Hoover creates a Gateway for Kindness with Neighborhood Bridges

Published 9:30 am Thursday, February 7, 2019


HOOVER – Hoover Helps, a local non-profit charity working to serve the children, schools and families of Hoover, has connected with Neighborhood Bridges, a Westerville, Ohio charity—and Leadership Hoover—to launch a Gateway for Kindness.

Neighborhood Bridges was founded and launched in January of 2017 to serve the children, residents and families of Westerville, Ohio.

Neighborhood Bridges has engaged local residents and businesses through direct support and care to more than 8 communities, 10,000 Central Ohio children and families.

Now, local leaders hope to bring that success to Hoover.

Neighborhood Bridges – Hoover will serve as a new initiative inviting all 17 Hoover city schools’ teachers, counselors and school administrators to advocate for children and families in need across our area.

HCS will work with key community stakeholders to mobilize resources and direct support. That support could come in many forms: food, clothing, shoes, coats, eye exams, school supplies, school fees, furniture, household items and other donations as identified.

Greg and Donna Bishop, executive directors of Hoover Helps, along with David Bannister of Leadership Hoover and Janet Turner, executive director of the Hoover City Schools Foundation, will provide the leadership to bring about this new Gateway for Kindness for the Hoover City Schools community.

“We are excited about working with Neighborhood Bridges because of the tremendous kindness they currently bring to the people of Ohio. Hoover Helps has been meeting the needs of children in Hoover for years. This additional platform and partnership with neighborhood bridges will help our community deliver kindness in a major way,” Greg Bishop said.

“As a teacher I have helped identify students’ needs, used our resources to satisfy these deficits, and then witnessed as students flourish. Now instead of just Hoover Helps and our faith-based partners getting all that gratification, we are providing a simple platform for the community to have the chance to be someone’s hero,” Donna Bishop said.

“This bridge is a Hoover City-wide kids-first initiative, which brings city leaders, city services, city business, city charities, city schools, city churches, and city resources all to the table. This all-in, full buy-in effort lets the entire Hoover community know that there is one vetted, city-wide bridge for all of Hoover to use to deliver kindness. The bridge is a 100-percent pass-through, all volunteer driven charity, so all kindness is passed to the Hoover families. That’s exciting, because when all of Hoover works together, we all win!” David Bannister said.

This collaborative effort to launch Neighborhood Bridges will include a Board/Steering Committee. Members include: Hoover City Fire Chief Clay Bentley; Hoover City Mayor Frank Brocato; Darin Boykin, general manager of Hwy. 150 Walmart; David Cohen of the Whole Scoop and the Hoover City Schools Foundation; Ruth Cole, Leadership Hoover PTO Liaison; Jaclyn Gardner, executive director of Danberry at Inverness; Jason Gaston, director of Hoover City Schools public relations; Hoover City Councilman John Lyda; Debbie Mar, area director of Newk’s; Steve McClinton, Hoover City Schools Foundation and Hoover Helps Board member; Pastor Wes Savage of Riverchase United Methodist Church; Marley Stephens, lead counselor at Hoover City Schools; and April Stone, executive Director of the Hoover Chamber of Commerce.

“This Hoover Kindness initiative creates an amazing partnership between one of our local non-profits, Hoover Helps, and Neighborhood Bridges. The partnership will empower our school counselors to dramatically expand the help they can provide to those in need and unleash a kindness across our great city,” Brocato said.

The school system sees opportunities to help students each and every day. Superintendent Dr. Kathy Murphy welcomes the Neighborhood Bridges concept.

“Having our schools partner with an entity like Neighborhood Bridges will make a world of difference for our counselors, teachers and others who work tirelessly—beyond their core duties—to ensure students have the best academic experience possible,” Murphy said.

Neighborhood Bridges – Hoover officially launched on Monday, Feb. 4.

For more information or to subscribe, visit Neighborhoodbridges.org/hoover-al or visit the Facebook page at Facebook.com/NeighborhoodBridges-Hoover.