fourth year at The Ohio State University studying Nonprofit Management with a minor in Human Rights. The Columbus Foundation has provided me with an opportunity to work along side an organization known as Hope Hollow. I am quickly discovering how this mom-and-pop nonprofit has changed the lives of a multitude of individuals battling cancer as well as their families (it is safe to say that this organization has changed my life in this short period of time too…and no, I promise my boss Kevin did not force me to say that).
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Hope Hollow here is a brief description: Hope Hollow is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization responsible for providing care to cancer patients and their families with lodging, meals, transportation, hospitality and emotional support as they travel to Columbus for their cancer treatment.
Who is Hope Hollow? I was in fact quite curious about who was behind the operations of Hope Hollow, as well as who the founders were. To my surprise the answer is one and the same. Kevin and Jane Clark founded Hope Hollow after Jane herself survived two cancer diagnosis’s. As a survivor, Jane told me how her fight against cancer gave her an entirely new outlook on life, and that because of this her gratitude was overflowing. They knew they wanted to give back to the Columbus community that had supported them during their struggles and so Hope Hollow was created.
I have worked with a variety of nonprofits during my student career, but Hope Hollow was the first organization in which I would directly be working under the Founders/CEO’s, so I was not quite sure what to expect when it came to the specific work I would be completing over the summer.
Reflecting on my first week at Hope Hollow, it is evident that I will be working on numerous projects that require my skills to be flexible and dynamic (which I could not be more pleased with as “wearing multiple hats” is common in the nonprofit sector and is an aspect that I find to be very appealing). For example, this week I have worked with Kevin to improve resources for Hope Hollow’s Board Members, I have shopped and delivered groceries for a patient receiving treatment at the James Cancer Hospital, I had the privilege of accompanying Jane to the Kobacker House where we delivered dinner and gas cards to a young lady and her family, I assisted Hope Hollow in increasing its social media presence, and attended several committee meetings for an upcoming summer fundraiser event.
Hope Hollow is an environment filled with compassion. Jane and Kevin stress the importance of building relationships with the individuals that come to Hope Hollow for a little extra help. Kevin’s phone rings off the hook, and a large majority of calls come from persons who have utilized some of the services Hope Hollow offered them in the past (they even call if Kevin and Jane were present in their lives 5+ years ago). This little details speaks volumes to the impact that Hope Hollow has on those it encounters.
Week 1, if I could describe you in one word it would be: Humbling.