October Youth Spotlight - Sophia Hinchliffe


What is your school and grade? How long have you been involved with Hands4Hope?

I am a freshman at the Virtual Academy. I have been involved with Hands4Hope for 2 years now, I’m actually on my third. (Woo-hoo!)


Why did you join Hands4Hope & how did you hear about it?

So, I didn’t hear about it in the way you might expect. I’m an extremely curious person, and one of my middle school teachers had “H4H” written up on the whiteboard. I remember wondering what it was, and was even more interested when it was described as a club. I know that’s a general term, but I’d never been in a club before then. Honestly, it was on my bucket list. I nearly forgot about it until just before lunch when another of my teacher’s wrote “H4H” on the board. I went right over to the classroom that the meeting was being held in, and met Lori and the leadership team, as well as others who wanted to join. They explained what Hands4Hope was, and gave me some paperwork to fill out. I’m not going to lie, it was all so quick and confusing at first! But I joined up because I wanted to give something new a try. Now, the reason I make sure to be involved every year is because I fell in love with Hands4Hope.


How has Hands4Hope helped you in school, with your friends and family, and in life?

It’s helped me in many ways, especially with teamwork. I used to prefer working independently and was terrible at working with others. Then I joined Hands4Hope, and now I prefer working with at least one other person. Everything is so much easier and enjoyable that way. I also find it easier to make new friends...and keep them. As for my family, it gives me special experiences to share with them and I feel more cheerful around them after volunteering. My life has been made a million times better with Hands4Hope. I’ve felt safer, happier, and most of the time I HATE being around a lot of people, but not when I’m volunteering. When I’m doing that, I feel the strongest I’ve ever felt. In fact, one of the only things that got me through COVID was Hands4Hope. Though some things changed, the basic idea stayed steady. I got to see everyone on Zoom, I always had a day to look forward to each week, AND I was the Herbert Green Hands4Hope Club’s secretary from 2020-2021. There’s nothing like it.


What has your experience been like since joining?

My experience keeps improving with each event that I attend. It’s a lot like upgrading an app. There’s always something new and improved. You can never get bored! It recharges me, too. Every week takes a lot out of me, so it’s nice that I can get a break from my life at school and at home. And everyone at Hands4Hope, it’s an honor to get to work with them. They’re kind, caring, and supportive. Thank you everyone!


Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experiences with Hands4Hope?

My absolute favorite event is, hands down, GVCC Common Ground. The people we serve there are so sweet, and it’s comforting to know that I can help them. My name is insignificant to the world, but I can make a big difference, and that’s the best feeling in the world.