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Irish Send Holiday Cheer to Local Residents

Nov 23, 2011, 2:45 PM EST

With no classes on campus today, sixteen Notre Dame football student-athletes spent the afternoon before practice at Hope Ministries in downtown South Bend. Founded as the Hope Rescue Mission by Tobe E. Schmucker in 1954, the program initially provided shelter, food and ministry for homeless men, before soon expanding to serve women and families.

As an organization, “Hope Ministries seeks to transform hearts, minds and lives by engaging families and individuals in a Christ-centered, grace-based process of examining their current realities, envisioning their future possibilities, and enabling action to achieve their desired futures.”

Today, the original facility on Michigan Street provides chapel services and a community kitchen, which serves approximately 300 meals daily. In 2005, Hope Ministries opened a second facility, the Family Life Center. The Family Life Center provides housing for families including single mothers, single fathers and married couples, as well as for single men and women.

On Thanksgiving, Hope Ministries will serve hundreds of meals, while also delivering many to residents around the local community. While at the Family Life Center this afternoon, the Fighting Irish football players helped prepare for the Thanksgiving celebration by filling containers of cranberry sauce, washing windows, setting up the dining area, and writing cards to the visitors.

Hope Ministries offer free meals 365 days per year, spiritual guidance, adult education, child development programs and access to mental and physical healthcare resources, among many other services.

Led by former wide receiver and current team intern David Grimes (’09), today’s project was a special opportunity for the team to take some time away from classes and football, to give back to the South Bend community and spread some joy in the holiday season.

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