What is People Hope’s mission and purpose?
People Hope is a new non-profit organization that I founded late last year with the purpose of creating genuine resources of hope for individuals and the families of those who find themselves in the midst of personal and physical challenges, particularly chronic illness. Our aim is to create a culture of contagious, storm-defiant hope that breaks down the illusion of isolation. The mission of People Hope is to provide resources of hope and inspiration, creating a community of support that reflects the loving compassion of God, and encouraging people to, as we like to say, “Define your darkest day as your finest hour.™”
Over four years ago, I went from living a normal, healthy 20-year-old life to a life of daily sickness and pain that’s never gone away since. After years in and out of doctors offices, no one could seem to figure out what was going on to make me sick, but there was also no one to tell me that I wasn’t alone. It took years of loneliness and a lot of my own research to discover that I wasn’t the only one living with a mysterious, undiagnosed illness. I was so deeply disappointed in the resources available to help people living with any chronic illness. So after a lot of prayer, soul-searching, and some profound moments of inspiration, I became determined to create a place of genuine hope for people just like me. When I realized that God could use my story, my pain, and even my sickness to bring healing to others, my life changed. Choosing hope through the storm of any chronic illness is nothing short of an all-out fight. It takes courage and audacious bravery; the kind that becomes contagious if given a voice. That’s what People Hope does. We’re celebrating those who are willing to courageously stand up in defiance of their storm, and boldly choose hope, together, and against all odds. That brings healing to hurting hearts in a way that no diagnosis, medication, or cure ever could.
Chronic illness isn’t a topic spoken about often. What are some things that people may not understand or be aware of about it?
I think most people are surprised to learn that more than 1 in 5 adults battle chronic illness, which is more than 20% of the world’s population. And for every one person that’s ill, there’s an entire community of family and friends that’s affected. When we realize how prevalent this issue is, we can’t help but address the aspect that’s needed across the board for everyone affected: hope.
Why is hope so necessary for the human heart?
Hope is every bit as necessary for the human heart as oxygen in your lungs or blood in your veins. Hope is at the core of why anyone pushes through a seemingly impossible life circumstance. As humans, we have incredible abilities. People love, grow, change, and adapt. But perhaps nothing is more essential to our existence than the fact that people hope. With hope, our hearts have purpose, even (and especially) on the days that hope isn’t just a feeling, but rather it becomes a dignified, resolved choice that we make.
The Instagram hashtag #peoplehopetribe is one of our favourites and has over 1,700 images already. What’s been a particular personal highlight from the community so far?
Oh, so many to choose from! This community is so vibrant and dynamic, filled with chronically ill and healthy people who are daily choosing hope all over the world. Never before have I seen a solely virtual community with such a profound connection with each other. This group embraces one another, and really encourages and gets to know each other through it all! That’s rare. That’s hope. But I also have to say, some of my personal highlights come from the people who take the time to make a funny little video from their hospital room. Seeing someone who’s facing their worst day, and deciding to bring joy and encouragement to the lives of others is so beautiful and humbling.
First of all, let me just say that if you’re daily choosing hope regardless of life’s circumstances, we already consider you a vital part of our community! Welcome! You belong here. Right now our biggest goals are to raise enough funds to empower us to launch our full website filled with practical, innovative, and dynamic tools and resources of hope to people all over the world. If you or someone you know is willing to support us financially, please go to peoplehope.org today and help us reach our goals! Beyond that, we would love to see women all over the world get involved by spreading the word about us, as well as interacting with us on social media! Share about us on Facebook, tweet about us on Twitter, and use the #peoplehopetribe hashtag on Instagram! We can’t wait to get to know you, friend!
For more on People Hope see their website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter @peoplehopeorg and Instagram @peoplehopeorg. For more on Anna, check out her Instagram @annakingskywalker and Twitter @annakingskywlkr.