The JOY of HOPE!

Fighting HUNGER …….. Feeding HOPE 

Fort Worth HOPE Center fights HUNGER by giving out groceries 3 times a week to people whose income fall within the TexCap income guidelines of poverty.  We feed HOPE through our vocational training in our School of HOPE.  Many people who were hopelessly looking for a job, are now finding HOPE springing up in their hearts as they realize they ARE finding meaningful and profitable employment after earning various certifications for employment in our School of HOPE.       

Culinary Art School – OPENED this year!  

25 students have earned their certifications in:

  • Front of the HOUSE,
  • Cake Decorating and
  • Garde Manger
Students Serving Customer in HOPE Cafe`

Students Serving Customer in HOPE Cafe`

 “Front of the HOUSE” Certification – Customer Service & Hospitality.  Students learn the skill of serving in our HOPE Cafe` and their final exam is serving members from Texas Workforce Commission and the Fort Worth HOPE Center’s Board of Directors.  Here one of our students is  serving Audrey Johnson who works for  Texas Workforce Special Programs in East Fort Worth, TX.

They also learn how to serve banquets, how to cater food for special events and how to serve in institutional food facilities.  There are so many places for our students to work after they receive their certifications in “Front of the HOUSE”

There is an art to being hospitable and providing good service to the customer and our students are learning those skills and developing that art.  There are always job openings in the many restaurants and hotels throughout the city for GOOD certified servers.

All of our students earn ServSafe MANAGER certification for their food handlers certification.  It is an advanced certification that the student has to have if he/she is to progress in the company in management.  So all of our students earn this higher level of ServSafe certification so that they can easily be promoted when they get on their job to manage a shift.

Arrangement made from Carrots, purple cabbage,Flowers are make from tomato & broccoli,  turnips and beets, bows are carrots and the base is watermelon.

Arrangement made from Carrots, purple cabbage, flowers were made from tomato & broccoli, turnips and beets, bows are carrots and the base is watermelon.

Garde Manger  Certifications

are earned by students who develop their skills in carving and creating bouquets made from fruits and vegetables.  This certification qualifies them to bring added beauty to the table for catering and banqueting centerpieces.  Beautiful arrangements carved in our classes by our students give them a speciality and a niche to set them apart as a gifted designer in the catering business.  The bouquet in the picture to the right, was designed and carved in our classroom. Our students love this class and they come away realizing they can do something that most people can’t do.


Cake Decorating Certifications:

  • Beginner – Baking & basic decorating
  • Intermediate – Birthday to Wedding Cakes
  • Advanced – Fondant and Sugar Art Specialties

Our Bakery Chef has been in the bakery business for over 20 years and is an expert in baking and cake decorating.  Her students have done some exceptional work.

Lacy wedding cake done by one of the students and the sugar art flowers are elegant.

Lacy wedding cake done with cream frosting and flowers made from fondant. Made in class by students.

Wedding cake made from Fondant with delicate flowers on top.

Wedding cake made with Fondant and shows skill in making the delicate flowers on top (made  by Bakery Chef.)












There is nothing more precious than to have a baby shower cake with a tiny little teddy bear on top sleeping on her blanket. This cake was made by one of our students.

Student made this baby shower cake with a sleeping bear and all the designs made from Fondant.

Student made this baby shower cake with a sleeping bear and all the designs made from Fondant.

These job training classes are preparing our low-income students for high demand  jobs in the workplace.  There are bakeries in almost all the grocery stories throughout the DFW Area and high-end bakeries for wedding cakes…and speciality cakes like this cake with a sleeping bear!  Jobs are plentiful and our students are ready and qualified to work with the Certifications they earn in our School of HOPE.

American GI is a Federal agency that helps low-income homeless students find employment.  We have partnered with them to help our students in preparing their résumé, practicing their job interviewing  and finding employers who have job openings just for them.  Can you imagine the shouts of JOY when our students get hired!!

We have over 300 students on our waiting list to earn their certifications.  All they need is the  funds to enroll.   We are looking for people to “invest” in our  students so they can earn their certifications and find real HOPE of gaining profitable employment.

How can you INVEST? Adopt a student today!  For only $2650 a student can become certified in one of the following Culinary Arts programs.

  (1) Customer Service and Hospitality certification for “Front of the HOUSE” in                             Restaurants, Banqueting, Catering and institutional Food Services.  OR                         (2) Cake Decorating, Sugar Art and Garde Manger                                                                              *** Both programs include ServSafe Food Managers Certification.

