The colorful Harvest of Hope was a dinner fundraiser celebrating the beauty and culture of Africa. It was also about educating about needs and our individual and collective ability to address some of those needs. Before dinner was served the Seawell Ballroom was transformed into an African marketplace for the 12th and final Harvest of Hope gathering.

The guests were happy and busy as bees in an apple orchard. There was much to look at, marvel at and of course purchase. In addition to the traditional handmade African jewelry, clothing and artifacts, Denver businesses generously donated hundreds of early holiday gifts such as sporting goods and memorabilia, travel packages, restaurant gift certificates, museum tickets, books, golfing, portraits, and a skydiving adventure package was just one of many unique items for purchase at the event.

Some of the guests were unmissable in traditional, festive African clothing highlighting the purpose of the gathering – a focus on the Church World Service and its efforts to press for human rights and to expand the role of the church as a compassionate and prophetic voice for justice.

Founders Pauline Miles, Kathryn Roy and MaryAnn McGeady met on a trip to Africa in 1999. Their future and vision was born. They hoped to work with all faiths and cultures to confront the root causes of hunger and poverty and to build a global community of compassion. By 2002 the Harvest of Hope was realized. Through the last 12 years, they remember the highlights of their efforts. In 2007 they were honored to have John Bul Dau, the Lost Boy from the Sudan, speak of his journey. Harvest of Hope attracted well-known supporters such as the late Noel Cunningham and George McGovern who, like many supporters, set out to ensure the global mission of promoting self-sufficiency and sustainable solutions for vulnerable communities around the world.

Thursday’s event was a joyful culmination of three women’s dream. After 12 years they sadly announced the final Harvest of Hope as they have known it. Without further ado, each positively believes that Hope will go forward and continue to harvest.  Pauline Miles, Kathryn Roy and MaryAnn McGeady will continue to celebrate community and discover ways to stay connected to this life-saving work, even after the final Harvest.

The Harvest of Hope benefited the work of Church World Service in Africa, It Takes a Village and Ecumenical Refugee and Immigration Services in Colorado.

To learn more about the Church World Service please visit the website www.cwsglobal.org. 303-455-5765.