by Tracy Clark, HOPE Rising advocate
In August of 2012, one HOPE supporter began his exciting journey to use his gifts, talents, and passions to invest in the dreams of families living in poverty. A talented swimmer who’d served as a swimming coach, Zach McArdle put on an IronSeahorse swim and run at his local country club in Buffalo, NY, with registration fees going toward HOPE International. Not only did the event raise $1,050, it also created an opportunity for Zach to share with individuals in the Buffalo area about Christ-centered microenterprise. “I got to talk about a faith-based organization at a private swim club!” says Zach.
Through his travels to Africa, work as a full-time accountant, and interest in Christ-centered microenterprise development, Zach has developed a passion for the work of HOPE International. He decided to put this passion into action by becoming a HOPE Rising advocate.
I became a HOPE Rising advocate because I wanted to declare my support for the organization. HOPE Rising advocates can play a huge part in sharing about the work of HOPE all over the country while doing things they love. I also have seen how HOPE Rising can connect advocates who share a passion for faith-based microfinance. I was recently connected with a fellow HOPE Rising advocate who goes to college in my hometown. Our coffee get-together was mind blowing! He reads what I read, has traveled internationally, and shares similar dreams. In the future we plan on organizing an event in Buffalo to promote HOPE International together.
Zach continues to dream up creative ways to be an active HOPE Rising advocate in 2014. This coming August, Zach will participate in his first Ironman! He has created a fundraiser page for his race though his HOPE Rising account and is looking to raise $3,000.
Zach’s tip to all other advocates out there is to combine HOPE’s message with your passions. “Most people do not have a passion for standing on a street corner and handing out fliers to people. While there might be a time and place for that, why not mix HOPE with something that you love to do?”
To find out more about HOPE Rising or to sign up to be a HOPE Rising advocate, go to www.myhoperising.com.
Tracy Clark is a passionate HOPE Rising advocate who enjoys photography, storytelling, and marketing. She lives with her husband and four children in Media, PA.