The Ray of Hope Project

About

Statement of Our Mission

The Ray of Hope Project is a registered Pennsylvania 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to providing cleaner, safer & healthier neighborhoods to Live, Work & Play for Urban Communities in Philadelphia. 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.

History

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!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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.

VOLUNTEERS AND STAFF

Raymond Gant | President & Co-Founder

Prior to co-founding and becoming President of The Ray of Hope Project, Ray worked for several years as a heavy equipment operator. He is also a Landmark Education graduate and has attended classes in the D & A Counseling certificate program at Philadelphia Community College. Ray devotes the majority of his time to The Ray of Hope Project now, where he administers the day-to-day activities of the group, oversees all job projects, manages the financial aspects of the organization, recruits, enrolls and supervises volunteers and paid personnel, and acts as the Public Relations spokesperson. Ray has exceptional knowledge of all aspects of volunteerism and community support combined with great enthusiasm for and experience in helping the disadvantaged.

Jan Kenney | Vice President

After working at a camp for special needs children during her high school summers, Jan attended West Chester University in Special Education and worked in that field for 10 years at The Raphael School and The Deveraux Foundation. A lifetime love of horses prompted her to accept an opportunity to manage an equestrian facility and teach riding. Jan went on to study veterinary nursing and, for 15 years, worked as an animal health technician at The University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School's large animal clinic at New Bolton Center. In her current position, with Dansko, Inc., she serves as the "Minister of Fun".

Throughout the years, Jan has volunteered on both the local and global levels. Past volunteer activities have included work with The Hunger Project, "Independence Dogs" (an organization that trains service dogs for the mobility-impaired); the United States Pony Club (teaching kids responsibility for animals and humans); a work camp in South India repairing housing at a school and orphanage; serving as a coach and team leader for the New Bolton Center Bike Team (raising annual sponsorship dollars to ride in the MS 150 City-to-Shore, The Raul Julia Ride for the Hunger Project, and the Pan-Mass Challenge Ride for the Jimmy Fund for Cancer Research). Most recently, it has been her privilege to help out her heroes at The Ray of Hope Project.

Ray Gant
President and Co-COunder

Willard Bostock
Co-Founder