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2012 Winner: The WorkFaith Connection in Houston, Texas

schultzhope.jpgWORLD Magazine and the American Bible Society are pleased to announce the national winner of the 2012 Hope Award for Effective Compassion: The WorkFaith Connection. The Houston, Texas, ministry received the most votes from WORLD readers in an online poll conducted in September. WorkFaith CEO Sandy Schultz (pictured at right) accepted the award on behalf of the ministry at a ceremony on Oct. 19 at Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa. (see "A winning combination: Work and faith," by Marvin Olasky).

WorkFaith was WORLD’s South Region winner. Other regional winners this year, chosen from about 200 nominees, were Fathers in the Field, a Wyoming-based ministry that pairs fatherless kids with men who take them hunting, fishing, and bonding; The Root Cellar, a Maine group that shows refugees how to make it in America; Hope Academy, a classical Christian school in inner-city Minneapolis; and Samaritan Strategy Africa, which in Ghana and other African countries shows how a Christian worldview leads to economic development.

As the winner of the 2012 Hope Award, The WorkFaith Connection won a $25,000 grand prize. The four other regional winners received a check for $4,000.

In its Effective Compassion competition, WORLD looks for Christian, nongovernmental poverty-fighting programs that are not just evangelical and not just economic, but unite body and soul. We started this year with 200 recommendations from readers and initial research by internet and phone, and followed with journalistic visits that allowed us to eyeball 10 programs. Then we turned it over to you, our readers, who during the month of September voted for the program that moved them the most.

We encourage you to read the profiles and watch the videos of the five finalists. You may get ideas about what you can start or help in your own communities. You'll surely get a sense of how God is using His people.

WORLD looks forward to spotlighting more deserving ministries in 2013.

West Region

Fathers in the Field2012 Regional Winner
Fathers in the Field | Lander, Wyo.

Boys to men: Our Western region winner finds fathers for the fatherless | by Angela Lu

2012 Runner-Up
Hands of the Carpenter | Lakewood, Colo.

by Angela Lu

2012 Runner-Up
Alpha Pregnancy Help Center | Merced, Calif.

by Angela Lu

From Julia to JesusFrom Julia to Jesus | Effective Compassion

The strengths of the Hope Award finalists highlight the shortcomings of liberal and conservative conceptions of fighting poverty | by Marvin Olasky

Midwest Region

Hope Academy2012 Regional Winner
Hope Academy | Minneapolis, Minn.

Hope in the Heartland: Our Midwest region winner balances discipline and grace | by Daniel James Devine

2012 Runner-Up
Sunshine Ministries | St. Louis, Mo.

by Daniel James Devine

International

Samaritan Strategy Africa2012 International Winner
Samaritan Strategy Africa | Pokuase, Ghana

Onward Christian workers: Our international division winner provides biblical worldview teaching as the link—often missing—between evangelism and economic development | by Marvin Olasky

South Region

The WorkFaith Connection2012 Regional Winner
The WorkFaith Connection | Houston, Texas

Work and faith, connected: Hope in the Heartland: Our South Region winner is full of practical help for former prisoners looking for jobs-and is full of Christ | by Marvin Olasky

2012 Runner-Up
Mercy Health Clinic | Athens, Ga.

by Tiffany Owens

East Region

The Root Cellar2012 Regional Winner
The Root Cellar | Portland, Maine

Rooted in Christ: Our Eastern region winner transcends Maine stereotypes | by Edward Lee Pitts

2012 Runner-Up
New Song Urban Ministries | Baltimore, Md.

by Edward Lee Pitts