By Naomi Owens.
For most Americans, the Holiday Season represents a time for families to gather in their homes and enjoy meals, warmth, and time together. But for those with no heat, running water, or homes at all, the holidays can be more of a stressful nightmare than as opportunity for celebration.
This is where Hosanna Industries has stepped in for 26 years, benefiting those in need by providing home building and improvement services to the Greater Pittsburgh area and beyond. Hosanna literally translates to “Rescue me now, Lord!” The organization has taken this as their call-to-action to serve members of their community in need. Their outreach ranges from educational home improvement seminars to home repairs and even full-blown home “Blitz-Builds” that take only a week or less to complete. Hosanna Industries is active in its mission year round because of the overwhelming amount of requests for aid they receive every year, which also means they are always seeking volunteer sources and donations of all types. The organization’s main campus is located in Rochester, PA and was founded in 1990 after Rev. Donn Ed visited an impoverished family on Christmas Eve with gifts from the church. The family’s home was in great disrepair, and the pastor knew that there was work to be done beyond donations of food and toys. This moment sparked the mission of Hosanna.
The nonprofit is devoted to spreading their belief that “God’s work is everyone’s business!” in every way possible. They have worked to this end by providing aid in the wake of natural disasters and have gone beyond the local need for help in this effort. In 2011 they were able to send a team to Haiti after the earthquake that caused extreme damage and displaced thousands from their homes and communities. Hosanna Industries was able to build two houses in four days complete with water, electric and sewage capabilities.
Hosanna relies completely on donations and fundraisers to keep the mission going. One of their biggest fundraising events is their annual Festival of Trees. This three-day event happens annually during the Holidays and features small-scale Christmas trees that have been decorated by individuals and groups from all over Pittsburgh. The donated trees can be bid on or purchased outright, with 100% of the proceeds going back to local families in need through the efforts of Hosanna Industries. Each year the event has grown to embrace more donations and higher attendance. This year will be the event’s fifth year running, and will take place on November 15th, 16th, and 17th in Valencia. You can find out more details about the event on the organization’s website, hosannaindustries.org, or register to attend through their Facebook page and event at facebook.com/HosannaIndustries.
Naomi Owens is currently in her third year at Point Park University pursuing a Public Relations Bachelors of Arts degree. Born in Montana and raised in Maryland, she has found her academic home in Pittsburgh and hopes to launch her career in the city as well.
Northern Connection magazine is proud to be the media sponsor of The Festival of Trees for Hosanna Industries.