Rays of Hope Drive-thru Event Unites Huntsville in Generosity

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Six local non-profits benefit as community donates cash, toys, baby items and food

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — The community spirit shone brightly on July 29th during the inaugural Rays of Hope donation drive-thru event. Presented by Elliott’s Jewelers and Hello Huntsville, the event was hosted at the HEB Huntsville parking lot, becoming a shining testament to community generosity and unity.

Elliott’s Jewelers played a significant role in the event, matching community donations and taking part in raffles throughout the day. The Rays of Hope event brought out the best in Huntsville’s residents, accepting a wide range of donations including cash, toys, and food items.

Donnie Smith of Ginsel Heating and Air sits alongside Rob Hipp for a photo. Kicking off as the 6 a.m. hourly sponsor, Smith was highlighted in a live social media interview promoting the Rays of Hope event.

HISD Social Services, Good Shepherd Mission, and SAAFE House were among the organizations that saw an influx of generosity from the event. Additionally, Care Center Huntsville, Tomorrow’s Promise Montessori Schools, and Rita B Huff Adoption Center were included in the list of beneficiaries.

From left, Billy Cauthen of Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home, Rick Boehning of Tomorrow’s Promise Montessori Schools, Sally Dowis and Juanita Hall of HISD Social Services, Rob Hipp (Middle) of Hello Huntsville, Denise Olivas of Walker County Federal Credit Union, and Elliott Herzlich of Elliott’s Jewelers gather for a photo marking the $1,100 donation to HISD Social Services.

Each organization expressed profound gratitude for the community’s kindness, which will enable them to continue serving those most in need in the Huntsville area. Their appreciation underscores the positive impact the event made and sets the stage for its return next year.

Care Center Huntsville received numerous baby items, including diapers and lotions. Greg Smith and Billy Cauthen of Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home stand outside along with Care Center Huntsville employees.

The Sam Houston Bearkats Women’s basketball team also played a vital role in the day’s success. Team members volunteered at the event, showcasing their dedication both on and off the court. Their presence emphasized the importance of community collaboration and added an energetic spirit to the day’s proceedings.

Members of the Sam Houston Women’s basketball team, including Head Coach Ravon Justice, pose with event volunteer Jason Thompson of Guardian Defense during the Rays of Hope drive-thru event in Huntsville.

Rob Hipp, founder of Hello Huntsville, expressed his satisfaction with the event’s success. “Seeing the community step up in this way, supporting our non-profits during the summer months, was inspiring,” Hipp said. “Our aim was to create an event that shines a light on our non-profit community in the middle of the year, and we are thrilled to have achieved that.”

Rob Hipp and Billy Cauthen stand next to Good Shepherd Mission (GSM) Food Bank Manager Joseph Dancer. Over two shopping carts of food items were donated to GSM through Rays of Hope.

Plans are already underway for the Rays of Hope event next year, with the intention to take place earlier in the summer.

Huntsville resident Jennifer Agostinetti, the first donor at 6 a.m., displays her Rays of Hope T-Shirt alongside Hello Huntsville’s Rob Hipp during the event.

Adding to the excitement, Elliott’s Jewelers raffled off jewelry valued between $100 and $300 every hour from 6 am to 6 pm. Every cash donor received a raffle ticket and a limited edition Rays of Hope T-Shirt. Drive-thru attendees were also gifted Swag Bags filled with promotional materials and discounts from area businesses.

From left, Tracy Stoudt, executive director of SAAFE House, Rob Hipp of Hello Huntsville, Billy Cauthen and Greg Smith of Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home, and Tammy Farkas, community relations director of SAAFE House, pose alongside items donated during the Rays of Hope event.

If you missed the event, there is still a chance to make a difference. Donations can be made online at https://www.hellohuntsville.com/donate. These contributions continue to make a lasting impact on the non-profit organizations and the Huntsville community as a whole.

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