Chris Hope – yep, that’s his real name – looks like a regular, ordinary person.
He has a regular job and has a pretty regular life. But to families with very sick children at Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare, Hope has Herculean superpowers.
What exactly are those superpowers? Hope provides long-term housing for families that have to stay in Memphis while their children receive life-saving treatment and he grants final wishes to children who are living their final days.
In other words, Hope gives hope.
It all started a little over six years ago. Hope was visiting a family at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. The young patient and her family had just been told that she only had two weeks to live. And on the worst day of this family’s life, their mortgage lender was on the phone with the patient’s mother, demanding payment “now.”
“When I arrived, the child’s mother was on the phone in the hallway,” said Hope. “She was in tears. The mortgage was just one more burden on top of the devastation right in front of her. I just said on instinct, ‘I’ve got to help her.’”
Hope contacted a few friends and told them, “We need to try and help this family.” They agreed, and money was pooled to address this family’s need.
“It was only $500, I remember,” said Hope, “but it meant every thing to them. We gave the money to this mother the very next day. It was more than just a helpful moment for her. It was magical for me. I knew I wanted to help families like that over and over again.”
Shortly after that, Hope founded the Chris Hope Foundation (CHF). It wasn’t long before other superheroes joined Hope in his mission to help families with seriously ill children.
Six years later, the foundation operates the Chris Hope Foundation Family House in Midtown. The residence opened in September 2020, right in the thick of the pandemic.
April is the foundation’s anniversary month April 24th marked the biggest fundraiser to date.
The 2021 Giving Hope Bowling Tournament hosted 176 participants in a sold-out, three-hour bowl fest as happy pandemonium at Andy B’s Family Entertainment.
A silent auction brought in much-needed, additional funds for outreach over the next year.
Not only has CHF housed families and provided toiletries and supplies, but memorable birthday celebrations and other happy moments have been created for kids in treatment.
Sixty more donors were added to the CHF roster this month, meeting Hope’s goal of “Sixty for Six” in April, and Hope is ready to step into year seven.
What’s next for CHF? A broader outreach to help more patients and their families, Hope says.
“Please help us with this goal,” Hope said. “I would be honored if more donors joined us. Give us a call and find out how to get involved in our foundation. Together, we are an army of helping hands giving hope.”
(For additional information, call CHF at: (800) 807-4673.)