Grandma’s House of Hope decided that the new Cherry Orchard Community Center in Anaheim should be more than just meeting rooms. They held a open house and fundraiser to ensure that there would be art and music programs to unite the community growing around it.
The new community center offers educational programs and social services to help the 45 families moving into the area.
The newly christened Hopeworks! Educational and Enrichment Center has a multitude of different services that support the adults and over 100 children that will be moving into the community Nov. 1, 2013.
During the opening announcements, Executive Director and founder of GHH, Je’net Kreitner, talked about how she dreamed of the many possibilities for the families moving into this community. She explained how the new community center will help fulfill those dreams.
“They can build not just a community, but a neighborhood,” Kreitner said. “It will help them to form long lasting relationships.”
Cecilia Iglesias, the district representative for Sen. Mimi Walters, was there to present a certificate acknowledging the open house and contribution to the community.
Several partnering organizations were also there to support the opening of this new center. Lupita Gomez-Lamas, Employment Readiness Coordinator at Women Helping Women, talked about their partnership with GHH. She mentioned how the resource center at Cherry Orchard will help men, women and teens prepare how to get jobs and get out in the community. They do resume consultations, interview training and help with professional clothing, all free of charge.
Project Coordinators Luz Vela and Joe Alvarez of Catholic Charities of Orange County were also at the open house to support the new center and promote their programs. Vela will have programs teaching low income families how to use their benefits to promote healthy eating habits and increase consumption of healthy fruits and vegetables. Alvarez will be implementing education forums at the center to raise education levels in the area.
Hopeworks! Education and Enrichment Center will have parenting classes, adult education and after school clubs. There will also be healthy cooking classes and fitness training.
Dozens gathered together to support Grandma’s House of Hope. Volunteers from different places, including Chapman University and Wells Fargo, helped the event progress throughout the evening. There were board members, patrons and current residents of GHH there to support the open house.
Silent and live auctions, raffles and donations helped raise the funds. Raffle prizes included wine tastings, dinners and gift certificates. The silent auction boasted over 16 different baskets with a variety of contents, including hockey tickets. All the money raised went towards supporting the programs being implemented at Cherry Orchard.
“We raised enough money to bring both music and art classes for the next year,” Kreitner said.
She also was very optimistic about potential funding from other sources that attended the event.
Kreitner’s husband Patrick explained Grandma’s House of Hope is a grass roots organization that started in their garage. It grew larger than their garage when they realized how many women in the community needed help. The organization is now a well-known helping hand that has different houses across the community to help women and children in need.
“When the other programs can’t place someone, they call us,” he explained regarding taking women into their homes.
There was live music, poetry readings, and dance performances presented by youth locals. Pizza was donated by BJ’s Restaurant and pastries made by the Orange County School of the Arts.
Crossings at Cherry Orchard is a multi-family housing complex that will allow low income families in Anaheim to lease 45 units.
GHH has three different houses and are opening two more. They help women who are battling cancer, disabled seniors, those who have mental health challenges and women who have been involved in human trafficking.
There is also the Nana’s Kidz Program which provides food to children living in motels throughout Anaheim. For more information on GGH visit www.grandmashouseofhope.org.