Faith SandlerAwards to Students, Giving, Impact, Words of Faith

The author, looking back in hope of the boat staying afloat,
yet fashioning a life jacket for good measure.

Names are important. Since I was a small child, people got my name wrong. Some called me Fay. I’ve been asked way too many times, “Are your sisters named Hope and Charity?” (and then they chuckle as if they originated this “joke”). To this day, people I’ve known for years will greet me “Hi, Hope” without realizing that’s not my name. I don’t correct them, since the definitions do seem interchangeable. If faith is “evidence of things unseen”, as they say, then this post is all about HOPE.

Let me tell you what I have seen, just today. Perhaps you are in need of some substantial reason to have hope. Here you go.

  • In the 1990s, a then elderly couple made annual gifts to The Scholarship Foundation, but from separate checking accounts and listed separately in our annual report. Active in the community, these two women were committed to each other and had lived together for decades. More than once, I asked if we could combine their gifts and list them together, to which they responded, “We think we’ll just leave things as is.” It broke my heart they did not feel safe being out. Today, more than 20 years later, we received their bequest to create a scholarship named for the two of them, together.
  • In 2017, ScholarShop closed and the whole region mourned the loss. Our board and staff, knowing we had to close, were sad and afraid. What if we were unable to maintain our support to area students? You’ll find below the truth of what has occurred since.
  • In two months, our student who was long ago told he was not “college material” and who then seemingly proved it by very low grades, will graduate an area college with distinction. His path has been long and on the way he’s found a love of learning and a gift of perseverance. He will put those qualities to good use as a teacher in an area middle school. He got the offer today and awaits his contract for the next school year.

Looking back, each of these is hope realized. Good as today may be, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow.

I know vaccine distribution in Missouri will remain in disarray, the economy will still be horribly uncertain, and hate will not have been defeated, yet I can see hope.

And today, in my fellow human beings, I see reason never, ever to give up.

– Faith Sandler