Helping Others Prepare for Employment was a program designed to train Charlotte’s chronically unemployed individuals with carpentry skills – much-needed trade in the area as the construction industry continued to grow. Betterment donated all of the tools for H.O.P.E.’s first training class so that each graduate not only had their tools for their class, but also started their careers with supplies.
Patrick Shea, director of Project H.O.P.E. was disappointed to tell us that the program has had to shut down since we funded them in March of 2001. But, he was happy to say that Betterment’s support not only made possible much-needed matching funds to get the courses started, but more importantly, it truly made a difference in the lives of the participants.
“There were two young ladies that stick out in my mind from that first course,” says Mr. Shea. “One of them was 21 with four kids. She went through the painting course and it was the first time she had ever completed anything in her whole life. That confidence really made a difference for her. The second young lady was a very good and hard worker. She went out and got work after the course, and she is still using the skills she learned.”
Even though Project H.O.P.E. is no longer working in the community, Mr. Shea feels that Betterment support made a difference for him – and for all of those that we help.
“I’ve never seen anything organized like this before; you are going after things that are slipping through the cracks – that need immediate help. These projects are things everyone can relate to. This is what I see as the backbone of a free society. I have seen some of the worst of America – you guys are the other side. There is no hidden agenda behind it. You guys are filling this niche out there – I just wish more people would copy you.”
“To see young people like you looking for a way to give back to your community and finding a way to play while you’re doing it is inspirational. I’ve never seen anything like it before.” ~Patrick Shea