ACE Hardware in North Bend helps renovate Mamma's House of Hope

Aiming to help neighbors in the Valley, ACE Hardware in North Bend put its resources behind a renovation of the Mamma’s Hands House of Hope, a Valley shelter for battered families.

The effort was part of the “Helping Neighborhoods” national campaign, put on by ACE in August.

“We wanted to choose something in the neighborhood that we could, as our own store, make a difference,” said ACE employee Marcia Reinert.

She worked with owner Gordy Gaub, manager Chris McCartney, assistant manager Raphael Prieta and other staff at the store to help fulfill House of Hope’s wish list.

It’s tough for a small organization like House of Hope to do high-profile campaigns. With donations down because of the economy, the group didn’t have extra money to spend for materials for renovations.

“They’ve built a wonderful playground for the kids, but can’t use it because they don’t have the wood chips.” Reinert said. “We were able to do that, because it’s something we sell.”

Likewise, the renovated bathrooms received new fixtures, paint, primer and other needs because they were carried in the ACE warehouse.

In operation since 1992, House of Hope serves six families in two homes on ten acres. The ACE donation allows the organization to serve an additional four families.

“I’m constantly amazed and impressed by how generous this community is to us,” said Melanie Denboer, shelter director for House of Hope.

House of Hope helps women and children in crisis, from the Valley as far as Alaska. There is no maximum stay period — families are allowed to stay as long as it takes for them to deal with the issues in their lives and find a stable home.

“Our goal is to give them the tools and support they need to get back on their feet and never have to be homeless again,” Denboer said. “We don’t ever want to see them in another shelter. Whatever they need to do, we help them to do.”

ACE has undertaken major community efforts in the past, including helping the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank. This project gave the business a way to help a place that’s under the radar.

“It’s something that not a lot of people know about, that’s very personal,” Reinert said. “This is vulnerable people starting their lives over. Being able to assist a facility, that gives people a hand up, instead of a hand out, is gratifying.

“Families there learn to live a normal, unfearful life,” she added. “By finishing the bathrooms, that means they are able to help more families. And that’s the bottom line.”

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