HOPE’S 2020 Holiday Recap 

HOPE’S 2020 Holiday Recap 

HOPE’S 2020 Holiday Recap 

During the holidays, HOPE’s staff and volunteers work hard to ensure a festive atmosphere for the families who come to us for safety. The community was invited to participate in several projects that have a positive impact on the lives of survivors and their families and remind them there are people who care, which helps healing during what can often be a difficult time of year. Despite the uncertainty of 2020,  residents and participants were fortunate to have an outpouring of support for our annual holiday campaign. It was a glorious holiday season!


Our holiday projects included: 

Embrace-A-Family 2020: 151 individuals in total (45 families | 106 children) 

The Embrace -A-Family project invited families, neighbors, community groups, and co-workers to come together to embrace HOPE families by purchasing specific items from survivors’ wish lists. We’d like to give a special shout out to our friends at Peach’s Restaurants. They embraced 17 families, including 30 children! Well done Peaches, well done!


The Holiday Gift Shop 2020: 380 individuals in total (117 families | 263 children) 

Our Holiday Gift Shop gave participants a sense of excitement; each participant had the opportunity to shop for their children, free of charge. These gifts ensured survivors experienced the joy of providing for the youngest family members and made their holidays safe and happy. The children had the special opportunity of surprising their moms with gifts from our mom’s store too.  It was so much fun to help children learn the gift of caring for someone else.


Total Impact of 2020 Holiday Projects: 531 individuals! (162 families | 369 children)

On behalf of the survivors we serve, thank you for opening your hearts to support HOPE’s annual holiday projects. Every gift given helped the holidays become more joyful. Remember, together there is HOPE. 


hope ty xmas



The photos below are a few thank you cards from our HOPE families!

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January 2021: HOPE Heroes


January HOPE Heroes

David & Motria - HOPE Volunteers


About David: 

IMG 2807 1 1David is a New Jersey native and graduated from the NJ Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering. After graduating, he worked for 40 years in the Engineering/Construction industry and later, moved to Florida in 2003 with his wife, Motria. After retiring, David began volunteering at Meals on Wheels in St. Petersburg and now volunteers in the Administrative Office at HOPE Family Services. David offers clerical support by assisting with spreadsheet and database entry.

About Motria: 

Motria was born in Buffalo, NY and raised in northeast New Jersey by her parents who immigrated from Ukraine just before she was born. Motria did not speak any English until she attended Kindergarten and still remains close friends with a grade school peer. After completing her Bachelors and Masters degree from Rutgers University, she achieved a 40-year career as a clinical social worker and spent 25 of those years with the VA mental health system. Motria first got involved at HOPE Chest Thrift Store, where she continues to volunteer as a cashier twice weekly. She has also spent time volunteering at HOPE’s Emergency Safe Shelter, answering phone calls and helping the residents.


What have you learned while working at HOPE?

David: In addition to refreshing my data entry skills, I have learned a great deal about the realities of domestic violence and the variety of services HOPE offers. 

Motria: I have learned how to run a cash register - not something I ever thought I would do! It's satisfying and fun interacting with many of the customers while raising money for the shelter.  I have also learned a great deal about domestic violence issues and services.


What motivates you to work with HOPE?

David: I find it gratifying to take on some of the workload to help the hardworking staff at HOPE.  

Motria: I am always learning so much new information about domestic violence. I suspected that there would be lots of other meaningful volunteering opportunities and I have not been disappointed.


What advice would you give to a future volunteer? 

David: Try to be open to new experiences!  Whatever your talents and interests, you may be surprised to learn how, where and when you can be of help. 

Motria: Just do it!  I never thought I would or could do many of the tasks I now am involved with while volunteering. I have met the nicest and kindest people through my volunteer activities.


Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.

David: Seeing Mt. Kilimanjaro at a distance, while on safari in Kenya.

Motria: Seeing newly-born lion cubs in Kenya.


What’s your pizza order?

David: Thin crust with sausage.

Motria: Thin crust with extra cheese.


We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission! 

November: HOPE Heroes

November HOPE Heroes

Julie Ann & Natoria - HOPE Attorneys

Our HOPE Heroes for November are the hardworking Injunction for Protection (IFP) Project attorneys at HOPE. The IFP Project attorneys are Florida Bar-licensed, provide free legal representation and legal counsel to survivors in Injunction for Protection (restraining order) cases against their abuser.


About Julie Ann: 

Julie Ann Embler moved to Florida from the suburbs of Philadelphia to attend the University of Central Florida.  She went on to Stetson University College of Law where she graduated from the Honors Program, Cum Lade. Ms. Embler started her legal career with legal aid where she focused on family law and housing issues before starting at HOPE Family Services.




About Natoria: 

Natoria D. Hubbard received her B.A. from the University of South Florida in 2006. Ms. Hubbard received her M.S. from Troy University in 2008 and her Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2012. Prior to attending law school, Natoria worked as a case manager for children and families involved in dependency court as a result of abuse and/or neglect. During her tenure as an Assistant State Attorney in Lee County, she managed a docket with over 400 cases and obtained jury trial experience. She concentrated her efforts in the Domestic Violence Unit and developed an affinity for helping victims and relied immensely on the efforts of victim advocates.



What have you learned while working at HOPE?