ServSafe MANAGER Certification prepares students for promotions!

ServSafe MANAGER Certification prepares students for promotions!

By sending a student through our School of HOPE’s Culinary Department (150 hours) they are prepared and able to break the cycle of poverty in their lives as they find meaningful and profitable employment.

OSHA Forklift Certification

Last year with only ONE sit-down forklift and a scissor lift, 304 students received their OSHA certifications and they found jobs all over Fort Worth.

Getting his OSHA Certification.

Getting his OSHA Certification.

Jobs are plentiful for forklift drivers but many employers are now asking for the drivers to have multiple certification for various types of forklifts used in the mega warehouses.  To keep up with the demand,  we are adding three more types of forklifts to our training (Standup, Narrow aisle and Walkie Stacker).  Our goal is for 1000  students to become OSHA Certification for all 4 Forklifts and for the Scissor Lift.  A total of 5 OSHA Certifications in all.

Multiple certifications makes our students MORE valuable in the workplace and with a greater chance for finding employment with higher wages even if they have a  felony on their record.

Students earning their OSHA Forklift Certification

Students earning their OSHA Forklift Certification

To add these 3 additional forklifts our budget is $75,000.  

But the results will be jobs, jobs, jobs for our men and women who will be breaking the cycle of poverty by earning a good income for their families. The JOY of HOPE is theirs!!

Investing  $250  in  a student  will provide OSHA Certificates on two (2) machines (sit-down Forklift and Scissor Lift).   After we add three (3) more forklifts,  invest a total of $625 and they will be OSHA Certified on all 5 machines making our students in high demand in the workplace.

Investing in the lives of  low-income people to help them find employment isn’t just providing hope for that one person…it is providing HOPE for the entire family!

It’s not a hand OUT…but a hand UP.  It isn’t  “Entitlement” but “Investment”.

“Oh, the JOYS of those who are KIND to the POOR.”  Ps. 41:1. 


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“Feeding HOPE”… by Feeding children!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Fort Worth HOPE Center “Fights Hunger and Feeds HOPE” in the lives of thousands of children each year. In 2013 we provided groceries for over 45,000 children whose parents or caregivers lives in poverty.

In Tarrant county  505,987 are children under the age of 18 and of that number 122,550 are at high risk of suffering hunger.   Thirty five percent (35%) of these children’s parents aren’t eligible to receive food stampOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAs.  So they  struggle to feed their children nutritious foods.  That is why they are so thankful to have a place like the Fort Worth HOPE Center where they find help in providing nutritious foods for their children. Some of these families have children living with them whose parents are in prison and the family  is on a fixed income of $1500 or less a month.  These families struggle to pay the rent and utilities, put gas in an old car, and try to keep the car repaired so it runs.   There is little money left for food and the children are the ones who suffer.

These  pictures are of children and their families who come to the Fort Worth HOPE Center for food and our Volunteers giving them food.  Every  Tues. and Fri. a weeks supply of groceries is given out to theses families and on Wed. food is given out in a Senior Citizen Village.  Help us… help them.  Give generously today.  We welcome you as a volunteer to help us give out the food.  Come at 10:00 am Wednesday morning and go through our volunteer orientation and get your badge and JOIN our volunteer staff.  (Fort Worth HOPE Center:  3625 E. Loop 820 S. Fort Worth, TX  76119.)  We need YOU!

Tyson Employee helps build our boxes to give to our families.








Donate today (upper right hand corner of  this website) and join us in feeding these children this summer.  Ninety seven percent (97%) of your donation will go directly to this cause.  We need your help.

Thank You….JoAnn Reyes, President/Co-Founder

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Representative Nicole Collier’s Fundraiser BIG Success!

What a wonderful evening State Representative Nicole Collier provided for Fort Worth HOPE Center as she raised funds to help us “Fighting Hunger…Feeding HOPE” for the families we serve who live in poverty in our city. She had City Council members, Judges, SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESCommissioners, Constables, Lawyers, Rep. Chris Turner and Rep.-Elect Ramon Romero and a room was full of friends and supporters who came to help her raise money for the Fort Worth HOPE Center. There was standing room only as people filled the room. Nicole went behind the bar, put on her white apron, and began to serve the people as a celebrity “Bartender”. She did a great job and everyone had a fun letting her serve them. Her staff went through the crowd gathering the donations that were later presented to me at the end of the night. Thank you Nicole for this special evening and for expressing your love and support through this fundraising event to help the families we serve who struggle to provide adequate food for their families. We want to also thank Adam Jones owner of Grace Restaurant and Lioneel Penacerrada for hosting the event. We also Thank all the people who came out to support Representative Nicole’s cause so she could bless the Fort Worth HOPE Center.

