"It's a big job and it takes a lot of volunteers.”
Having a taco for lunch could set someone’s life on the right track.
Mt. Hope Sanctuary will host their 10th semi-annual Taco Tuesday fundraiser on April 25 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 119 N. Elm St. in McPherson.
“This is our major fundraiser each year,” explained Julie Holloway, director of Mt. Hope Sanctuary. “We used to do it annually, and it was so successful so we thought we’d do it twice a year, so now we have Taco Tuesday every April and September. It’s a big job and it takes a lot of volunteers.”
On April 25, attendees can stop by for lunch or dinner to pick up tacos, taco salad, burritos, nachos, homemade desserts and a drink for a free-will donation. Lunch is open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with to-go boxes available.
Proceeds will benefit Mt. Hope Sanctuary of McPherson, a transition home for unattached women and their children as they get back on their feet.
“Our mission is to provide a sanctuary, which is our group home, that offers HOPE — healing, opportunity, peace and empowerment — to single women who are committed to achieving self-sufficiency,” Holloway said. “There’s no maximum time they can stay here; they can stay as long as they’re working on their program. They’re assigned a case manager and they work that out together. Some women it takes longer and some only need a few months. It’s very individualized — it’s not a cookie cutter program.”
Creating real change for residents can take more than a few helping hands. Mt. Hope Sanctuary is always welcoming volunteers and staff, as well as donated household items on their current needs list.
“We’re staffed 24/7 so it’s hard to keep staffed adequately. The more part-time people we have, the less hard it is on each person,” Holloway said. “We also keep our website needs list updated so people who sign up for our email list can get those updates and give in that way.”
Fundraisers like Taco Tuesday benefit programs for residents, outreach programs and staff. The event also gives a glimpse into the organization and its ministry.
“I think there’s a much greater need than we thought. There are seasons where we’re doing well and there are seasons where we’re looking for staff and funds,” Holloway explained. “We’re always looking for new volunteers. If someone has it on their heart to help out, this is a great way to be introduced to Mt. Hope, what we do, and get to know board members, staff and some of the residents. Even if they’re interested in a paid staff position, this is a great way to get started and see what we’re all about.”
The fundraiser’s popularity has grown over the years. Holloway estimates that the group feeds anywhere from 600 to 800 people each Taco Tuesday.
“Last year, the evening meal was so popular that the line was so long that it took while to get through the line,” Holloway said. “It was discouraging to see that a few people left because of the line and others weren’t very happy about the line. This time we’ll have two lines open for the evening meal, so don’t be discouraged by last time, because we’re taking care of the problem.”
To feed a village, it takes a village of volunteers.
“Anyone can help,” Holloway said. “If someone is older, they can stay put by the drink table or the condiment table and make sure they stay filled. We even have kids come and help take trays from the tables to kitchen. If you can’t come, you can always bake something ahead of time for dessert or the bake sale. We’re making it as easy as possible to help out. ”
Those interested in volunteering to bake, serve or sponsor should visit http://www.mthopesanctuary.org/taco-tuesday.html, or contact Jana Bandy at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 620-755-3157 with questions.