The Riverside community knows the joys and heartaches of the Miami Valley’s story over the past few decades.
Along with many communities in the Miami Valley, Riverside has faced difficult challenges as the area experienced the pains of industry’s departure. Families came under the increasing way of joblessness and lack of career readiness, and youth became increasingly isolated. Schools took on the role of community centers, caring for students’ education, emotional, and physical needs. Like many communities in the Miami Valley, Riverside became a community overwhelmed with obstacles.
In 2014, Dan Powell, a pastor in Riverside, knew something needed to change. And he saw the churches of Riverside creating the momentum for community transformation. So, he connected with area pastors and leaders to share a vision of church and civic domains collaborating for the good of Riverside. This soon became the Hope4Community model as these leaders came together and formed Hope4Riverside. In many ways, this vision for community-led change through the unity and relationship of churches and city leaders began in Riverside.
Hope4Riverside has led community outreach events such as community-wide worship gatherings, trash cleanup, and clothing drives. And in partnership with Riverside’s schools, Hope4Riverside has been meeting students’ emotional and relational needs through mentoring.
Today, Hope4Riverside’s partnership with area schools is one of the most influential in the area. Along with annual school-supply-donation events like the “Day of Giving Back” and family-equipping initiatives like the “Parent Summit,” Hope4Riverside and the area schools invest in the lives of numerous students and families through mentoring.
Hope4Riverside has grown over the years and is now an affiliate partner with the Miami Valley Leadership Foundation.
And you’re invited to participate in this journey of community transformation.
Fill out the contact form below to learn more about partnering with Hope4Riverside!
"Day of Giving Back" Continues in Riverside
Boxes sit stacked along a wall in a Mad River Local School hallway. Inside, donated backpacks sit waiting to become students' first day-of-school backpacks. And as Shannon Todd, MVLF's Mentoring Program Director; Pastor Dan Powell, the Hope4Riverside (H4R) director; and Chad Wyen, Mad River Local School superintendent, open a box, they find more than they expected.
For three years, H4R has partnered with Mad River Local Schools to host the "Day of Giving Back" event in Riverside. On their first day back to school, teachers gather with H4R pastors and area volunteers to distribute back-to-school supplies to Riverside students at five distribution locations, where "Day of Giving Back" events offer cookouts, face painting, games, and more. The "Day of Giving Back" has become a seminal event in Riverside.
Then, in March, COVID-19 arrived. Its restrictions made it difficult for H4R and Mad River Local Schools to coordinate any planning for 2020's "Day of Giving Back," including plans for donation collection, the crux of the event. But God made it clear He wants another "Day of Giving Back" to happen in Riverside.
Crayons to Classrooms, an area nonprofit, reached out to Mad River Local Schools and donated 1,000 backpacks. Some of the backpacks, it was communicated, already held school supplies. It seemed the "Day of Giving Back" was back. All that was needed was a little bit of planning and donations to fill the majority of backpacks. And then again, God showed up.
When the backpack boxes were opened, ALL the backpacks — not some of them — were found to have supplies in them. A few packets of pencils and some markers were all that were needed still. And Riverside churches have already begun to collect those items.
This year's "Day of Giving" will take place on August 25 at two drive-up locations for families.