Scott Wortmann, Director of Professional Services at Beam Software, proudly continues his participation and support of the annual Day 4 Hope Back to School event. Day 4 Hope is an annual event by Hope 4 Communities that provides homeless and needy children with everything they need to begin the first day of school with dignity. Serving as an Ambassador in 2016 and Event Coordinator since 2017, Mr. Wortmann is responsible for all of the logistics associated with his event location.
Headquartered in Bradenton, FL, Hope 4 Communities is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2009 to raise awareness of the tremendous number of homeless and at-risk children in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Not only are many of these kids and their families uncertain of having a roof over their heads on a consistent basis but they also deal with food insecurity which leads to difficulty in concentrating while at school.
“I began volunteering with Day 4 Hope in 2016. Each year, it is very humbling to listen to what some of these families endure on a daily basis,” says Mr. Wortmann. “Many of the things that we take for granted are simply out of reach for them. Kids usually arrive at the event with uncertainty plainly written on their faces. It brings the volunteers joy to help the families and provide services that would ordinarily be considered a luxury– food, medical care, new clothes, new shoes, school supplies, and more. While the kids usually arrive with a palpable sense of apprehension, it is rewarding to watch them open up and eventually leave with huge smiles, knowing that they can begin the school year prepared with all of the tools they need for success.”
Day 4 Hope Community Support
Day 4 Hope was created as a partnership between Hope 4 Communities and the county’s elementary, middle, and high schools, area churches, community partners, and families. Children in need are identified by the counselors at each school and are invited to a Day 4 Hope event on one of three successive weekends in late July and early August. At each event, the children are provided with a new backpack full of school supplies. Unlike other “back to school” events, however, Day 4 Hope provides many more services to our local kids. Families are given both non-perishable food items and fresh produce from our partners at All Faiths Food Bank and Detweiler’s Market, age-appropriate books donated by The Patterson Foundation of Sarasota, gift cards for clothing from Old Navy, and Bibles presented by the host churches. The families are served breakfast and lunch, and for many, this will be their only meal of the day.
As part of Day 4 Hope, children also receive a medical exam and dental check-up conducted by area medical professionals, vision and diabetes screenings through the Lions Club, ID kits provided by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Department, a haircut from local professional stylists and a professional family photo. All of these services are provided at no cost to the families. The goal is to enable these precious children to begin the new school year on a level playing field with their peers. The relationship between Hope 4 Communities and participating families is not limited to the annual back to school event. Through the Continuing Hope program, participating churches reach out to the families throughout the year to ascertain ongoing needs. Partner churches provide housing, rent assistance, food, and transportation as well as mentoring at local schools.
“The Beam Software team consists of dedicated and caring individuals like Scott who are a wonderful representation of our organization’s core values. We are proud to share the efforts of our team members who go above and beyond to make a positive impact in our communities by volunteering and other philanthropic efforts throughout the year,” says CEO Tom Mohr.
Serving Thousands of Local Children
Day 4 Hope has grown exponentially over the last 11 years. The event began in 2009 by serving 200 children and in just ten years, has grown to serve over 3,000 local children in 2019. Day 4 Hope anticipates helping over 3,000 kids in 2020, and due to the pandemic, has changed from an inside event to a drive-through event. Over 100 companies partner with Hope 4 Communities to provide goods, services, and volunteers. In 2019, more than 4,000 volunteers participated in the Day 4 Hope event.
During Day 4 Hope, each child receives services that allow them to feel confident and prepared on the first day of school. These services include:
- Medical Exam
- Eye Screening
- Child & Family Portrait
- Personal Care Bag & Items
- Gift Card and/or New Shoes
- Dental Exam/Cleaning Instruction
- Backpack/School Supplies
- Gift Card and/or New Clothes and/or School Uniform
“There is so much to do each year to ensure that the event is a success,” continues Mr. Wortmann. “Working with other volunteers from the community, the Day 4 Hope event is more than just providing much needed back to school services; we work throughout the year recruiting volunteers, fund-raising for child sponsorships, purchasing supplies, getting local restaurants to provide meals, working with our partner school to identify the children we’ll serve, communicating with the families to register their children, setting up the church campus to facilitate an orderly and secure environment for the families, and so much more. Creating a seamless experience for the families can be exhausting; however, at the end of each Day 4 Hope event, I’ve never felt more energy than when we stand together and give a prayer of thanks for the ability and opportunity to bless these wonderful children in our community.”
Help to Create Hope
Day 4 Hope needs professional and community volunteers. For more information on volunteer opportunities throughout the year and how you can help set kids up for school success during Day 4 Hope, please visit the Hope 4 Communities website.
About Beam Software
Headquartered in Sarasota, FL, Beam Software is a leading provider of collection and portfolio management software for credit grantors, debt buyers, and collection agencies. The company helps receivables management firms create success by increasing the speed and ease with which they do business. Beam’s system of record meets the unique compliance requirements that collection businesses demand by providing the most reliable and innovative system of record solution for receivables management firms. Beam Software reduces risk, increases compliance, and maximizes efficiency while continually providing best-in-class support for our clients.