Editor's note: This story is part of Sioux Falls Simplified's "A Little Help" give-back effort. We're sharing stories all month long about Journey of Hope with the goal of raising $5,000 to support the ongoing operations of this local nonprofit. You can learn more here and donate here.

Simplified: You've heard a lot about nonprofit Journey of Hope this month as part of Sioux Falls Simplified's inaugural A Little Help give-back campaign. Now, it's time to hear from others in the community about why this organization is worth supporting.

Tell me more

Journey of Hope is a nonprofit that meets people where they are to provide encouragement along life's journey.

Last year, for example, the nonprofit distributed 18,000 hygiene products and partnered with 33 agencies in Sioux Falls – including 11 schools.

And in the coming months, Journey of Hope plans to distribute hygiene kits to fifth graders at Title 1 schools citywide.

All that to say, they're doing a lot. And this month, Sioux Falls Simplified set a goal to help them raise $5,000 to further their mission.

But you've heard a lot from us, so we asked some other folks to share why they feel Journey of Hope is worth supporting.

Here's what they had to say:

"What strikes me about their story and their mission is the gift inside the gift," said Michelle Erpenbach, president of Sioux Falls Thrive. "You don't know what a fresh pair of socks means until you've worn the same rags for weeks or months with no ability to refresh yourself. The true gift from Journey of Hope is one of dignity and support in a time of need."

Donor Mary K. also had some kind words to share:

"Taking care of basic needs for hygiene is an important part of being a part of a community no matter what your circumstances are."

Other nonprofit organizations who work with Journey of Hope shared their thoughts as well.

Chris Matson, pastor and mission developer at Church on the Street, said Journey of Hope is a "fantastic partner in ministry" in working to take care of folks who are facing homelessness, poverty and re-entry.

"They just show up where the people are," Matson said. "Because they know that by doing that they are forming relationships that could be the basis of someone being able to say, 'I know these folks, I trust them, and now is the time I want to make a change.'"
"They will work with any program that helps underserved, low income people, specifically those struggling with addictions and mental health disorders," said Kelly Cleveringa, program manager at Glory House.

How can I help?

Even a small donation can go a long way – $5 can provide a hygiene kit to a fifth grader, for example.

Make sure to mention in the "notes" section of your donation that Sioux Falls Simplified sent you.

And, if financial giving isn't an option for you at this time, you can support the nonprofit by volunteering, hosting a product drive or simply sharing this story with more people.