Corner of Hope


By Dai Parsons - For the Record-Herald



Every successful organization starts with a strong foundation, a person with passion, vision, strength, and leadership. At Second Chance Center of Hope that person is the program director, Chiquita Nash. According to Chiquita, she woke one Sunday morning intending to ready herself for church, when instead she felt God’s presence filling her with a vision. She says at first, she pushed it aside, slightly disbelieving, until she felt his presence urging her more strongly. She obeyed this time and Second Chance Center of Hope officially opened its doors March 2019.

Chiquita runs the center along with many faithful volunteers. She is a committed wife of 26 years, the mother of three wonderful children, and Nena to two amazing grandchildren. This is a simple testament to the boundless love she has to share. In her spare time, surprising that she has any, Chiquita also hosts fundraisers for families in need, participates in meal chains for families undergoing difficult circumstances and is an avid baker! Her compassion has no limits.

Under Chiquita’s guidance, the Center fed meals to 176 individuals in May alone. Also, in May, Center of Hope food bank assisted 146 clients and through other programs offered, aided another 95 needful souls. This has become a common occurrence each month at the center, moreso during these challenging times we currently face. Chiquita, as well as the volunteers, remained just as determined to be a welcoming refuge of hope and faith to all who come in need.

In recent weeks, the center has gratefully welcomed the addition of 10 new volunteers. We would like to remind members of the community that our doors are always open to anyone who would like to come volunteer a few hours to help sort, stock or distribute supplies, or to simply tour the facilities. Also, with a new college year starting, we also encourage anyone needing to complete intern hours to consider Second Chance for an experience that will forever touch your heart.

In the weeks to come, be sure to mark your calendars! With the changing of the seasons and temperatures comes the changing of inventory at the center. The free yard sale Second Chance hosted May 22 was such a success that we are hosting another one! July 10 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The following weekend, July 19, 2-4 p.m., will be the second Annual Ice Cream Social!

Both will be open to the public and masks will be required to enter, hand sanitizer will be available in various locations, and social distancing will be respectfully observed. We do hope to see lots of folks from the community come see us and enjoy some shopping and ice cream weekends!

Since the depths of Chiquita’s work is never done, Second Chance Center of Hope is proud to announce that we have purchased a house to be used as a domestic violence shelter, in collaboration with Community Action! We will keep you updated on when it will be opening and how you can help. With that being said, we are in need of a house mother or two, which is a volunteer position. We would love to have The Shelter Director talk with you if you are interested. You may reach her at hmccracken@cacfayettecounty.org

With all this, when asked what keeps her going, Chiquita stated that it is her faith in God. She prays daily with clients and other people struggling, and says it does her heart good to help those in need. Chiquita draws strength from her family and through her faith, then radiates her love and hope throughout the Center for all to feel. Chiquita Nash is the binding foundation that makes Center of Hope the success it is, and it simply would not be the same without her.

By Dai Parsons

For the Record-Herald