Say hi to Jennifer Bridwell!
She’s one of four new board members joining the Home of Hope board of directors. We recently chatted with Jennifer and she shared a little about her Gwinnett roots, what she loves about giving back, and why being part of the Home of Hope team is so important to her.
What was your first experience with Home of Hope?
My first experience goes back to somewhere around 2005, I’m guessing.
I worked with a bank that would do fundraising and donations in the community. And we were doing things for Gwinnett Children’s Shelter at that time. I was on the committee where I was looking to do something to raise funds and raise awareness. So actually, I ended up putting together a golf tournament for Gwinnett Children’s Shelter.
It was my first golf tournament and it was the first time we had done that as a business. All the proceeds went to Gwinnett Children’s Shelter. It was a long time ago. But that was when I first came and took a tour of the facility and really fell in love [with this organization.]
That’s how I learned more about Home of Hope. They’re very well known in Gwinnett. So, I wanted to continue working with them and help them.
What do you love most about being part of Home of Hope?
There are two types of nonprofits I knew I wanted to be part of: anything dealing with education and anything dealing with children.
I knew I wanted to be part of something where I didn’t just check a box. I wanted to be part of something I was passionate about. And Home of Hope is definitely that.
I feel like kids, and even these young moms, have enough to deal with in today’s society. Whether it’s social media or job loss or divorce. They just have enough to deal with. The last thing they need to be worrying about is a roof over their head or a good meal.
The fact that any kids out there could be homeless — that just breaks my heart.
How would you describe the difference you’ve seen Home of Hope make in the community?
When I knew them in the past, it was just a children’s shelter. But what it has evolved into now — it has turned into something even better, if that’s possible.
It’s not just a place to go and live. It helps these families get back on their feet and regain independence.
This ends the cycle of homelessness for two generations at a time.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m Gwinnett Market President and Relationship Manager with Georgia Banking Company. I also serve on the Board of Trustees for the Gwinnett Tech Foundation.
It’s a hope of mine that some of these kids will grow up and finish their education and I’ll see them at Gwinnett Tech — or one of the colleges in Gwinnett.
I’ve been in banking for 26 years now, and worked in Gwinnett for most of my career. In fact, I was born in Gwinnett.
I’m also a mom of two daughters, and I think that’s why helping children has always been very important to me. I want to make sure every child has a chance to thrive.
What would you want others to know about Home of Hope?
It’s not just a homeless shelter. It’s so much more than that.
Home of Hope shows young moms and their kids how to regain their independence and it gives them life skills. We help them create an action plan. They’re getting back on their feet. They’re able to get out on their own and start over.
Everyone deserves that chance.
The community needs to know that Home of Hope does get by on donations. So, if someone is looking for a great nonprofit or ever wants to learn more, Home of Hope is always a good option.
If we’re not helping the kids who are going to be our future, who should we help?