Helping Hands celebrates 20 years

Posted 8/11/23

Area nonprofit celebrates milestone

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Helping Hands celebrates 20 years


“The secret to success is to find a need and fill it ...” — Robert H. Schuller

Twenty years ago a small Prison Fellowship group saw a need for food and clothing for those less fortunate in the community.

They gathered clothing and food staples to distribute, and opened Helping Hands in a building offered by Rose and the late Cliff Roth at 403 Dakota Ave. N.

Since then, this nonprofit ministry has impacted many with food, clothing and basic necessities, all while building a strong Ecumenical Christian fellowship.

On Wednesday, the Helping Hands Thrift Store and Food Pantry celebrated with a luncheon to honor their volunteers at Huron Area Senior Center. Entertainment was provided by SueAnn Myers of Miller and Jesse and Darlene Hammer of Miller.

Sue Gose  has been the Food Pantry Director for the past 20 years, as well as holding positions on the board.

Gose purchases food from Feeding South Dakota and also from local grocery stores in Huron. It’s a big job but she is dedicated to it.

Besides the volunteers you see in the store regularly, they have lots of behind the scene folks that help out too. 

Stan Kopfman brings them pork whenever they run out of meat. Jeanne Sager posts on their  sales and products on their Face Book page. You can find it at: Huron Helping Hands. Rita Hilgedick has helped them over the years with the legal paperwork and grants. Sara May Trowbridge from Modern Woodmen has sponsored the food bank for many years. Jen Braggs from United Way has been a big help, and the folks at Feeding South Dakota have  help them many times when finances were slim and provided food at no cost to the pantry. Theresa Bell has been so gracious to provide signage for them.

The Plainsmen has been helpful in getting press releases published, and Avail has helped with some computer access also.

There have been several large financial donors, including Margaret Blain, Marge Smith and John McErally.

Several Church groups have and are continuing to help support the Food Pantry, including Our Savior  Lutheran Church Huron Women, American Lutheran Church and Women, Huron Presbyterian Youth as well as the church, and Carpenter United Methodist Church Women. Vocational Rehab and Experience Works has also provided them with workers over the years.

Honored at a memorial service of past volunteers were Cliff Roth, Irene Rearick, Frances Langbehn and Susann Tchetter.

If not for the many good  and generous  folks who made donations of food, clothing, furniture and financial gifts, they could never have stayed open this long.

Board members are Barbra Blaedorn, president, Judy Blesch, vice president, Carrie Huber, secretary, and Sue Gose, treasurer and Food Pantry Director. Other board members are Chris Blesch, Deb Wens and Velda Zeeck,  

All the Board Members and Staff are volunteers, all funds generated from the sales of items donated  are used to pay rent. utilities, buy food and other expenses.

If you can help in any way please visit the store. Their hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Located at 403 Dakota Ave. N., or call Sue Gose at 605 352 8104.