Representative Nicole and her staff have made commitments to come to the Fort Worth HOPE Center in July to help pass out food to the families we serve. That will be a great day for our families to experience. Thank you so very much for caring for our families and blessing them in this way. You are truly a blessing to our community.
JoAnn Reyes, President

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Texas State Representative Nicole Collier honors Fort Worth HOPE Center!

I’m proud to announce that I will be pouring drinks to raise funds as a celebrity bartender on June 3rd at Grace Restaurant! Join me for “Raising HOPE With GRACE” from 5pm-7pm and enjoy complimentary appetizers and cocktails hand-crafted by me and my special guests, Rep. Chris Turner and Rep.-Elect Ramon Romero. Donations and community-based inspiration benefit the wonderful Fort Worth HOPE Center.”
Photo: I am proud to announce that I will be pouring drinks to raise funds as a celebrity bartender on June 3rd at Grace Restaurant! Join me for "Raising HOPE With GRACE" from 5pm-7pm and enjoy complementary appetizers and cocktails hand-crafted by me and my special guests, Rep. Chris Turner and Rep.-Elect Ramon Romero. Donations and community-based inspiration benefit the wonderful Fort Worth HOPE Center.
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New York Artist – Alex Gardega – has ART Show at Fort Worth HOPE Center to encourage Children’s ART!

Fort Worth HOPE Center
“Feeding HOPE” for Voiceless Children
                Alex Gardega
             Renown New York Artist  is coming to 
            Fort Worth HOPE Center March 22 -23, 2014
Alex Gardega
Alex Gardega and 
Robert Ballance Art Show
Alex Gardega has been a  professional Fine Artist, Muralist, Glass Artist and Illustrator for over twenty years. His art is collected worldwide and his clients have included Mariano Rivera, Donald Trump, The Chrysler Building, Natural History Museum and many others. He recently had a piece in The Museum of Berlin, and has studied with the Famous Norwegian paint Odd Nerdrum in Norway. He continues to take on Mural and glass installation commission as well as focus on his own personal visions which includes paintings as well as inventions.In New York City virtually everyone touches Alex Gardega’s art.  All the painting that appear on the telephone Yellow Page covers are his.  He is a sought-after painter, glass etcher and glass carver.  He says his inspiration began in Cleburne, TX where he spent his childhood.  He was a child prodigy artist that his mother discovered when he was only 2 years old.  All he wanted to do was to draw and create pictures and at the age of 8 his gift began to have a VOICE when his mother took him to a famous local artist, Leonard Schallawitz, and asked him to allow Alex to attend his adult art classes. At first Schallawitz didn’t want to let Alex be part of the class because he was only eight years old.  However when he saw his art he realized he was extremely talented and agreed to accept him in the class. He said: “If Alex continues to develop his talent, he can’t help but become one of the truly great artists”.  

 His family moved to Long Island when he was 12. Alex said:  “I hated high school.  It was a bunch of rich kids, a sports school where art was not important.  I wasted my time there – art is all I’ve ever cared about.” “I moved to New York in my 20’s without a single connection and no money.  The day after I got there I sold my first piece of art – a glass carving for $10,000.  That’s the piece I’m most proud of because everyone told me not to move to the city, but my mom was an angel and always believed in me more than anyone in the world.” 

He taught himself how to glass etch and glass carve so he could earn money to attend the School  of Visual Art.  “I became one of the better etchers  and it helped me make money so I could paint and draw which was what I really loved to do.”  I’ve etched the elevator panels in the Chrysler Building in New York City and all the benefactors names at the Natural History Museum.  Those will be there long be their after I’m gone.” “Right now I’m etching five very large windows at St. Joseph for a mausoleum-cemetery in New York.” 

