Hope Alliance cofounder Dr. John Hanrahan gives an eye exam to an elderly woman in Guatemala. The Hope Alliance, a nonprofit organization that creates
Hope Alliance cofounder Dr. John Hanrahan gives an eye exam to an elderly woman in Guatemala. The Hope Alliance, a nonprofit organization that creates positive and sustainable change for impoverished communities around the world, will host two breakfasts next week. The purpose of these events will be to introduce its mission to the public and to do some fundraising. (Photo courtesy of the Hope Alliance)
The Hope Alliance, which was founded by Dr. John Hanrahan and Reverend Joe Mitchell in 1999, is celebrating its 15th anniversary.

The Park City-based nonprofit organization is on a mission to empower impoverished people to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of their families and in their communities, said Melissa Caffey, executive director of the Hope Alliance.

"Most of our programs are health related and meet critical needs such as dental and vision, which changes these people's lives," Caffey said during an interview with The Park Record. "If they are able to read and learn, they can work again."

But that's not all The Hope Alliance does.

"We also d lots of education, midwife training and water projects that are health related," she said. "We're about to start a project in Mexico that will help the Santa Maria Orphanage become self sustainable."

On Wednesday, April 9, and Thursday, April 10, The Hope Alliance will host two free breakfasts.

Wednesday's event will be held at the Varsity room at the Rice-Eccles Stadium tower at the University of Utah. Thursday's breakfast will be held at Park City Mountain Resort's Legacy Lodge.

Both will start at 7:30 p.m. and end at 9 a.m.

The goal of the breakfasts is to educate people about the Hope Alliance, said Caffey.

"We invite current volunteers and donors to give updates about what we are and what we're currently doing," Caffey said. "And we also introduce people who aren't familiar with our programs.


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These events are also fundraisers, she said.

"There is no charge to come and eat with us, but people are welcome to donate to us if we inspire them," Caffey said.

The presenters at the Salt Lake City breakfast will include former Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton, Reverend Michael Sanchez, who is the Director of the Santa Maria Orphanage in Colón, Querétaro, Mexico, and Hope Alliance co-founder John Hanrahan.

The speakers at the Park City event will include Reverend Sanchez, Dr. Hanrahan, and Hope Alliance volunteers.

The Park City breakfast will also come with the bonus voucher for a $30 lift ticket to PCMR.

The money raised will help the Hope Alliance with their projects, Caffey said.

"What we will do at the orphanage is to help clean up their water system," she explained. "The water runs right next to their livestock and gets poisoned, so Sunrise Rotary is taking the lead on that and Park City Rotary will help, as well as other partnerships we have established."

In addition to health programs, the Hope Alliance works to distribute eye glasses to those who need them and also establish vocational programs in these areas, Caffey said.

"We have started up a welding program and have done sewing programs," she said. "We just finished a five-year project that taught sewing in Peru. And we are looking to start up another program in Guatemala."

These projects are designed to help the locals help themselves.

"We go and work for awhile and get out, usually in a week's time, so they don't become dependent on our help," Caffey said. "A lot of organizations go and tell people who live in such areas what they need and how to do it, but not really help them.

"We have the locals work with us so they know what they need to do in order to continue the programs," she said.

In June the Hope Alliance will take two trips to Haiti in June. The first will be June 3 through June 10 and the second will be from June 24 through July 1.

"We'll work with getting water filters installed and some construction," Caffey said. "We've been helping a lot of single moms reroof their houses."

During one of the trips, Jenny Diersen, the education director for the Kimball Art Center will go and work with the locals create are that will be auctioned off at the Haiti Art Auction a the Kimball Art Center in September, Caffey said.

The second trip will include Park City High School foreign language instructor George Murphy and 21 students.

"They've been selecting their projects and raising money to go," Caffey said. "It's very exciting."

Some of the projects include water filters, school supply and shoe distribution, micro-enterprising and construction, she said.

To RSVP for one of the Hope Alliance breakfasts that will be held April 9 and April 10, email infor@thehopealliance.org . Deadline is Monday, April 6. For more information about the Hope Alliance or to donate, visit www.thehopealliance.org .