Dear Ertz Family Foundation Friends and Supporters,
The city of Philadelphia needs our help, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We are witnessing unprecedented levels of gun violence, food insecurity has drastically increased, trauma has intensified in many homes, and services that Philadelphia typically offers in our schools have ceased to exist with no alternate solutions provided. Now is the time to begin the Ertz Family Foundation’s most important project to date, the “House of Hope Project”. We are eternally touched by all the love and support we have received since we started our mission of giving back to the community in 2018. The House of Hope is our most important endeavor to illuminate the grit and indomitable determination of the “City of Brotherly Love”. This force has been the foundation on which we stand so compelled to use our voices and platform to serve Philadelphia’s underserved youth and families.
In view of the negative impact on our city’s most vulnerable citizens brought on by COVID-19, Julie and I felt compelled to spring to action. Consequently, Julie began volunteering every week by supporting our community initiatives, forming bonds with youth and families, and learning about the issues struggled with every day. While volunteering, we were able to gather insight into the specific needs of the community. We discovered that the youth not only athletic engagement and opportunities, but also need school and career support, Wi-Fi access, healthy food options, employment support, and financial literacy. The options for support are endless.
Through our connection with Pastor Rob Whitmire, the Pastor of Grace and Peace Community Fellowship and Executive Director of Timoteo Sports, we realized that the Ertz Family Foundation’s mission to provide a sustainable place of hope and refuge aligned perfectly with Pastor Rob’s own mission to serve the city. The House of Hope Project is the next step in our aligned vision to do God’s work! We are striving to renovate the Grace and Peace Community Fellowship building, a church sanctuary at its core, to offer infinite possibilities in numerous spaces to provide needed services and programs to this Hunting Park section of North Philadelphia.
We are launching a $900,000 capital campaign fundraiser to support the required renovations, general operating costs, and future programming expenses for the Grace and Peace Community Fellowship “House of Hope Project.” With a solid plan in place, strong support, and generosity from the business community and individuals alike, we will be able to transform the Grace and Peace building into a place of hope and faith. This sanctuary will offer a multitude of services and resources to the surrounding community.
To commence our fundraising efforts, Julie and I have pledged $100,000 to help fund the Youth Leadership Development Center that will be located in the House of Hope. The Ertz Family Foundation has matched our donation and combined with our other corporate and individual donors, we have now raised $450,000 for this project. With your support, we can fund the entire building renovation as well as the general operation and programming expenses needed for several years.
This is an aspirational project of love and hope that reflects our gratitude and appreciation for the city of Philadelphia. We cannot think of a better way to support the “City of Brotherly Love” than by creating this legacy of hope, faith, restoration, development, and substantive transformation that will serve the community of North Philadelphia for decades to come
It has been a most beautiful gift to feel your love and support for us and our mission of the past several years. We pray you feel it in return.
With our most grateful hearts, Zach and Julie Ertz