For many, Thanksgiving dinner is a large feast with a turkey, multiple casseroles, and pumpkin pie. Although Thanksgiving is a time where people can come together and celebrate food, friends, and family, this is not the case for many senior citizens. Elders who live on low income do not have a place to spend Thanksgiving or cannot feed themselves, which is why Focus Hope is important: to deliver food to those who are in need during the holidays.
Focus Hope is a non-profit organization that is located in Detroit that helps feed elders during the holidays, coordinate learning programs for children, and support women during and after pregnancy. They also offer job training for individuals that want to get a jumpstart in their careers. With partnerships with federal and state agencies, Focus Hope provides 42,000 low income seniors with monthly food packages to help them meet basic needs. They also provide opportunities to obtain health screenings, income support, tax preparation, and utility assistance. So during the Thanksgiving season especially, they try to make their elders feel special and most importantly, fed.
Mercy High School is the second largest contributor to Focus Hope, with Ford Motor Co. being the biggest. Every year during Mercy’s Focus Hope Food Drive in November, the school tries to fill half a semi-truck with multiple boxes filled with canned foods, produce, and disposable utensils. Mr. Curt Kleug, a pastoral minister and leader of the Focus Hope drive at Mercy, set a goal for each adviser to fill nine Focus Hope boxes with food so that the semi-truck would be half full. Although the school fell short of the goal, students and staff still brought in a tremendous amount of food.
“The goal of Focus Hope is yes, fill the truck with as much food as we can,” said Mr. Kleug. “But, it is more than that. It is bringing awareness to the situation, hoping to show people how grateful they should be.”