“Four and a half years ago when I started Hope Heals, I helped two people. By the second year, I had helped 28. Then 321 in the third year. In 2016, I helped 2031 people, and in 2017, I helped 2131 people.”
Hope Heals, now a bright light in the Walla Walla community and preparing for its first large fundraiser on Friday, has been growing exponentially since its conception. Yet it began as a faint lightbulb.
On March 26th 2008, Dr. Robert Anda visited Walla Walla on behalf of CRI to present the health and social implications he had studied as a result of Adverse Childhood Experiences. Struggling mother, Annett Bovent, was one of many in the audience. The new information Dr. Anda was sharing shifted something in Annett; her childhood, the 10 out of 10 ACEs she experienced, the suffering that she had been carrying from it, was not her fault. “I learned that I could let go of the pain of my childhood,” Annett expressed. “It was a lightbulb ‘aha’ moment for me when I knew that everything was going to be okay.”
The light began to grow when she won an interest-free loan on a brand new house in Walla Walla. Knowing that Annett was transitioning from homelessness, her oldest son presented her with a care package- paper towels, cleaning supplies, basic items she needed to start a home. His generosity was inspiring; “I decided after receiving that that I wanted to do that for other people” she recalled. She wanted to start a non-profit organization.
Still, a few years passed until the decision was catalyzed. But in a difficult moment, after an injury, Annett sat in her counselor’s office faced with a choice.
“I’m either going to start my organization right now, or I’m not going to be here anymore,” she admitted.
Thus Hope Heals, Annett’s organization, began as her counselor sponsored her first care package- basic supplies to a family transitioning from being homeless to a living in a home. To date, Hope Heals has organized donations to over 4000 people.
Now bright and shining, Hope Heals and Annett- a current parent representative for CRI- will be holding its first fundraiser this Friday March 23rd, the 9th anniversary of Annett’s new home ownership. In honor of a female hero- a “she-ro”- who has deeply impacted Annett and the Walla Walla community, there will be a luncheon starting at 12 pm. Food, cookies shaped into yellow houses, and even community vendors will all be part of the celebration of hope. Proceeds will fund “The Donation Station,” a new building design for Hope Heals to clean and process donated items. It will double as a day center for the homeless as a retreat from harsh weather.
“I want people to know that somebody in the community cares,” Annett’s heartfelt voice quivers. “I have about 70 people who surrounded me and cared for me and I want to carry that on. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my community.”
Visit hopehealsyou.com to read more about Hope Heals or donate, or find Annett on Facebook at Hope Heals Walla Walla. The She-ro luncheon will be at 415 W Alder St in Walla Walla, this Friday at 12 pm until 1 pm. Vendors open for sale at around 11:30 am. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at the YWCA.
Click here for more information on the event: https://www.facebook.com/events/897446860418644/
Come support Annett, Hope Heals, and the Walla Walla community.