Kristen Sobanski, 41, and her husband, Eric, 39, have been married since August 2010 and moved to Tyrone Township in 2011. They are the parents of Jacob, 6, Katelyn, 5, Ruby, almost 3 and Caroline, 1. She founded Delivering Hope in 2014 to help provide proper nutrition through weekend/summer food programs and school supplies to students in need in three local school districts: Fenton, Lake Fenton and Linden.
What is your professional background?
I grew up in Sterling Heights and earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Business Logistics and Master of Business Administration from Wayne State University. I am also a Certified Project Manager, using my professional skills to found Delivering Hope and serve as its president. My greatest personal achievement is being a mom to our four amazing kiddos.
Why did you start Delivering Hope?
It has always been my passion to work for a non-profit to help children in need. When I was eight months pregnant with Katelyn, my husband suggested we start our own non-profit group in our own community. I was surprised and saddened by the large number of local children impacted by childhood poverty.
I knew right then that we had our mission and Delivering Hope was born in late 2014.
What is its mission?
Our mission is to feed children’s minds and bodies. We are doing that through our four programs; Food Assistance Program, Book Giveaway Program, School Supplies Giveaway Program and Project Hope.
At Delivering Hope, we sponsor 150 students in the three local school districts on the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan’s Backpack Program. This program provides food every weekend for the entire school year. We also provide weekend food assistance for children not eligible for the backpack program, for example the Head Start Program. We have also launched a Summer Food assistance program to help these same students and their families during the summer months.
Our biggest Book Giveaway was in May, giving more than 3,000 books to help local children maintain their reading skills over the summer months. Our newest program, Project Hope, is aimed at providing emergency and holiday support to local children in need.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Our active kids are enrolled in at least a couple activities of their choosing (ballet, tap, gymnastics, basketball, golf, T-ball, swimming, etc). We want them to explore their interests and find what they are passionate about. They also help sort books and school supplies, and pack food for Delivering Hope programs.
Where is your favorite place to go as a family?
We like any place that is warm so we can enjoy the outdoors. We love Michigan summers — hanging out at home or at local parks. The kids love the water and are great swimmers. I appreciate a warm weather vacation during the winter.
What is your idea of a perfect Christmas holiday?
The perfect Christmas holiday is a lot of family and kiddos. There are nine kids under age 7 on Eric’s side and six kids under 7, plus an older niece and nephew on my side, so the holidays are filled with laughter and family time.
Fenton’s Jinglefest is a fun family tradition. I typically work at the MOMS Club Bake Sale booth during the day and then bundle the kids up for the parade in the evening. We all love the Christmas spirit, the lights and festivity and, of course, Santa.