Who We Are

Helping Other People (HOPe) seeks to support community development projects, primarily in Africa, Asia, and South America. Such projects include those that support basic human needs, including educational and vocational training, water supply, healthcare, care of street children and rural development.  This support may include, but is not limited to, grants to relieve a particular hardship, to construct facilities for community use and/or provide loans negotiated with HOPe that serve term need to a community. 

HOPe consists of a group of private individuals and is not affiliated with any government, church or religious entity.

Our Goals

We strive to use 95% of all funds raised on worthwhile projects which enhance the lives of men, women, and children wherever that need is identified by the members.

We aim to support grassroots development project success due to community participation and which have a better protential success due to community owership.

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Our Board

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Attracta Lyndon, President

For more than thirty years, Attracta has been the Vice President of Dooley Car Rentals in North America. She launched the US subsidiary of the Irish business in 1986 and played a major role growing it into a multi-million-dollar operation. Attracta is also a US Brand Ambassador for Belleek Fine Parian China and has appeared on QVC TV multiple times. Her business acumen and leadership roles as President of the Irish Business Organization of NY and long-time membership in the Ireland-US Council have been recognized with numerous awards. Over the years, she has supported numerous charitable organizations. She is blessed with three daughters, Elizabeth, Laura and Patricia. A Dublin, Ireland native, she now resides in New Jersey.

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Vincent Collins, Vice President

Vincent is co-founder of a family owned construction company. He is an experienced builder and general contractor who leads professional construction and remodeling teams in projects in the tri-state area. He’s been involved in HOPe since 2008. For Vincent helping others is a family affair and he is committed to showing his sons the reality of poverty while also providing them the opportunity to give back. He traveled to Honduras with his eldest son Ian in 2012, then to HOPe’s project in Peru with his son Morgan in 2014. In 2016, Vincent returned to Honduras with his two youngest sons, Owen and Brendan. He feels the trips remind him and his family of the dire level of poverty in the world and the importance of helping others.

Joan Friedman, Secretary

A 1984 graduate of Seton Hall University and 1988 graduate of New York Law School, Joan worked at the Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division and Matthew Bender & Company, Criminal Law Division before raising a family. She has held various positions in the PTA, worked as a hospice volunteer and currently volunteers with Amazing Readers, a phonics-based reading program, at the Edward Williams Elementary School in Mount Vernon, New York. Married to Gary, she has two sons, Matthew and Danny.

 
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Elba Lopez-Spangenburg, Treasurer

Elba is a native of Puerto Rico and a resident of New York. She graduated with a BA from Saint Francis College, has an MS from City College and a PhD from New York University. She has worked for over 34 years with the NYC Department of Education as a teacher, coordinator, assistant principal and principal. Elba was a member of Chancellor Klein Principals' Advisory Board and received commendations from the NY City Councils and Bronx Borough President. She was a volunteer and Board member for various charitable organizations. Elba is married with two daughters, Diana and Teresa. Elba has visited HOPe projects in Honduras.

Gerry O'Shea, Public Relations

A County Kerry native, Gerry has worked as a teacher and school counselor in high schools in Dublin, Ireland and New York for over 30 years. He was an active member of the Teachers' Union in both cities. Gerry is involved in the Kerrymen's Association in NY, serving as president from 1996 and 1998. He is committed to Call to Action, a progressive group focused on social justice issues in the Catholic church. Gerry was a founding member of HOPe and has served in many leadership roles. His motivation was and is to help families in need and give back. He is a prolific writer and has published numerous articles. Gerry has visited projects in Peru and Honduras.

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Patrick Buckley, Entertainment Fundraising Chairman

Born in County Kerry, Ireland, Pat worked with the New York Human Resources Administration as a carpenter until his retirement. He was an active member of Local 608 and served as a shop steward for many years. Pat has experience in house building and general construction. He is involved in the Kerrymen's Association in New York, a social and charitable organization and was President from 1992 to 1994. Pat and his late wife Bridget were founding members of HOPe and were motivated to help the poorest children. They were blessed with three daughters Patrice, the late Laura and Yvonne. Today Pat is involved in all the planning and fundraising for the organization. Pat has visited projects in Honduras.

 

Joe McCarthy, Appropriation Chairman

It is Joe’s belief that for centuries the great thinkers suggest the same thing: "Happiness is found in helping others." Becoming a member of HOPe has provided him with happiness as well as an opportunity to help others. Joe has been a teacher, supervisor, administrator and Director of Student Support Services for the Department of Education in New York City for 36 years, and a consultant for 13 years for Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, Conflict Resolution and Restorative Justice.  He has been an active member of the Woodlawn Community Association, a member of St. Barnabas Parish Council, a lector at St. Barnabas Church and a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Joe has traveled to HOPe projects in Ethiopia and Honduras. 

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Eileen Kennedy, Director of Development

Eileen and her husband, Tommy are founding members of HOPe. Their first project was with the “Medical Missionary of Mary” in Honduras. During a site visit there they saw first hand how the nuns could stretch every dollar they were given. This field trip reinforced Eileen’s desire to directly help other communities in need. She has also traveled to Peru to visit Sr Rosa, and has helped raise funding  to build a school and clinic there. Eileen is a past president and treasurer of HOPe and prides herself on growing the organization with the board members to include development projects in 13 countries. Eileen continues to visit HOPe projects at her own expense (as do all HOPe members). Prior to HOPe, Eileen and Tommy had a long history of charitable giving.

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Michael Price, Director

Michael is an accomplished financial and organizational leader with a range of experience in corporate/ financial institutions and the nonprofit sector. He is Head of Portfolio Risk Management and Director of Financial Institutions in New York for National Australia Bank (NAB). Prior to joining NAB, Michael was a vice president at Credit Lyonnais. Earlier in his career, he established and ran the Securities Lending Asia Desk at Bankers Trust. Michael has been involved with the HOPe board for many years and is a past President of the organization. Prior, he did pro bono work for GOAL USA and Concern USA, both NGOs and Irish intl. development agencies. Michael has an MBA from Fordham University and a BCommerce from University College Cork, Ireland. On behalf of HOPe, he traveled to Ethiopia and Peru to evaluate and document grantee programs.