Helping Hands marks 19th year

Published 12:09 am Tuesday, April 1, 2003

By Staff
As Helping Hands of Cass County marked the 19th year of service this month, the Board of Directors voted to issue a thank you to the community for all the support it has provided over these years.
The nonprofit organization has been the recipient of generous contributions of money, food, clothing and household items, and the time of many volunteers from across the county. Not only do individuals participate, but support comes from businesses, service groups, 4-H clubs, and the majority of the churches in the area.
Because of this community support, helping Hands was able to help many with emergency needs last year.
Many families found themselves suddenly faced with loss of income because of layoffs, the unpredictable economy and shut downs. Hard times can also come when a family member becomes seriously ill.
Helping Hands' mission is to reach out to the elderly, unemployed, the disabled, victims of abuse and fire, and others with emergency needs.
In 2002, there were 305 families who received food packages, 89 helped with clothing and 45 with household goods. There were also 51 who received medicine or medical accessories, 22 who had help with transport to of from doctors' appointments or treatments and 69 who received other types of aid.
In all, 581 individuals/families were served by the organization. Helping Hands works closely with area agencies to serve those who are ineligible for assistance and would otherwise "fall through the cracks," or to serve those who are awaiting assistance but need groceries immediately.
A growing need for the nonprofit organization discussed at the recent board meeting was the lack of board members or volunteers who are physically able to handle the challenge of moving groceries or store stock,
Helping Hands has a core group of volunteers that is struggling to keep up with the growth seen over the past few years.
The organization also wishes to expand its Monday, Wednesday and Friday daytime hours to include Thursday evenings to enable those who work to come in the thrift shop in Cassopolis to shop, volunteer or receive aid.
Anyone interested in helping or who need help should contact mary McFarland at (269) 445-8104.