Posted by Larry Faulhaber
The 2020 Annual Dinner and Auction Fund Raiser will be Friday, May 1 at 6:00pm at the Don Umerley Center in the City of Rocky River Civic Center complex at West 210 and Hilliard Blvd.  It will include a full course served dinner with cash bar, silent and live auction raffles.  Trials of Hope will be a major benefactor of this year’s event.   Tickets are just $30 per person.
The mission statement of Trials for Hope is to deliver dignity and hope to those who fall between the cracks, bringing wholesome food, personal care items, and warmth to the great Cleveland area.
In 2010, Trials of Hope founder, Johnathan Gray was gifted a large donation of trial-sized toiletries and decided to bring it to a local community meal. A line quickly formed, and the expressions of gratitude were encouraging, but a greater need was also revealed. Many in the community had needs and requirements that weren't being met by assistance programs and they had fallen between the cracks. Whether it was the inability or lack of funding to provide medical, clothing, or personal care - the community was struggling, and Jon saw a way to answer the need. Through dedication, personal connections, and tireless outreach to both the giving communities and those in need he has been able to continually answer 'yes' when those who struggle reach out for help.
As Johnathan began regularly passing out these trial-sized toiletry donations to various homeless camps throughout Cleveland, the individuals served began remarking “you give us hope.” Johnathan knew he had found a calling and formalized his outreach by forming the non-profit: Trials for Hope.  Ten years later, Trials for Hope continues to provide unending support to those in need. Johnathan Gray (founder and CEO) donates the most valuable asset anyone has - time - and does this tirelessly without taking any sort of salary for himself. Not only does Johnathon give his time to helping those who are most in need but he knows how to connect with those he helps as he was once in similar circumstances as them.
The Lakewood / Rocky River Sunshine Rotary club has been so moved by the work of Trials for Hope that they have joined in to help. The club packed over 200 toiletry bags at their last weekly meeting. In addition, on select Saturdays, the club assists in packing additional toiletry bags and frozen meat bags as well as helping to organize the Trials for Hope storage basement. While Johnathan is out distributing his donations to the community and purchasing more supplies from the food bank, he has little time to organize his inventory and the Rotary club has volunteered to help alleviate this issue.
In addition to volunteering time, the Sunrise Rotary club worked with neighboring clubs to help fund a walk-in freezer that will make short term storage of food easier. The funding was approved this past year and the freezer has been ordered, pending installation once the concrete pad is poured for installation.  The photo above shows Sunrise Rotary Club’s President, Lynda Carter giving a $6,600 check to Trials of Hope founder for the freezer purchase and installation.   Rotary believes in service before self and working with Trials for Hope is a perfect fit for our club.
You can help by supporting the May 1 Sunrise Dinner and Auction as a sponsor, auction item donor, and or attending the Event on May 1.  Tickets are just $30 per person. Contact Lynda Carter, or Jim Rowe