ROSWELL, Ga. — Local volunteers and churches are once again preparing to help families in need at the 2017 Roswell Day of Hope.
Set for April 22 this year, organizers will be offering services, such as medical screenings, haircuts and lunch as well as activities and games for children. They will also be giving out over 1,600 pairs of new shoes for free.
Mimosa Elementary School, located at 1550 Warsaw Road, will host the event, rain or shine from noon-4 p.m. With over 2,000 attendees last year, hundreds are expected to join in the festivities again this year.
“The Roswell Day of Hope is the most important day of the year for Mimosa families,” said Ariane Holcombe, principal of Mimosa Elementary School. “It is a symbol to many of the love and compassion this community has for them.”
According to the event organizers, this year they are focusing on getting children excited to read, especially those who have less access to books than their more financially well-off peers.
“We know that most of our students do not have the same access to resources as those in other North Fulton schools,” Holcombe said. “Books and magazines are a staple in many of the homes in our community, but for families in poverty, such resources are desperately lacking.”
There will be a special story tent this year to aid in this initiative. Each child who visits the tent will be given a book to read.
The Roswell Day of Hope was started in 2009 by Hope Roswell, a network of volunteers from local churches.
Since then, “[local] churches, businesses, and nonprofits continue to come together annually to shower kindness on those who may be less fortunate or those who just need a word of encouragement,” said Director for Hope Roswell Brenda Orlans.
Most of the funding for the event is provided by churches. Local businesses and service organizations, such as Roswell Rotary, also aid in the efforts. This year, food will be provided by Barberitos, and area hairdressers and doctors will be volunteering their services.
Longtime volunteer Dan Chamberlin said he always looks forward to “the joy of families doing activities together” at the event.
“I would like to believe the Roswell Day of Hope is a shining example of all that is good with Roswell — neighbors helping neighbors,” he said.
Organizers are looking for additional funding to aid in their literacy initiative.
In addition to holding the Roswell Day of Hope, Hope Roswell has similar efforts throughout the year, such as summer camps for preschoolers, weekly mentoring for local high schoolers and assistance for potential foster parents.
To learn more about the Roswell Day of Hope and to get involved, visit hoperoswell.org.