Today we’d like to introduce you to Vicki Seay.
Vicki, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I retired from the corporate world in 2001, I was responsible for the customer service division of a large health insurance company. I have always worked and volunteered in areas that help others…..that’s where my heart is happy. I volunteered and worked with non-profits over the last 20+ years. In early 2016, a good friend introduced me to Cy-Hope. It’s such an amazing group! To see a non-profit that can identify areas of need in our community and implement sustainable programs that make such a significant difference is amazing to see. I absolutely wanted to be a part of that! The programs needed funding and opening a resale market was a natural solution. The Hope Chest Resale Market – Benefiting Cy-Hope has been open almost four years and it’s been an absolute joy! To see the community bringing in donations, the community of staff and volunteers processing those donations and the community purchasing and directly supporting our community programs. 100% Cy-Fair helping Cy-Fair! This is exactly where God wants me to be! I love it!!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We’ve had many challenges….The store was open almost a year to the day when Hurricane Harvey hit. We had 4 feet of water in the store. Our sales stock was destroyed and like most of our community, we had to rebuild from the ground up. The struggle was not that we had to rebuild. The struggle was how fast can we get back to helping our community! And thanks to this amazing community it only took two months. 100’s of volunteers came in and helped rebuild the store. We came back better and stronger than before.
Our biggest challenge overall has been our current situation. The Covid-19 virus has rocked the world. The store is temporarily closed and we worry about the health and safety of our neighbors and the ability to support the Cy-Hope programs during this time. The blessing in this is seeing how bad times can bring out the best in people. We get creative. The store can’t open but we can do blood drives and help with food distribution. We are driven by our mission to make life better.
We know that we will again come back better and stronger than before. These challenges truly do make us better.
Please tell us about The Hope Chest Resale Market – Benefiting Cy-Hope.
The Hope Chest Resale Market is a 25,000 sq ft “boutique style” resale market that benefits all the programs of Cy-Hope. Our shopping area features designer clothing, shoes, handbags, home decor, toys, books and so much more. We also have 7,000 sq ft of furniture and outdoor equipment. All items are sold at a fraction of retail cost. We are truly a one of a kind experience in upscale resale. Sustainable shopping at its best!
I am incredibly proud of our amazing staff and volunteers. With 13 staff members and over 175 weekly volunteers we contribute over 33% of the income to the Cy-Hope Programs and strive to increase that percentage every day. This beautiful group of people reflect Cy-Hope’s mission daily: “To make life better for kids in Cy-Fair”.
Since Cy-Hope’s inception in 2011, we have developed programs to tackle the needs of our community. We have grown to support the following programs all suited to Cy-Fair ISD students and their families needs.
Backpack Buddy Program which provides weekend food for economically disadvantaged school children. We currently send over 1,000 backpacks home each week during the school year and provide a summer feeding program.
Cy-Hope Counseling Center which sees over 350 clients per week.
Dierker’s Champs. Our baseball program currently has 19 teams with 283 Cy-Fair student players.
Devine Virtuosos music initiative includes summer band programs and provides private lessons for economically challenged students.
Providing Opportunities Program (POP) This program offers financial assistance to underserved students in Cy-Fair ISD to take Advanced Placement, Dual Credit courses or vocational certification courses. In 2019, we were able to help over 10,000 students for a total of $504,657. This program does an amazing job of giving students a step up into college and/or a career.
Ambassadors of Compassion Program, This mentor program helps to equip at-risk students for life. In 2019 we served 229 students weekly with 47 mentor coaches.
Hope Centers, Our five centers and STEM mobile bus – serve 200+ students weekly with assistance in tutoring, life skills classes, mentoring and recreation.
Camp Lemonade yearly five days sleepover camp serves over 120 campers.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I can honestly tell you I don’t deserve ANY of the credit. There is such an amazing team all around me that make this all happen. It is a privilege to work with the staff we have. Our amazing group of 13 staff members truly have the most precious hearts to serve! We are so thankful for the community support to donate and shop at the store.
The support of over 175 volunteers every week is incredible! These precious people work so hard to support Cy-Hope,
Lynda Zelenka, our Executive Director and Holly Calbat, our Finance/Donor Director have been incredible mentors to me. I’m so grateful for their friendship, wisdom and faith. They have encouraged me to accomplish things I never thought I could do.
Our staff and volunteers have become family and our customers have become our friends. They are the ones that deserve all the credit. I’m just thrilled to be a part of it!!
- Address: The Hope Chest Resale Market – Benefiting Cy-Hope
12015 Barker Cypress
Cypress, Texas 77433
- Website: cy-hope.org
- Phone: 281-758-1003
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: thehopechestresalemarket
- Facebook: @CyHopeTheHopeChest
All photos taken by Amy Vern and Vicki Seay