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The Mission of Hope International Compassion Center is Positively Richmond

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The Compassion Center is located at 7140 Hull Street in Richmond. The Compassion Center is located at 7140 Hull Street in Richmond.
Dr. Simi Massey and Brenita Lee sort donations. Dr. Simi Massey and Brenita Lee sort donations.

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - It started as a side project in the basement of a local physician's home, but now it has evolved into a place where people can go when they need help. The Mission of Hope International Compassion Center officially opened in a shopping center on Hull Street last summer.

"We walk alongside a lot of other people and just help them in whichever way we can," says the Center's founder, Dr. Simi Massey. She first got the idea for the Center about five years ago when she was teaching health and parenting classes to expectant mothers on a low income. They had so many needs, so Dr. Simi, as she is called, told them to bring in some items they were not using to exchange. Word of the swap spread, donations started coming in from the community and the Compassion Center was born.

"We do more than just give things," says Brenita Lee who has been a volunteer for about a year. "We give parts of ourselves. We support them, we encourage them, we motivate them."

Dr. Simi explains the Center is a first step for people who often have nowhere to turn. "We've had women who've left the prisons and come and didn't know how to start, we've helped them start. We've had people whose homes have been burned by fire and we've helped replenish them as much we could, connect them with resources."

Single mothers and their children make up 80% of the clients, and Dr. Simi is especially proud of how many have been served by the Center's Diaper Bank. "When you help a mom, she will make a difference in the life of her children, her family, you are affecting the next generation and they will become productive citizens of the community. It's a ripple effect."

The Mission of Hope International Compassion Center also sponsors health clinics in Ghana and India, and it has donated goods to other campaigns across the country. Says Dr. Simi, "Together we can make a bigger difference."

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

 

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