“I slept on park benches in the beginning and the dues I paid were very heavy.  Those things were gifts from God. You will never learn anything about yourself if your career is handed to you.  Adversity builds character and reveals the face behind the mask.”  (quotes from Cleburne Time Review 10/3/10) Alex Gardega and Robert Ballance (V.President on the FW Hope Center’s Board) are having an Art Show to raise awareness and money to open an art school for children who have a gift in art, but have no VOICE or place to express it.  Robert Ballance was  studied with Leonard Schallawitz when he was 12 years old.  Ten (10) years later, Alex studied with Schallawitz when he was only 8 years old.  Robert found out about Alex studying with Shallawitz through an article in the Cleburne Times Review two years ago and began trying to connect with him.  

There was no response to e-mail until Robert mentioned Leonard Schallawitz. Alex and Robert began to communicate and realize they both have a desire to provide a place where gifted artistic children can find a place for their “voice” to be heard like they found in Schallawitz.  

 Alex and Robert are now making plans to develop and open an Art School for artistically gifted children called “Hope Art” which will be displayed in an art gallery called  “Shining Light Studio”.  They are wanting to bring a shining light into the lives of children who feel they are in darkness because they haven’t had a place for their light to shine.

 Please don’t miss this opportunity to meet Alex and Robert and get their autographs come Saturday March 22 and Sunday afternoon March 23nd. If you want to purchase some of their art it will be available and the funds will be used to start their art school.  Many of you will want to get involved in supporting this program and you will have a great opportunity to talk to them personally.  

 Time:   Sat. March 22, 10:00 -2:0   Sun. March 23,  1:00 – 4:00 

Place: Fort Worth HOPE Center

  3625 E. Loop 820 S

         Fort Worth , TX  76119


Re-Creating Sistine Chapel
Renaissance Painting
Renaissance Paintings
Glass Carving
Glass Etching
Creating Trading Cards
Creating Covers for Yellow Pages
Alex & Mariano Rivera
Painted portrait of Mariano Rivera
New York Yankees
Sold for $7000 and donated it to a non-profit in NY
Adversity builds character and reveals the face behind the mask”
Alex Gardega




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Not just a hand OUT…. but a hand UP!

A Recipe for HOPE in Culinary Art Classes 

School of HOPE

Culinary Art School Certifications

Now students can earn  ServSafe Manager Certification and many other certifications in our Culinary Art School which has been approved by the Texas Workforce Commission.

The Dallas Fort Worth Area has many jobs in the food industry if individuals have earned ServSafe Certifications and other certification for various areas of the food industry.

The Fort Worth HOPE Center’s Culinary Art School is offering the following classes which is our New Recipe for HOPE!

Proctor and instructor 2ServSafe Manager Certification is a national food safety certification that is required for all managers in the food industry.  All of our students will graduate with a ServSafe Manager Certification so that they can be promoted easily into management positions as they move up in their positions on their jobs.

Classes and Certifications

1. Front of the House (Hosting and Hospitality Certification)

Waiter serving food in restaurant5 Best Kansas City Restaurants(1)






2. Banqueting and Catering Certification

Yellow Banquet 2013

Banquet serving line





3.Institutional Food Services Certification







4. Garde Manger – Creative Food Art Certification

Garde manger 5pomegranate apple pear salad

Garde Manger6





5. Cake Decorating I, II, and III Certification

Cake Decorating 1JPGimagesfondant wedding cake flowers





The Fort Worth HOPE Center offers a  “hand UP” to individuals who attend and graduate from our classes at The School of HOPE.  We “Fight hunger and Feed HOPE” in more ways than ONE.  We “fight hunger” by giving out over $3,500,000 of food each year….we “feed HOPE” through our School of HOPE training where  students earn various certifications that prepares them for the a good job in the workforce.  The Fort Worth HOPE Center doesn’t give just a hand out…but a hand UP!

Call Fort Worth HOPE Center to set an appointment to enroll:  817-451-6288.  Some individuals will qualify for funding through the Texas Workforce.  Our Staff will assist students in pre-qualification and in helping them apply for Texas Workforce Funding. But those who don’t qualify for this funding needs YOUR help.  What a JOY to give a HAND UP to an individual who is struggling to get out of poverty!  Send a student today…we have over 90 students waiting for funding to attend these classes.  We need YOUR gift today to give these students a HAND UP!


Program Information               PACKAGES                       SPONSORS        Training-Manual

School of Culinary Arts Staff                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               download




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America: Return to the High Road

Many people have asked why Patty and I are committed to volunteering at the Hope Smile Center. We believe that many of our nation’s problems can be attributed to the growth of government welfare and the subsequent decline in private charity. For more information, please click on the “America” link below.

W. Laurence Oliver, DDS


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