Hope House is a campus ministry of the Presbytery of East Tennessee whose mission is “Making God known by modeling the radical hospitality of Jesus Christ.” Beyond the traditional campus ministry offerings like weekly Bible study, fellowship, prayer, worship leading, and volunteer opportunities, Hope is a ministry of evangelism that reaches those both inside and outside the church by being the hands and feet of Christ. Hope is unique in that students of diverse faith, background, culture, economic status, ability, theology, race, sexuality, and gender find a place that not only allows but encourages conversations and relationships between people who might not otherwise have a chance to hear and see and learn from others who are different from them.
Modeling the radical hospitality of Jesus Christ is about who we are and not our expectations of others. It is journeying alongside students, offering respite for the weary, praying for them, reminding one another that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God, and that they are in a space of grace. We believe we are modeling the gospel as we believe Jesus Christ intended.
One of the ways we do this is by offering free and donation-based services to students. 47% of students on UTC's campus have reported being food insecure. These are the same students many of us have packed snack packs for, tutored, and volunteered our time to be with. They have worked so hard and have come so far, have received scholarships to help cover college classes, but those students’ realities at home have remained the same: the money for room/board/books/bills/fees is not there. These students have almost broken out of the cycle of poverty, but being forced to choose between eating and buying their books is a reality.
Hope House is a place where students can have access to free or donation based resources: washer/dryer, wifi, computers/printers, quiet study spaces, as well as access to food and drink daily. Every Tuesday Hope House offers a free hot meal, and many of you have volunteered and given to this program where we feed over 150 students weekly.
Hope House's goals for Giving Tuesday this year are:
recruit 5 new recurring donations,
increase alumni giving by 25%
raise $2,730, which will allow us to provide meals to 15 students for the next semester.
Consider giving in honor or memory of a loved one, as a gift to a friend or family member, or helping to sponsor a student by giving $182 with a one time or recurring donation. You can donate online at www.HopeUTC.org or simply mail a check to Hope House, 808 Vine Street, Chattanooga, TN 373403.
As always, we are so thankful to those who have supported this ministry with their time, money, and talents. In gratitude,
Rev. Tricia Dillon Thomas Director/Campus Minister Hope House UKirk at UTC