Project HOPE Bottle
for the Hungry & Homeless
I’m often asked the story of the Bottle of HOPE.
One August afternoon in sunny Arizona, I decided to make a quick run to the bank. I gathered my purse, my keys and the deposit. As I got in my car, I realized I didn’t have a bottle of water. I stopped and ran back to get a cold bottle from the refrigerator because when you live in AZ, that’s what you do! It's a 10 minute round trip to the bank and heaven knows I’d be so thirsty if I forgot my water.
A few minutes into my drive while stopped at a red light, I noticed a young girl standing in the median with a cardboard sign. The driver who had stopped next to her for the red light, rolled down their window and handed her a bottle of water. The young girl stopped in her tracks, set down her backpack and her sign, opened the bottle of water, titled her head back and drank the entire bottle. I remember thinking “oh my goodness, of course she’s parched! It’s 115° out today!” As I sat there waiting for my light to turn green, I thought about the fact that I left my air-conditioned office, got into my car in my garage, turned on the air conditioner full blast for my 10 minute round-trip to the bank and couldn't leave without a bottle of water.
When my husband, Jim, got home that evening, I relayed the story to him. In my mind I could still see that young girl drinking the cool bottle of water, vividly imagining the cool sensation on her parched throat. That was and continues to be a very impact-full memory.
For many months prior to this day, Jim kept folded one dollar bills in the console of his pickup truck. Without judgment, when he encountered someone who looked down on their luck, he put down his window and handed them a dollar. That evening I suggested that perhaps he keep a small cooler in his truck so when he hands a dollar he also hands a cold bottle of water. He loved the idea and the next day loaded the small cooler with water bottles.
A few days later Jim mentioned that people love the water bottle, however, time is short when stopped at the traffic light and when quickly handing a dollar and a cold bottle of water, sometimes the light changes quickly and the items have fallen. We went into the office and got the HOPE silicone wristband that we produce as part of our Be Light wristband set. Putting the dollar against the bottle of water we stretched the band so the word HOPE was directly on top of the dollar bill, wanting to make sure that the recipient saw the word HOPE. The back of the band contains the words expect-desire-trust, tangible reminders of the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 embossed on the inside of the band.
Today, two years later, if you look in our office refrigerator you will always see bottles of water, a plastic bag of silicone HOPE bracelets, and a bowl full of folded one dollar bills. Each day, as he prepares to leave the office, Jim prepares a few bottles to put in his lunch cooler. Perhaps the small gesture will make a difference in someone's life. You never know what someone else is going through or has been through. Be kind and share HOPE with an open mind.
"I cannot make all the difference the world needs, but the world needs all the difference I can make."
©Nancy Gosewisch 1995
Our project’s mission is not only to share a cool bottle of water and kind conversation with some homeless and less fortunate people but to give them a tangible reminder that people do care about them and to encourage them never to give up HOPE! 💫
How You Can Help
A donation of $10 will purchase 70 bottles of water or 10 HOPE wristbands or ten $1 bills.
How to Contact Us
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!