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2021 Hope Awards

Safe Harbor Free Clinic wins top prize

Safe Harbor Free Clinic
Dr. Keith Erickson treats a patient at Safe Harbor Free Clinic. (Ron Wurzer/Genesis)

Thanks to the votes of WORLD’s readers and listeners, Safe Harbor Free Clinic in Stanwood, Wash., has come out on top in the 2021 Hope Awards for Effective Compassion competition and will receive $10,000 to further its work. The other ministry finalists—Christian Encounter in Grass Valley, Calif.; Westside Ministries in Turlock, Calif.; and East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, Calif.— will each receive $2,000.

Every year, WORLD readers and listeners recommend ministries for our Hope Awards. Normally, we accept nominations from different regions in the United States and abroad. Due to COVID-19, last year’s domestic Hope Awards finalists all were in the Eastern United States. This year, we focused on the West. In 2022, we plan to resume profiling nonprofit organizations from all five regions: Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and International.

This year, reporter Charissa Koh parsed through many nominees and chose seven ministries that fit our criteria. Between April and May, WORLD Magazine senior reporter Sophia Lee, WORLD Radio reporter Sarah Schweinsberg, and correspondent Bonnie Pritchett visited the six nonprofit groups that could accommodate a visit and chose to profile four.

All six were worthy of recognition. We picked the four listed below because we thought they best reflected the personalized, challenging, and gospel-centered work of effective compassion. All four are doing the quiet, persevering work of fighting poverty, one soul and one community at a time.


Safe Harbor Free Clinic in Stanwood, Wash.

Healing more than bodies
A free medical clinic focuses on the physical and spiritual
by Sophia Lee

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile
Christian Encounter in Grass Valley, Calif.

Hope in the wilderness
Christian Encounter helps youth who need family, structure, and the gospel
by Sophia Lee

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile
Westside Ministries in Turlock, Calif.

The Word and work at Westside
Westside Ministries’ strategy for helping kids find Jesus and escape poverty brings them back as adults to help a new generation
by Sophia Lee

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile
East County Transitional Living Center in El Cajon, Calif.

Finding straighter paths
East County Transitional Living Center challenges residents to see their depravity and God’s sovereignty
by Sophia Lee

Listen to WORLD Radio’s profile

Nominees for future Hope Awards

For consideration in next year’s Hope Awards contest and thereafter, let Addie Michaelian ([email protected]) know about a Christian ministry to the poor you’re familiar with that relies not on government financing but on compassionate volunteers supervised by dedicated professionals. Please include a brief description of why a particular ministry impresses you and include its physical and website addresses.

Hope Awards directory

If you’re looking for ideas about something you could start in your own backyard, please see our listing of the organizations we profiled since 2006, with their major focuses: addiction, babies, community, disabilities, education, family, gardening, homelessness, immigration, jobs, legal needs, medical, prison, repair work, sex (anti-prostitution), transportation, and youth.

The directory also shows what it takes to start a poverty-fighting ministry: a license, a specific skill (such as auto repair), experience (such as that a mother gains), or neighborliness (a simple desire to invest time in helping others).