In the award’s third year of existence, Direct Energy and PA Media Group, publishers of The Patriot-News, Pennlive.com, and Central PA Magazine, have selected the 2014 Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year – Jesse Gantt. He is the founder of The Foundation for Hope, a nonprofit organization that serves Central Pennsylvania and is dedicated to providing support to those affected by bullying, depression, or suicide. The Foundation for Hope staffs the HopeLine, a 24/7 confidential hotline for people in need of a caring person to talk to and recommend helpful resources.
Gantt founded The Foundation for Hope in 2012, and through this organization and its volunteers, he strives to show others that bullying is not just a rite of passage, depression does not need to last forever, and that life is too precious to lose. Since The Foundation for Hope’s inception, Gantt has organized a volunteer base of more than 150 individuals, formed and staffed the HopeLine, and assisted in opening A Place for Hope Community Center that offers a safe place for those affected by bullying, suicide or depression.
Through personal experience and education, Gantt also serves as a motivational speaker, has appeared on several television and radio segments, and has traveled to community events, organizations, schools, and businesses to talk about the harmful realities of suicide, depression and bullying. Due to Jesse’s tireless efforts, The Foundation for Hope and its HopeLine has successfully fielded hundreds of calls and assisted many individuals in seeking the help they need, and most importantly, has intervened in several life-or-death situations. All of these initiatives are made possible by individual contributions and without government funding.
Direct Energy and PA Media Group honored Jesse during a special award ceremony at the Center for Hope Community Center in downtown Harrisburg, PA on Monday, April 28, 2014. Direct Energy representatives were on hand to present Jesse with his award and a $5,000 donation from Direct Energy to The Foundation for Hope. The donation will be used to further develop the organization’s reach and to expand its services so that it can help even more people. Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Regan was also in attendance and presented Jesse with his own citation from the state.
Congratulations again, Jesse Gantt!