After a Disaster
“We have been blessed by so many volunteers from around the world who came to help us rebuild after the tornado. But I wanted you to know that no one did anything as inspiring for us as what you did with those Stars of HOPE.” – from a 5th generation resident of Greensburg, Kansas
What We Do
Stars of HOPE® volunteers from New York Says Thank You Foundation and Groesbeck Rebuilds America select a disaster-affected community for our Stars of HOPE project. Typically, we partner with a school (elementary, middle or high school) and community leaders such as City Council Members and/or First Responders from the disaster-affected community to gain local support for our Stars of HOPE projects.
The volunteers notify the selected community approximately 6-8 weeks in advance of the project to provide ample time for event preparation and scheduling. Volunteers cut, sand, and base-paint hundreds of Stars for children in the chosen community to paint inspirational words and messages on. In addition, 2”x2”x4’ wooden stakes are cut and painted to affix each Star. Stars of HOPE provides participating youth with paint, paint brushes, tarps and smocks on the Star painting day.
On the first day of the onsite project, Stars of HOPE volunteers meet with school officials, teachers, local volunteers, local first responders, and students. Stars of HOPE volunteers tell the participating youth the history of Stars of HOPE and what the volunteers hope to accomplish in the children’s community. Volunteers begin to place the prepared wooden stakes throughout the devastated landscape.
On the second day of the onsite project, students are invited to paint their inspirational words and messages of Hope on their Stars, such as “love,” “hope” and “rebuild.” The children choose from an array of brightly colored paints for the painting of their message. When the youth are finished painting their Stars, they have an opportunity speak and play games with Stars of HOPE volunteers.
On the third day of the onsite project, the stars are affixed to the wooden stakes placed throughout the community by Stars of HOPE volunteers and participating local first responders. This provides for maximum exposure of the Stars to the local residents and the opportunity for the community to be comforted by the stars’ messages of HOPE, LOVE, and INSPIRATION.