Club Hope finds a new home | Sun News

LAGRANGE – Standing just inside “The Garage”, a community center in LaGrange, Jamelle Godlewski sees a room filled with possibilities.

Godlewski is the founder and director of Reason 4 Hope, a non-profit youth ministry in LaGrange County. Godlewski has just announced that Reason $ Hope’s youth organization, Club Hope, will be moving their weekly meetings to the Garage. Godlewski made an agreement with the tenant of the building to use the space. The LaGrange Community Center will provide Club Hope, a club of 20 local middle and high school students, a place to call home.

Until this fall, Godlewski said she had no idea the community center space could be used by her organization.

“It all really happened out of the blue,” she explained. “I never really knew it was an option.”

Within a week or two, Club Hope kids will start arriving at the community center for them once a week. Godlewski said the club was created to provide academic support to students, as well as to teach them the value of volunteering.

“Club Hope is our after school program,” said Godlewski. “We provide academic support and we carry out service learning projects and activities. Service projects have included moving to the Life Care Center at LaGrange and we do all of its outdoor gardening work. We also make crafts for residents and give everyone a Christmas card and Christmas decoration. “

In addition to hosting weekly club meetings, Reason 4 Hope will use the space to host monthly youth events.

“We will be having a youth event once a month, probably on a Friday night, a college party will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. and then a Saturday night, a high school party,” she said. “And then we hope to have community events every quarter where the whole family is invited.”

Reason 4 Hope has been around for about a decade, and during that time the organization has reinvented itself several times. In 2012, organizations worked with the local LaGrange Women’s Shelter to provide women using this center with personal items they might need during their stay at the shelter, such as soaps and shampoos. The organization then opened a cafe in LaGrange that offered people a free meal and a space to sit and socialize. Reason 4 Hope then evolved and began providing school supplies to children in need, but those needs diminished when schools themselves began providing these supplies to children, Godlewski said. She then directed the organization’s efforts towards mentoring and working with junior high school students and now high school students, helping them graduate.

“Years ago a friend told me it would take us several years to find our niche,” she explained. “My boy, was he right? “

In addition to providing student academic support and volunteer programs, the club helps its members learn coping skills. Godlewski said he hopes to help them make good decisions as adults.

Godlewski also grew up. A former teacher, she is now preparing for her final class as she prepares to earn her Master of Divinity degree from Wheaton College.

Now that Club Hope has a real home, Godlewski hopes to see it grow.

“Now that we can provide a place for children to go and hang out, I hope that will really move us forward in 2022,” she added.

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