Julie Ann: I have learned that there is always something that you can do for someone, even if you can't do everything for everyone.  

Natoria: I have learned that our work has a huge positive impact on the lives of the families we serve. 


What motivates you to work with HOPE?

Julie Ann: I went to law school with one goal in mind - to find a career that allows me to help those in need on a full-time basis. HOPE allows me to do that while being surrounded by compassionate, skilled professionals at every level, which keeps me motivated to do this difficult work every day. 

Natoria: I am motivated by being able to assist clients during difficult times and the ‘clients-first’ philosophy adhered to by the organization. 

Natoria has been instrumental in starting the IFP Project at HOPE and has been here since the project’s inception.


Tell us about your most memorable accomplishment with HOPE.

Julie Ann: Every time we get a favorable outcome for a survivor is memorable. 

Natoria: Overall, being able to assist survivors during critical times is the most rewarding aspect of the job for me. 


Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.

Julie Ann: The views from the chairlifts and gondolas in the Swiss Alps.

Natoria: The arch of Cabo San Lucas in Mexico.


What’s your pizza order?

Julie Ann: Meatballs & mushrooms!

Natoria: Pepperoni!

We truly appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to our mission!

HOPE in Motion 2020

HOPEinMotion FB Event copy


About HOPE in Motion: 

At HOPE Family Services, we provide essential services to local survivors of domestic violence free of charge to help them stay safe, gain strength and evaluate their options. The COVID-19 pandemic has created new circumstances where the safety of survivors and their children may be further compromised. During this unprecedented time, it has been reported that domestic violence has increased by 25%+. Our virtual event, HOPE in Motion, was created in response to the increased acts of intimate partner violence and in support of the victims and survivors in Manatee County. 

The Inaugural HOPE in Motion Challenge will begin on October 1st and run through the entire month of October, Domestic Violence Awareness Month. You can participate in this virtual event from anywhere, individually, or as part of a team. We are asking participants to just move, whether it's walking, running, jogging, biking, doing yoga, or even just strolling with your dog. Each step taken helps to raise awareness while supporting our goal of bringing services to those who need it the most.


Take Steps for Domestic Violence Survivors!





  • Registration is $40 per participant. 
  • The first 300 participants registered with will receive a HOPE in Motion “swag bag” which will include a Domestic Violence Awareness month shirt. 
  • Sign up as an individual or add to the fun by forming a team and challenging others to some friendly competition.



  • We are encouraging each participant to raise funds with an individual goal of just $75. All funds raised from this event will go to support services for battered women and their children.  
  • Set a personal step goal and invite family, friends, co-workers, exercise buddies, etc. to participate or support you to raise much-needed funds and awareness.
  • Each week we will celebrate the “step” and fundraising leaders! 



There are three ways to track your progress:

1. Download the free Charity Footprints App

2. Sync your fitness device (Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Google Fit, Misfit, Strava) OR just use your health app on your iPhone.

3. Manually enter your miles on your event page. (See step conversion chart below) 



  • Connect with your social network to help raise awareness and reach your fitness and fundraising goals. 
  • Share your progress regularly on social media by posting pictures and short videos to spread the word.
  • We encourage you to share photos on your social media pages wearing your HOPE in Motion t-shirt or something purple to help spread awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month!  
  • Make sure to tag us (@hopefamilyservices) and use #HOPEinMotion2020


Remember Because of YOU, There is HOPE! 




Back to School Drive 2020

We are incredibly thankful for everyone who showed their support by donating to our Back to School Drive during this uncertain time. Thanks to generous hearts in our community, we were able to provide children with essential school supplies to start this school year. 

As we approached this year’s Back to School Drive -- similar to how we’ve all felt over the last few months -- we felt an immense degree of uncertainty. We were not sure whether our community would feel comfortable with donating items in-person like previous years, so our team created new ways to make donations online. We added an Amazon Wish List where donors could select specific items to be delivered directly to our office and offered the opportunity to “sponsor a backpack” filled with school supplies by making an online donation of $25. As schools began preparing for a new year that would be a mix between in-person, online, and hybrid learning, we adapted our donation lists with new items to help students learn virtually, such as USB flash drives and headphones. 

We were absolutely blown away, after receiving an outpouring amount of support from our community, we had a fully stocked school supply room ready to offer the families we serve an opportunity to “shop” (free of charge). Smiles and excitement filled the room each time a participant visited and picked out their very own supplies for their children.  Each donation made, small or large, will help set these students on the right track to excel in school. This opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without help from a community that believes in our mission and cares about kids. We can’t thank you enough for your support during this year’s school supply drive!

Our doors are always open for donations of all types - whether time, talent or treasure - to help women & families in our community. For a list of items we need urgently, please visit the donations section of our website.


HOPE bts thankyou

All calls to HOPE and services provided by HOPE are confidential. HOPE Family Services is committed to serving people living with disabilities. HOPE is pleased to provide accommodations, including sign interpreters, translation services and alternative formats of printed materials upon request from persons who are deaf, hard of hearing or are living with disabilities.

Outreach Office:

Phone: (941) 747-8499 (V/TTY)
Fax: (941) 749-1796
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mailing Address:

Post Office Box 1624,
Bradenton, FL 34206-1624

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