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Helping Hands celebrates 10 years: Volunteers honored at luncheon

Posted: Friday, Sep 13th, 2013

Volunteers honored at the Helping Hands Food Pantry & Thrift Store 10th anniversary celebration at Huron Nursing Home on Sept. 9 include, front row, from left, Barb Blaedorn, Sandy Adkins, La Vonne Metter, Velda Zeeck, Irene Rearick, Sue Gose and Ida Buchholz; second row, Ruth Sterrett, Lora Venjohn, Mary Brisk, Rita Hilgedick, Ruby Creighton, Kaye Haug, Judy Blesch, Jeanne Sager, Clareen Meyies and Rose Roth; and the three men in the back, Darren Roth, Cliff Roth and Chris Blesch. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

Helping Hands Food Pantry & Thrift Store in Huron celebrated its 10th anniversary with a luncheon honoring its volunteers on Sept. 9 at the Huron Senior Center.

Twenty-five local businesses generously donated door prizes, which made it an even greater success for the volunteers.

Ten years ago this nonprofit ministry was formed by a small Prison Fellowship group that saw a need to help the less fortunate in our communities. From the beginning Rose Roth offered her building, located at 403 Dakota Ave. N.

Over the years she has kept the rent low. Sue Gose and Roth handled the food pantry, and Gose is still the director of the food pantry. Several others have also been involved since the beginning, and continue to serve when needed.

In an effort to keep up with the times, one volunteer recently set up a Facebook page showing items for sale. You can find us there at: Huron Helping Hands. In August they held a yard sale and a $1 bag sale to clear out summer clothing to make way for fall items.

The pantry receives much help from local churches and other organizations — they have sent monetary donations and food as well as sending volunteers.

Just this summer a youth group from a local church came and helped clean the store. Also, a missionary group from Tennessee came in July to build shelving.

Many groups and organization have donated food and new items.

For instance, the Airstreams RV Association brought new knit caps and blankets, USDA brought in four shopping carts of food, Stan Kopfmann has donated hogs, and Girl Scouts donated their unsold boxes of cookies.

Today, Helping Hands are serving twice as many clients as last year, and it has become more difficult to keep up with the needs of the less fortunate in our communities.

They continue to seek help from members of the community — financial, food, gently used clothing, furniture and household goods as well as volunteers.

August was a typical month — they served 184 families, that amounted to 559 people, and 284 were children.

Average sales for a month is around $1,200, and expenses to operate the program average $1,600.

“So you see, if it wasn’t for the many good folks who make these donations, we could never have stayed open all these years,” agree Roth and Gose. “Gratefully, we thank those who continue to support this effort with their gifts and donations.

All of the board members and staff are volunteers, and all donations and monies earned from sales go to buy food, pay rent, utilities and other expenses.

If you can help in any way, please visit the shop at 403 Dakota St. N., on Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., or call Sue Gose at 352-8104.

The Helping Hands board members are Judy Blesch, president; Rita Hilgedick, vice president; Kaye Haug, secretary; Sue Gose, director of the food pantry; and Barb Blaedorn, auxiliary member.

For the complete article see the 09-12-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 09-12-2013 paper.

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