Originally published 4/7/2017 at 06:00a.m., updated 4/6/2017 at 02:25p.m.
Cheers erupted when Sherry Medley,
executive director of Hands of Hope, Inc. (Helping Other People Evolve), cut the long, red ribbon with supporters, delegates and community partners in front the organization’s new location at 408 South Crain Highway in Glen Burnie on March 25. The resourceful, mother of four has remained dedicated to helping the community through the nonprofit she formed 30 years ago. After operating an office out of Fresh Start Church—where Bishop Craig Coates serves as senior pastor— Medley celebrated a milestone in her journey to utilize her God-given gifts to bring hope and support others on their path to success.
“Hands of Hope basically just wants to empower, to inspire, and to encourage the community because we feel as though if you can build strong families, you can build strong communities,” Medley said, explaining Hands of Hope, Inc.’s philosophy.
Medley earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore. The Annapolis resident has a knack for motivating and connecting people, and feels she was put on Earth to help people in her community to offer programs and resources,
including mentoring, providing drug and alcohol abuse education, resume writing assistance, food, clothing, and health presentations.
“I wanted to be of service to the community and to the people of the community, and especially to those who are in need of outreach services,” Medley said. “Our main focus is to provide education and training.”
Bishop Coates has known Medley for at least 35 years. They have a shared passion for people and a shared mission to encourage people to live healthy lifestyles for the greater good of the community. As executive director, part of Medly’s role is to be a minority outreach and technical assistance (MODA) provider. In this role, she ensures that minority communities have information, resources, and training about health topics such as cancer prevention, fitness, and substance abuse. Additionally, counseling services offer programs designed to strengthen the family unit for youth, teens, women living in traumatic situations, individuals reentering society from incarceration, and individuals living with HIV in North County.
Coates added another point that connects with why he feels that Medley’s work is valuable.
“Hope is what we all need,” said Coates referring to the valuable work Medley does for individuals marginalized by society. “Hands that lend that hope is a different story. Everyone doesn’t have the hands to lend to give help to others. People don’t have hope if they don’t have help, so I feel like the connection for the community is that the community needs help and people who just don’t talk about our conditions in the community, particularly (in the) African-American community, but people who can put their hands to the work. That’s what Sherry does.”
“This is North County, Glen Burnie, which we know from community assessments and statistics, this is where a great deal of our problem lies. And to get in the midst of that community and work, I feel is courageous.”
The organization will host the Hands of Hope 2nd Annual Spring into Health Expo 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Marley Station Mall on April 29, 2017.
“This year, this heath fair is the closing event for Healthy Anne Arundel Month in partnership with the Healthy Anne Arundel Coalition,” said Marsella Haskin-Hare, community program coordinator for Hands of Hope, noting that the event is in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of Maryland. “This is an interactive health fair, so we don’t want you to just come and pick up paper. There is pilates. There is zumba. There is exercise for men. Home health care. There will be screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV. There [will be] spine adjustment and screening. We hope to have massage. There will also be BMI (Body Mass Index) checks.”
Haskin-Hare noted that financial and real estate professionals will participate in the total health and wellness fair. Registration for attendees is not required but preferred.
Registration is available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-in-to-health-expo-tickets-29501715425. For more information about Hands of Hope, Inc, visit http://handsofhopeinfo.wixsite.com/mdhandsofhope