Bart Sayyah shared a favorite quote with the audience of nearly 100 in the sweltering heat outside Englewood's most visible food pantry — the HOPE facility. “Hope is a good thing — maybe the …
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Bart Sayyah shared a favorite quote with the audience of nearly 100 in the sweltering heat outside Englewood's most visible food pantry — the HOPE facility.
“Hope is a good thing — maybe the best of things — and no good thing ever dies.”
The line from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption” may have been lofty, but the focus on hope is tangible at the food pantry and thrift store on South Broadway in Englewood. Community members from the city and beyond gathered at HOPE on July 7 to celebrate a new mural on the building's broad north side — visible for blocks on the Broadway strip.
There's “a whole army of people” at HOPE that helps those in need, said Sayyah, executive director of the nonprofit.
He sang the praises of his team and the volunteers that keep the operation running, and several prominent names in Englewood spoke on stage at the event.
“Art makes so much of a difference in our community,” said Englewood City Councilmember Amy Martinez, standing in front of the expansive mural that depicts a bird and swaths of vibrant colors.
Catherine Pistone, the Boulder-based artist who produced the piece, said the 1,080-square-foot mural — the first she's ever painted — wasn't daunting.“I just felt like this was my mission,” said Pistone, who worked on the mural for a month up until July 3. She hopes that “people see this and it brightens their day and they pass that on to somebody else.”To celebrate the mural's completion, Sayyah and Arapahoe County Commissioner Nancy Sharpe cut a ribbon in front of the large crowd at the event. Nancy Byers, president of the board of the Greater Englewood Chamber of Commerce, also spoke, noting the thousands of pounds of food the pantry at 3940 S. Broadway doles out per week.
At HOPE — an acronym for “Helping Our People Excel” — the food pantry distributes more than 6,000 pounds of food per week, according to a news release. A thrift store, HOPE's Attic, also operates at the same location. HOPE serves about 200 households per week, Sayyah said.
“Our work helps improve quality of life and promotes self-sufficiency for families and individuals who arrive at our door from a variety of backgrounds,” Sayyah said in the release. Those include “the homeless, people with disabilities, seniors, single parents and working families.”
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