Operation Project HOPE cleans and brightens schools for young minds to learn and grow.
How it all started!
Many schools in the inner city areas of Los Angeles suffer from low funding and very little moral and financial support. At no fault of the children, they attended school each day with less than desirable conditions; ranging from neglected landscaping to worn out buildings.
In 2008, Ed Robles and a small group of leaders decided to do something to support a school in need. They organized a school beautification day at Trinity Elementary School. The group cleaned up the landscaping, painted murals to inspire the children, and beautified the teachers’ lounge as a gesture of appreciation. Robin Polito-Shuffer, the principal of Trinity Elementary School, was extremely grateful and her school certainly felt the love that day. Later, Robin transferred to Hooper Elementary School and in 2010, called Ed for a favor. She asked him to put together another beautification project for her school. Ed agreed, as a one-time project for a dear friend.
After getting a full scope of what Hooper Elementary would need, Ed realized the project would be quite the undertaking. He decided to form an organized team of leaders with different talents and backgrounds.┬á Though they were different in many ways, what they had in common was their passion for service and drive to help children in need of a clean and safe place to learn and grow.
The team was formed and Ed wanted to choose a name that would give meaning for all those involved. At the first team meeting, Ed described his vision for Hooper Elementary. The leaders brainstormed over many ideas and decided on the name
Operation Project HOPE.
Operation: it was going to be a huge transformation that was going to occur in one day at the school. To pull it off in one day, they needed to execute a tactical strategy.
Project: it was a specific task to be completed as planned.
HOPE: beautifying the school would give hope to the children and the community for a brighter future. This project could restore hope and belief in the goodness of humanity. Julie Leaf, one of the leaders on the team, took it even further and said.
HOPE: Helping Other People Everyday.
After months of planning, Operation Project HOPE took over Hooper Elementary School and in one day, on June 4th, 2011, accomplished everything they set out to do.
The children and staff appreciated the care and compassion that was given to their school. In addition to the cosmetic fixes, June 4th became a day of healing for the community and the OPH team.
Though Ed had only intended to organize this one time project, many people asked him when the next one would be and which school will we help next? After deep consideration, and a few more meetings, the team unanimously decided to form a non-profit organization.
Since then, OPH has touched the hearts of Allesandro Elementary School in 2013, Cesar Chavez Elementary School in 2014, and Toland Way Elementary School in 2015.
The vision of Operation Project HOPE is growing and together they will create
“World Peace, One Child At A Time!”