And the winner is …

Effective compassion always requires hard work. Helping those who have spi­raled into drugs, homelessness, and despair is the hardest of the hard. That’s one reason why the votes of WORLD readers from late July through Sept. 6 made Watered Gardens of Joplin, Mo., the 2019 grand prize winner of the Hope Awards for Effective Compassion.

The name “Watered Gardens” comes from Isaiah 58:10- 11: “If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted … you shall be like a watered garden.” Watered Gardens emphasizes work by having a “Worth Shop” that teaches residents to work for their room and board. An hour of work earns groceries for a week, and 12 hours a week earns a bed. Those who have worked there for three months can move on to the Forge Center for Virtue and Work, which by teaching Biblical truths and work readiness helps resi­dents to transition to financial independence combined with dependence on God.

WORLD is giving $10,000 to Watered Gardens and $2,000 each to four regional winners, but the biggest prize is publicity and increased credibility.


Regional winners

 

Southeast


Scarlet Hope in Louisville, Ky.

Hope in the darkest places
Rachelle Starr and her friends help women emerge from the sex industry
by Charissa Koh

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Southeast

 

Southwest


Little Light Christian School in Oklahoma City

Letting them shine
Little Light Christian School’s mission is to love the children of prisoners—but traumatic backgrounds make the work a marathon of trusting God
by Charissa Koh

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile
Southwest

 

International


20schemes in Edinburgh, Scotland

Scheming for God
How Scotland’s 20schemes ministry works in hard places to show the poor and addicted the riches of new life in Christ
by Marvin Olasky

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile
International

 

Northwest


Watered Gardens in Joplin, Mo.

Forge fires and watered gardens
At a gospel rescue mission, men have a chance to escape the spiral of drugs, homelessness, and joblessness. But it isn’t easy, and many do not make it to the end
by Charissa Koh

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Northwest

 

Northeast


Purposeful Design in Indianapolis

Picked up, sanded off
A carpentry shop offers ex-addicts and homeless the chance to build furniture, friendship, and a future
by Charissa Koh

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Northeast

 


2020 Hope Awards

For consideration in next year’s Hope Awards contest, let Charissa Koh (ckoh@wng.org) know about a Christian ministry to the poor you’re familiar with that relies not on government financing but on compassionate volunteers supervised by dedicated professionals. Please include a brief description of why a particular ministry impresses you and include its physical and website addresses.

Hope Awards directory

If you’re looking for ideas about something you could start in your own backyard, please see our listing of the 105 organizations we profiled from 2006 to 2018, with their major focuses: addiction, babies, community, disabilities, education, family, gardening, homelessness, immigration, jobs, legal needs, medical, prison, repair work, sex (anti-prostitution), transportation, and youth.

The directory also shows what it takes to start a poverty-fighting ministry: a license, a specific skill (such as auto repair), experience (such as that a mother gains), or neighborliness (a simple desire to invest time in helping others).


Directory of Hope Awards Finalists

 

2018 Hope Awards >