Helping Others Prospers Everyone (HOPE) was started by Karen Maffucci, RN. She had been a nurse for over 13 years working at a Roanoke, Virginia hospital at the time when she made her first trip to Honduras.
In 1991 she began to feel that there was something more she needed to be doing with her life. She had always had a desire to do humanitarian work of some kind but had no idea where to start. This need became stronger as time went by and created a need for Karen to take action. She decided to talk with Rev. Diane Scribner-Clevenger at Unity of Roanoke Valley. She left that meeting committed to following what felt like her “calling.”
Four months later, after hearing that medical volunteers were needed to go help the people of Central America after it was devastated by Hurricane Mitch, Karen’s “calling” became clear. She would use her nursing skills to help those in need in Central America.
After weeks of phone calls and letters, she connected with Volunteers in Medical Missions (VIMM), which was organizing a mission to Honduras to provide emergency medical relief to the victims of Mitch. Karen was accepted into the program and joined VIMM on its mission to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Her experience in Honduras proved to her that one person can make a difference in the lives of many people.
Assisted by SOFTLY International, Karen organized her first group to make a medical relief trip to Honduras. Through SOFTLY International, she was introduced to Sociedad Amigos de los Ninos (SANINOS). SANINOS was founded in the 1960s, the result of a dream of a six year old girl who grew up to become Sister Maria Rosa Leggol. Now known as Mother Teresa of Central America, Sister Maria Rosa has spent her life helping the poor and destitute children and single mothers in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. Karen was impressed with Sister Maria Rosa’s philosophy of teaching self-reliance to those who saw little hope for their futures.
Since 2000, HOPE has provided medical and construction assistance to over 6,500 Hondurans, sometimes working with SANINOS and at other times working independently with doctors in the mountainous regions north of Tegucigalpa.