WE ARE VOLUNTEERS
Statement of Our Mission
The Ray of Hope Project is a registered Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to bringing hope to those who cannot afford urgently needed home repairs in the Communities of Philadelphia, while also offering rehabilitative job skills training to former inmates and educational apprenticeships for other qualified persons. The Ray of Hope Project is supported solely by charitable contributions and works to bring diverse communities together in a program demonstrating that, together, people can make a difference.
In October of 2002, Raymond Gant and Willard Bostock were returning from a Philadelphia Eagles / Tampa Bay Buccaneers football game. On the drive home, they began a discussion about the community needs of Philadelphia. After conversing about the topic for several hours, they concluded that one of those community needs was the rehabilitation of badly damaged homes which were unsafe and unhealthy for their occupants as well as an eyesore in their communities. Hence,The Ray of Hope Project was born.
Initially, the two men worked together to repair and renovate as many homes as they could on their own. Eventually, they realized that the need was so great, they would need to develop their efforts further by creating a full-fledged organization to expand their operations. At this point, they recruited a Board of Directors and a volunteer staff to help coordinate projects, raise funds, recruit more volunteers, and perform a myriad of other functions. Since its conception, The Ray of Hope Project has rehabilitated more than 80 homes in the metropolitan Philadelphia area.
Please see Sunday Rock Climber Ascends to a Higher Calling in N. Phila. for a more in-depth view of our co-founders, Raymond and Willard!
Paul Glover - Member
Mr. Glover comes to The Ray of Hope Project's Board of Directors with many years of experience in community affairs and environmental programs. Currently an adjunct faculty member in Geography and Urban Studies with Temple University. Mr. Glover's credits, both professionally and through his activitiy in the community, are extensive.
Tom Houpt - Member
Tom, who is both a Certified Insurance Counselor and a Certified Senior Advisor, is President of Circle Insurance Consultants, Inc., specializing in contractor's insurance and bonds. He has more than 40 years of experience in all facets of insurance and bonds in the Philadelphia and suburban communities. In addition, he acts as a guest speaker for a multitude of contractor and business seminars.
Steven Nierenberg, Esq. - Member
Steve received his BS degree from Muhlenberg College, his MBA degree from George Washington University, and his JD degree from Widener University. He is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and the U.S. District Court - Eastern District. He has worked as an attorney for a variety of businesses and law firms, and his practice areas have primarily focused on compliance, corporate law, insurance law, and real estate law. Steve is currently a solo practitioner.
Noemi Guerrero - Treasurer
Noemi Guerrero brings financial expertise as an examiner for H&R Block, with years of experience in supervisory positions for Philadelphia businesses. Ms. Guerrero is bilingual and multicultural.
Dana M. Kelley - Member
Dana Kelley graduated from the Miami University and continued her education with programs in Social Work, Gestalt Therapy and Landmark Education. She has many years of experience working in public and private practice, and with inmates of several correctional institutions. Ms. Kelley has also served on the board of Contact Careline of Greater Philadelphia.
Bruce T. Pappas - Member
Mr. Pappas graduated from Colorado College and has completed programs in Applied Statistics, as well as Social Work, Gestalt Therapy and Landmark Education. With a goal to create the cooperative functioning of outreach organizations serving the homeless and prisoner re-entry, Bruce brings many years of experience to our organzation.