A flat plot of grass-covered ground next to a busy highway and an industrial facility was blessed Thursday by Wilmington-area church leaders who are beginning a fundraising drive to build a Resource Center and Marketplace.
Harvest Outreach People Project, or HOPP, is a coalition of churches and outreach specialists. They have already distributed more than 300,000 pounds of food and tens of thousands of PPE products, blankets and other items.
HOPP was able to acquire the land through Peninsula McCabe Church and has received grant support from the Longwood Foundation and other organizations.
(speaking in the video: Harvest Outreach People Project Executive Director Travis Smith Sr., Asbury United Methodist Church of New Castle Pastor Tracy Mooney, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, Episcopal Servant and leader of the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula Delaware Conference)
"The goal is to make it easier for our churches to do outreach ministry. What we are doing is building this logistics center so we do all of the work behind the scenes on behalf of the outreach teams of the churches," HOPP Executive Director Travis Smith Sr. said.
According to the organization, construction material from recycled shipping containers will be used. Visitors to the facility will also be able to avail themselves of other services, including a Wi-Fi community hotspot.
"At our churches, we pray about making a difference. We pray that transformation will come. This is evidence that transformation comes when we come outside the walls of our sanctuaries and engage and meet our community where they are," said Bishop LaTrelle Easterling, Episcopal Servant and leader of the Baltimore-Washington and Peninsula-Delaware Conference.
HOPP Thursday also kicked off a fundraising campaign that it hopes will generate $2-million.