Harvest for Hope Gala 2016 – test



Many thanks to everyone who supported the 



We raised a net profit of $45,326.  All proceeds will directly benefit our clients by enhancing family-based services, including life coaching and one-on-one mentoring, as well as interactive wellness programs addressing nutrition and proper exercise in 2017. We are grateful to our Sponsors, Auction Donors, and Volunteers for your commitment to our mission. Click here for pictures.


Harvest for Hope: A fundraiser designed for long-term change


The model of the Real Life Center is both revolutionary and innovative. Volunteers “walk alongside” each struggling family for a full year to help them achieve long-term change emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially. Families are held accountable for their own progress but are guided through a 3, 6, 9 and 12 month follow-up process. During their year, they have access to food and clothing programs, financial assistance, educational classes, financial budgeting, and career assistance. “We seek to offer a hand-up versus a hand-out,” shares Cathy Berggren, Executive Director.

I was overwhelmed by the care and resources I received at the Real Life Center,” recalls Santrell, a Real Life Center client. “Talking to me about where I wanted to be a year from now gave me hope and dignity. I received many tools to make long-lasting change.”


We honor our 2016 Title, Diamond, and Platinum Sponsors

Harvest for Hope Title Sponsor: UPS Foundation  ups_14_logo_std_4cp

Atlanta, GA – August 17, 2016 – Real Life Center received a $5,000 sponsorship from The UPS Foundation, which drives global corporate citizenship and philanthropic programs for UPS (NYSE:UPS).

The grant will be used toward building innovative programs in 2017 to enhance the Real Life Center’s current family-based services, including life coaching and one-on-one mentoring, as well as interactive wellness programs addressing nutrition and proper exercise.

We are honored to receive this grant from UPS and thrilled to be able to continue to care for our local families while increasing the variety of ways to invest in them,” says Cathy Berggren, Executive Director of the Real Life Center. “This gift does not only help strengthen our local families, but strengthens our community overall!”

Established in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation identifies specific areas where its backing clearly impacts social issues.  In support of this strategic approach, The UPS Foundation has identified the following focus areas for giving:  volunteerism, diversity, community safety, and the environment.

In 2013, UPS and its employees, active and retired, invested more than $102 million in charitable giving around the world.  The UPS Foundation can be found on the web at UPS.com/foundation.  To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

The UPS Foundation is honored to support Real Life Center’s efforts to make long lasting impact on the lives of struggling families,” said Eduardo Martinez, president of The UPS Foundation.  “Our goal is to fund powerful programs that make a lasting difference to the global community.”

Diamond Sponsor: Chick-fil-A Chick Fil A

Over the past three years, Chick-fil-A, Inc. and its franchised Restaurant Operators have given more than $68 million in contributions to over 700 educational and charitable organizations, and have provided millions of dollars in food donations all across America. Giving to local communities is one of their key giving strategies, and the Real Life Center has been a beneficiary for which we are so thankful. “I am so humbled for the opportunity to serve on the Board of the Real Life Center as they continue to make a huge impact on individuals and families, as well as the community,” shares Missy Bryan, Executive Administrator at Chick-fil-A. “As the Real Life Center seeks to honor God by serving others, God continues to be faithful to the ministry,” Missy concludes.

Diamond Sponsor: Fayette Woman Fayette Woman

We are so grateful to Joyce Beverly, Owner of Fayette Woman Magazine, for a generous gift to the Harvest for Hope Gala. Fayette Woman is a voice for and about women who live in Fayette County, Ga. They believe that everyone’s life is a journey and no matter how grand or modest, every one of us has a story. Their goal is to cultivate a sense of community among their readers while giving their advertising partners a professional, trusted and positive environment for their messages. “As a community, we have a responsibility to one another to be there for the good times and the rough patches,” shares Joyce. “The Real Life Center steps in during the challenges in life that no one can face alone. Although, Fayette Woman and the Real Life Center cannot solve every issue – together we can be the encouragement our community needs to just keep putting one foot in front of the other.”

Diamond Sponsor: Rinnai Rinnai official

Rinnai has been a loyal supporter of the Real Life Center’s mission since 2014, through food drives and the Scouting for Food Corporate Challenge. In 2015, the Real Life Center was awarded a generous check for $1,160. The money was fundraised by Rinnai’s Associates through the sales of Easter Baskets and baked goods as a way to help our children and families. Rinnai America Corporation’s corporate mission is to utilize heating to provide society with a comfortable way of life. Their primary focus is improving the lives of those who live in our society. “As such, we recognize that there are many people in our community who are going through hard times in their lives and we are proud to support the Real Life Center in providing assistance in our local communities,” shares Michelle DeFeo, Human Resources Director. Rinnai is the industry leader in tankless hot water heaters. Their innovative, energy efficient products provide customers with an endless supply of hot water. A special thank you to Frank Windsor, Chief Operating Officer.

