Conway native, Daniel Tyler, was once an at-risk teen - struggling to find his way, trying to cope with his parents’ addictions, living in poverty, skipping school, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, getting into trouble, and eventually finding himself spending a few nights in the Faulkner County Detention Center. Daniel was one of “those kids.”
DELIVER HOPE’S ORIGIN STORY
When Daniel was in high school, a cute girl invited him to church. He showed up every week, even if it was just to say hi to his crush. Then, in his senior year, Daniel felt something radically different happen in his life - a come-to-Jesus moment, if you will. He knew from that moment that he had a calling to youth ministry. That same calling led him to found Deliver Hope in 2013.
Daniel desperately wanted to cultivate a support system for “those kids;” a place they could go, a shoulder they could lean on, an ear they could talk to without facing judgment. Deliver Hope’s purpose is to make sure teens know that their future is not defined by their circumstances. It started with meeting youths inside jail, holding chapel services, and organizing court-ordered sober support groups and restorative justice programs. Now, Deliver Hope does all that and more.
DELIVER HOPE, TODAY
Today, Deliver Hope is a thriving nonprofit with a passion to help teens see themselves the way God sees them. Through relentless pursuit, Deliver Hope empowers the youths to dream beyond their circumstances and excel despite their disadvantages. Here are some of the amazing programs and services that Deliver Hope currently offers to kids and teens in need in our community:
- Juvenile Intervention
- Justice Circles
- Sober Support
- Youth Mentoring
- Juvenile Chapel
- Truancy Diversion
Deliver Hope also has a thriving girl’s ministry with two programs: Her Hopeprovides support and guidance to teen mothers, and Girl Scouts gives high risk younger girls a place to grow and learn social skills. Their team of case workers does home visits to check on the teens and attends court hearings. The kids that Deliver Hope mentors all come from the juvenile court system, but they do take referrals from the local schools.
The Deliver Hope Mentor program allows members of Conway’s community to serve as role models for these youths - people they can trust and emulate as they strive towards a healthy and successful future. Since the launch of Deliver Hope in 2013, juvenile imprisonment has dramatically decreased. Just a few years ago, there were over 250 young men who had been incarcerated two times, or more. Those numbers have dropped to double, and even single, digits. Overall, juvenile incarceration has gone down by 78% since Deliver Hope began.
Deliver Hope’s Executive Director, Micah Ribbing, never expected to love living in Conway. Around 2015, her family relocated here - it was a move she wasn’t too thrilled about… until she got involved with Deliver Hope in 2016. Micah said that this community accepted her with open arms, and now she wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
The most rewarding part of Micah’s job is to see the youths she works with be filled with hope and purpose once again. Micah told us, “It melts my heart to see these kids smiling and excited and feeling love.”
But no reward comes without its challenges. Micah explained that COVID has brought with it a host of obstacles for the people-based nonprofit. She said, “It’s nerve racking. As a leader, I need to hire staff, but also… What if the world shuts down again? We are completely community funded and rely heavily on volunteers.” Micah expressed that the best things you can do for Deliver Hope right now are to engage with their social media platforms, donate, volunteer, and pray!
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Want to play a part in changing the lives of Conway’s future leaders? You can contribute to the good being done at Deliver Hope in a number of ways!
- Become a Mentor!
- Join The Bridge and donate regularly.
- Pledge your birthday, and collect donations on Facebook!
- Become an Intern.
- Be a prayer warrior.
- Engage with social media content:
Of course, you can always contact the Deliver Hope team for more information on getting involved!