15 May 2021

What $2.38 Can Do

Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Need

For the past 18 months, our current situation of COVID and the effects that have plagued our citizens have been presented as a dark example of what our future may consist; however, those who present these facts have overlooked the attitude of charity that represents the majority of Americans today.

The concept of “Neighbors Helping Neighbors in Need” is alive and well in Southwest Riverside County and other locations within our valley. Helping Hands Group is a non-profit organization providing physical needs and emotional support for the elderly and disabled.

In 2005 Helping Hands Group began providing warm clothing to children of resort workers in the mountains of Utah.  This organization paved a pathway to serve the disabled and/or low-income seniors by providing food, home repairs, handicapped home needs, and sometimes, just conversation.  Over and over again, America’s silent majority is making a difference in thousands of lives each day.

Every month, dozens of volunteers meet on a Saturday morning at the Helping Hands Group warehouse to pack hundreds of bags of food for the elderly who cannot afford to purchase their food for the month. These bags are then placed in the cars and trucks of dozens of eager volunteers for delivery to low-income senior citizens.

The Helping Hands Group volunteers share numerous stories about how they have reached out to others and have received a blessing themselves.

Early in 2020 when the Covid pandemic began, volunteers were walking down a path in a local senior community with groceries and came upon a man that seemed confused. After exchanging greetings, the elderly man asked if they were the people that helped with food. The Helping Hands volunteers stated that they were delivering to someone else but said that they also had plenty for him.  The man began to weep and said he was taking care of his wife that has Alzheimer’s and they had run out of food. Because bus service was no longer available in their area, he had no way to get food. As a result, during each month, Helping Hands Group now supplies the man and his wife with food and conversation.

One Saturday morning a call came into Helping Hands message center regarding an elderly woman who shared that her in-home health care worker had quit and stolen her food.  She went on to say that she was diabetic and needed help as soon as possible.  Within 30 minutes volunteers were there with food and assistance.  Over the next two weeks volunteers made arrangements that she would be provided county services and monthly with food assistance.

Helping Hands Group often goes “the extra mile” to assist individuals with a need.  Recently, they received a request for a “welfare check” on an individual. When the volunteers arrived at the apartment, they found a small frail lady attempting to answer the door but after several tries, had fallen to the floor and unable to get up. The volunteers entered the apartment and helped her to a chair. Although she declined medical attention, a conversation began about her situation.  Checking her small refrigerator and cupboards, the volunteers found no food except a single jar of peanut butter in which she was using her finger to scrape the last little bit of peanut butter. After a quick trip to a local store by the Helping Hands volunteers, the refrigerator and cupboards were well stocked.  Now every month, this lady is visited to restock her food supply and engage in meaningfulconversation.

Many individuals make financial donations to Helping Hands Group which is greatly appreciated. Perhaps one of the most memorable donations was an envelope that arrived at the Helping Hands office with the following note, “I love what you are doing and want to donate when I can to help.” In the envelope was $2.38. A gift that made a unforgettable impression on all of the volunteers.

Volunteers not only pack and deliver food; they are also giving of their time throughout the entire month. In their spare time at home, volunteers hand write greeting cards with colorful graphics and uplifting words of encouragement. These notes are placed in the sacks of groceries that are distributed. This past month volunteers completed several home repairs, poured concrete and installed handrails.

When asked how he views volunteers that are needed to make Helping Hands Group a success, Larry Evans, Executive Director shares “God is moving! It’s our amazing volunteers that really make the difference in this mission we have here at Helping Hands. The food is abundant, but without our volunteers, the food would never move and provide nutrition to our Neighbors in Need.”

When Helping Hands Group was founded in 2005, there were 5 volunteers. The number grew to 40 in 2015. Now, in 2021, volunteers number more than 300. They are solid proof that when the silent majority of the citizens of our United States see or hear about a need, they react with positive interest and make a solution to this need a reality.

Helping Hands Group now celebrates its 16th year of helping others help others. During that time not one volunteer has asked for recognition of any kind. These volunteers are the true angels sent by our Lord to aid and comfort our “Neighbors in Need.”  Our God is alive and working. Angels, love, life, and joy can be found if you just know where to look.

It’s amazing to see what a difference $2.38 can make!

You can join Helping Hands by going to www.HelpingHandsGroup.us you can donate by going to ShopHelpingHands.us please follow us on Facebook at Helping Hands Group US