Diamond Sponsor: Rolling Hills Baptist Church Rolling Hills

Rolling Hills Baptist Church has been an active supporter of the Real Life Center for 8 years. They are a church community with a true servant’s heart! At first, volunteers from the church community helped at the center with sorting food or clothing donations. In 2010, Rolling Hills Baptist Church completely revamped their church’s missions and outreach program. At that time they chose to increase the span of support to the Real Life Center. Since then they have participated in 12 “missions”. Their youth group has volunteered at the Mobile Food Pantry, and many of their church members have spent countless hours at our Center sorting clothing and incoming food donations, as well as assisting with special operational projects. In September 2010, Rolling Hills Baptist Church signed a one-of-a-kind formal partnership agreement with the Real Life Center to provide financial assistance to select clients whose needs exceed what the center can pay for. Since 2010, the church has provided approximately $80,000 in financial assistance to 187 Real Life Center clients. Rolling Hills Baptist Church exists to reach lost people for Christ, to grow believers to full maturity in Christ, and to launch them toward a lifetime of devoted ministry.

Platinum Sponsor: Dirt1x Dirt1x

Dirt1x stands for Do It Right the 1st Time. That is exactly what they have done for the Real Life Center by being a Platinum Sponsor for the Harvest for Hope Gala. “When I think about an organization that is really making a difference to combat both the effects and the cause of poverty, I think about the Real Life Center,” shares Ellie White-Stevens, Owner. “It’s a pleasure for me to be able to give back to an organization that enacts REAL change in the lives of those it serves. As a business owner, I choose to tithe resources—in this case planning expertise, design and printing—to bless the Real Life Center, so that they can be the best possible stewards of the funds they raise, helping more people,” Ellie concludes. Dirt1x is a marketing agency specializing in the growth of small businesses. Through the consultations of Ellie White-Stevens, Marketing Guru and the Creative Director of Dirt1x, and the work of her team, business owners get strategic planning, branding, sales materials, websites and social media analysis and implementation.

Platinum Sponsor: InSight Real Estate Advisors jeffwarlick

Heartfelt thanks go out to Jeff Warlick for his generous Platinum Sponsorship of our Harvest for Hope Gala. Jeff has a true heart for his community, and is a connector of people. We appreciate the tremendous role he played on our Gala Committee. We are blessed by you, Jeff!


We are grateful to our Gold, Silver, and Bronze Sponsors


Thank you to our Auction Donors


About Real Life Center

Our Mission

Our mission is to walk with those who are hurting in Fayette and Coweta counties in Georgia by providing a safe environment, sharing the love of Christ, and promoting long-term change.

This mission is accomplished through an innovative process of holistic care. This strategy includes caring for each person physically, emotionally, relationally, financially, mentally, and spiritually.

Our programs: food, clothing, assessment counseling, financial assistance, financial counseling and budgeting, educational classes, career assistance, extensive network and referral, fresh fruit and vegetables from our orchard.

Click here to read a family story.


2015 Highlights

  • Distributed over 530,000 pounds of food
  • Served 4,279 families
  • Provided monthly educational classes: nutrition, budgeting, spiritual health, relationships
  • Distributed 15,870 pounds of produce from our orchard and vegetable garden.
  • Served 2,202 families at our Mobile Food Pantry
  • Volunteers gave 17,989 hours
  • Started a Pilot Program offering career assistance, networking, and resume writing services.

Our Differentiators

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We Set Goals with Our Families

Each family meets with an Assessment Counselor during their appointment to the Center. They set one goal, and we support them for an entire year to achieve it with the intention of affecting long-term change. In 2015, 60% of families contacted achieved greater than 50% of their goal.

We Offer Educational Classes

We offer opportunities for further education in areas such as money management, spiritual growth, nutrition, cooking on a budget, healthy relationships, and job search and preparedness. We could not do this without the help of wonderful volunteers lending their expertise.

We Offer Spiritual Support and Guidance

When desired we walk with our families on their path of spiritual growth, and we provide them with resources for a closer relationship with God.

We Provide Nutrition

Our 3-acre Orchard and Vegetable Garden provide much needed life-sustaining nutrition to our families. In 2015, we provided close to 16,000 pounds of peaches, apples, blueberries, blackberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and more. Seasonally local farmers and Master Gardeners supplement our center with additional produce. We pick up produce, bread, and meat from local grocery stores weekly.