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The mission of Virginia's House of Hope is to improve the quality of life for children. We accomplish this by helping disadvantaged families throughout New York City and the surrounding regions. In cooperation with the local public school systems, we help those in need gain access to food, clothing and other basic necessities. Throughout 2011 we distributed shoes, toys and clothes to approximately 5000 families. In collaboration with the Coast Guard we served Thanksgiving Dinner to over 400 families and are also developing a music program to offer musical instruments and classes to disadvantaged children.
I grew up on a farm in South Carolina, and was raised by my family to give to those in our community who were less fortunate. We shared what we grew on our farm with anyone in need. This experience stayed with me even after leaving South Carolina for New York City, although I did not know where to begin.
Once in NYC I was fortunate enough to meet a good friend, Mr. Clay Maitland. Once Clay found out about my passion for giving, he told me about his mother, Mrs. Virginia Maitland Sachs, a woman with a passion for New York City and all who lived there. I quickly became interested in her work, and admired her hard work and efforts to improve the lives of needy New Yorkers by initiating and participating in many charitable activities. Once Mrs. Sachs passed away in 2004, I knew it was important to keep her dream alive -- to fulfill the hopes of those who were most in need of help.
During her lifetime, Mrs. Sachs worked very hard to develop numerous charitable activities and as a close family friend of her’s, I spent many years following her example.
Though we worked separately, our work was always one in spirit. I have a passion for helping the under privileged and the under served. This passion led me to spend many weekends personally cooking meals, making deliveries and collecting donations for those in need.
Charitable work can be very difficult, and I realized that my efforts could have more impact if I reached out to others for help. In order to do so, I took the proverbial leap of faith and founded a non-profit charitable organization called "Virginia’s House of Hope." I now head up a staff of dedicated volunteers that serve the needs of many.
- Sophia Gangei
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