SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – Back in February, Amiee Mathews of Sharon started the Building of Hope.

It began when she started collecting donations of usable household necessities — like furniture, small appliances, kitchenware, decorations, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Soon, she needed a place to operate out of, and was given an empty garage to use by a local man — free of charge.

Amiee’s goal is to help people trying to better themselves, but have fallen on hard times.

“It is a ministry to help people starting out after life trials, basically,” she said. “And all we want to do is give them a hand up, and not a hand out.”

Quickly, Amiee got a lot of help from the community after spreading the word through social media.

“Actually Facebook, a lot of people use that in a negative way, but I really think that’s a great way to get the word out,” she said. “So I kind of just started collecting things. When I heard someone had a fire — I’d just kind of spearhead it. But it took a team of people to do it.”

Once The New Life Baptist Church got involved — and members of its congregation chipped in with donations and help with moving all the home necessities — things really started rolling.

“Back in June, our church actually took over,” Amiee said. “So that’s a huge blessing, to be able to have the church support behind us.”

People in need can receive donations and things they need on a first come, first serve basis. But Amiee says she tries to make families with children a priority.

She also wants to make sure those in need are doing everything they can to help themselves.

“We truly want to make sure that people are really trying to better themselves,” Amiee said. “A lot of times, they have the first months rent and a security deposit, and then an apartment with nothing in them. So everybody should be entitled to necessities — to have a bed, a couch, lamps — somewhere to rest their head at night.”

Melissa Comstock is a valley native, a YSU graduate and a mom. She was living in Florida, but moved back to the valley after some unforeseen circumstances.

“I got an apartment of my own, but it was empty and we were sleeping on the floor,” Comstock said. “And I think that touched her heart — Amiee’s heart. And she was able to give everything that we needed.”

Comstock is now back on her feet and says she couldn’t have done it without Amiee’s help.

“I think she’s my angel,” Comstock said. “I’m touched by everything she does to help us.”

If you’d like more information on how and what to donate, call the Building of Hope phone number at 724-979-3251.