Department of Hope, Rose and Ben Woods, Valley Head, WVA. Photo taken 10-14-15 by nlseibel

Department of Hope, Rose and Ben Woods, Valley Head, WVA. Photo: nlseibel


This post is dedicated to the wild and wonderful Quest2015 pack, lead by Jeffrey Davis. You’ll find some quotes from pack members throughout this post. Quest2015 was, and still is, about imagining our best 12 months for 2015. You can still join in! We were inspired by 13 deep-diving prompts during the month of December 2014. As I responded to Tara Sophia Mohr’s prompt, I remembered the Department of Hope idea that came to me during a meeting some years back. I posted about it here.


Who wants work for the Department of Hope? If you just raised your hand, come on in! It’s easy to come on board.The Department of Hope has a job for you, and for everyone who wants one.

Where is the Department of Hope?

The local Department of Hope is wherever you are. It could be on your shelf or bulletin board. (Thank you to Paula Trucks-Pape and other Questers for this inspiration). It might be a place where people gather, connect, create, inspire and take action. Yesterday, I found a local outpost Walters Museum’s Martin Luther King Day Celebration in Baltimore.

I’m excited to make this blog available to host the Department of Hope. Here we can find each other, share our visions, projects, successes and resources. We can find encouragement, and yes, hope. You’re welcome to contribute via comments or by submitting brief guest posts.*

More Than Just an Idea

The Department of Hope isn’t a part of any government, agency or organization.
It has no budget, no building, no board of directors. But it is more than just an idea. It is a force for good. It is what we deeply believe in and dearly value. It’s what we do. There are fundamental shared beliefs and values, and a multi-faceted vision for what this life can be.These tie us all together. From this foundation flow many different, brilliant ideas and actions.

What is the Department of Hope?

The Department of Hope connects one person to another, one group to a community, one community to a country, one country to the world. The Department of Hope is a source of strength and solidarity, nourishment and encouragement. It takes small steps and makes big leaps. It makes the world better, even when that doesn’t seem possible.

The Department of Hope does what people want it to do. It inspires reflection, action, experimentation and creation.  It takes care of the planet and all of its beings (well maybe except for piranhas. I’m afraid of them.) It comforts, celebrates, cheers, nourishes, creates. It speaks out and fights back when things are wrong, and celebrates when things are right. It gives us reason to keep going.

What The Department of Hope Doesn’t Do

The Department of Hope does not deny what is real. Bad things do happen. We know this all too well.The Department of Hope recognizes adversity because true hope is based both in reality and in a hopeful vision of what this world could be.

The Department of Hope prevents and protects us from the bad things when possible. It helps us discover our resilience when necessary. The Department of Hope does not promote wishful thinking or abdication of personal responsibility. It helps us see what is and fuels our passion – and courage – for creating the life we want for ourselves and others

What is Hope?

Hope is perhaps the tenacity of soul-wellness (thank you, fellow Quester, Lora Jansson for the concept of “soul-sickness”) the power to act and create, the vision of what really could be and the strength to nurture and carry out that vision.

Perhaps nerve is an ally of hope, as is clear seeing. ~ Susan J. Preston

Hope +

Hope alone is not enough. We need other qualities, we need talents, skills, and abilities to carry out the Department’s vision, which is the collage of our collective vision. I don’t know what all of those are, but I do know that they exist among us. I look forward to sharing your wisdom, creativity, passion and power through the Department of Hope.


My heartfelt appreciation for to quite a few Questers for your encouragement, support and dialogue as I continue to think further about all of this: KJ Maj, Tania Pryputniewicz, Lois Kelly, Suzi Banks Baum, Lora Jansson, Marissa Nordstrom-Perez, Paula Trucks-Pape, Jeffrey Davis, Susan Preston, and GinnyLee Taylor, who posts about possibility, hope and vision here. The same deep  appreciation goes out to those who commented on my previous post. You each helped me get more clear and more courageous.