It’s an incredible thing to think that thirty years ago, what started out as an idea to save the food pantry at Crisis Control Ministry grew into the incredible outreach program and local tradition it is today. Hope du Jour has not only continued to make a difference to the Crisis Control Ministry and the citizens it serves, but to the community as a whole by bringing people together for something we can all agree on: great food!
This year’s Hope du Jour event is on Tuesday, September 8th celebrating its 30th anniversary where participating restaurants will donate what they are able to Crisis Control Ministry, Forsyth County’s largest provider of emergency assistance. Members of the community can come out to show their support for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert!
What makes this event so special you may wonder? Margaret Elliot, the Executive Director shares that “People go out just because it’s Hope du Jour! They look forward to it every year!”
When Candide Jones, then the Winston-Salem Journal restaurant reviewer, and Patti Hoffman, the Crisis Control Ministry Director at the time, came together to make the fundraiser a reality, they started with an ambitious 40 restaurants. The goal was to raise money for the food pantry while helping local restaurants increase sales on Tuesday nights, one of their traditionally lower volume business times. Naturally, the first Hope du Jour was an immediate success and has now led to this year’s 30th-anniversary event, to include over 125 restaurants, bakeries, breweries, coffee shops, and even a few other small businesses! You can find a Hope du Jour restaurant to dine out at in Winston-Salem, Rural Hall, Walkertown, Kernersville, Clemmons, and Lewisville.
Residents of Forsyth Country who have experienced an unavoidable financial crisis such as a health issue, unemployment, or car repair are able to come to Crisis Control Ministry for temporary assistance with food, housing, utilities, and even medication. Abbey Riesett, the Special Events & Marketing Manager for the Crisis Control Ministry, shared that last year, the ministry assisted 13,902 of our neighbors with a total value of $2,921,247 through their efforts and the generosity of the community. While there are 18 employees and 202 weekly volunteers helping to change the lives of these individuals who are experiencing unfortunate circumstances, the community that comes together for Hope du Jour each year truly is part of the Crisis Control family as well!
We’re living in a time where the false narrative that “everyone is out for themselves” rings loudly, but Hope du Jour challenges that thought and reminds us that true community exists and thrives right here!
Stephen M. Kroustalis of Plaza Restaurant continues to be part of Hope du Jour each year and shared why he is proud to take part in the event. ”I do not wish to live in the type of world where we do not look out for each other. By that, I mean not just those that are family and close to us, but also anybody that may need a helping hand. We never know what the future brings, but having a support organization like Crisis Control is of paramount importance. I am grateful to be able to do my small part in helping Crisis Control each year, as I know the cause is a worthy one.”
Other long term participants such as Village Tavern, Waldo’s Wings, Midtown Cafe & Dessertery, and Diamondback Grill have also seen the impact Hope du Jour can make and continue to take part because of it. Hope du Jour even adds a little friendly competition in the mix by presenting awards in three different categories each year. The 2019 winners were:
- Largest Donation – Don Juan’s Mexican Restaurant in Kernersville (4th consecutive year of winning)
- Largest Donation from a First Time Restaurant –Yamas Mediterranean Street Food
- Largest Donation Increase over Previous Year – Village Tavern, Griffith Rd. location
As each year’s efforts and participation continues to expand, the potential to change the lives of community members exponentially expands with it. This year you are invited to bring your loved ones to come hungry and make an impact on September 8th for the Hope du Jour 30th Anniversary Event! For a full list of participating restaurants or to become a sponsor, please visit hopedujour.org. If you’d like more information about how you can get involved with Crisis Control Ministry or to learn about how the Ministry serves our neighbors in crisis, please head to their website at crisiscontrol.org.