Columns

Helping Hand during the holidays

With one holiday almost under our belts and another looming, the staff and volunteers at Bandera’s Helping Hand Crisis Center are reaching out to the community. Assistance is needed to enable them to continue their mission of assisting the under-privileged and under-served population of the county.
According to its mission statement, Helping Hand was organized in 1984 by church and community leaders to provide a safety net for people in crisis. The organization serves as part of the combined ministries of its founding churches, which continue to support Helping Hand with gifts of time and money.
Very quickly, however, the nonprofit’s board of directors learned that an organization with such an important and all-encompassing mission could not rely solely on gifts, grants and the largess of the community, but must also develop a separate revenue stream. To that end, the Helping Hand Thrift Store was inaugurated.
Operating entirely on community donations of unused and unwanted gently used items, the thrift shop has generated over half the center’s annual revenue since opening in its new location at 1116 12 St. in Bandera.
Last week, thrift shop manager Laura White made a plea to the community.
“We are desperate for canned goods of all kinds,” she said. “Right now, we have almost nothing left in our food pantry. In fact, this year we had to purchase canned food to include in our Thanksgiving Holiday Boxes.”
Any canned or non-perishable food items are appreciated, she continued, and may be dropped off at the Helping Hand office, or at the offices of sponsors of the Thanksgiving boxes, during normal business hours, McMullan Insurance Agency, Inc., 285 Hwy. 16 S., telephone 830-796-3725; Vincent’s Automotive, 2625 Hwy. 16 S., telephone 830-796-9594; or Twig’s Grille, 907 13th St., telephone 830-796-4310.
“We really the crunch this time of the year and appreciate the continued generosity of our generous supporters,” White said.
Additionally, with Christmas approaching, executive director Jesse Parks reminds everyone that Helping Hand will again participate in the Spirits of Christmas Presents program, a nonprofit charitable effort to provide Christmas gifts and a holiday meal to eligible families in Bandera County.
“To help us, everyone is asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy to our office from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,” Parks said. “The toys can be for boys and girls of all ages. In this season of giving, we hope that those who are less fortunate will be remembered. Our dream is that every child in the county will have a Merry Christmas this year.”
For more information on this and other programs provided by Helping Hand, call 830-796-8300.