Changing Economic Reality

Nationwide unemployment surpasses 10% and will continue to grow. Although our Texas unemployment rate trails the national rate by 2 percentage points and, statewide, we continue to add jobs, the poor are reeling from its effects. It is important to understand we have many unemployed contract laborers that are not counted by the Labor Department.

One local church assisted over 300 families last year. This year, they have served over 900 as the underbelly of our local economy deteriorates.

Helping Hands – Quality Assistance/Compassionate Care

Helping Hands provides broad-spectrum services including food distribution, emergency funds for essential utilities (lights, water), medical clinic and counseling.

Margot Nielsen related to me this week that appeals for food have soared over 600% in one year. She says Helping Hands is “doing less with less”.

Ms. Hamm discusses homelessness with Margot

I walked into Sherry Hamm’s office for a candid shot of her discussing homelessness with Margot Nielsen. “John, helping the poor is different now”, she explained. How so? “The next needy person may be your neighbor.” “Homelessness in Rockwall has new meaning, too”, she went on to say. “Homelessness now means 12 people living in the same household.”

Helping Hands – Oasis of Hope

Helping Hands Thrift Store

Thrift Store sales cover all the overhead – basic operations and paid seven-memberstaff, but Helping Hands depends on community compassion to carry out its mission.

Over the last year, over 6,000 persons sought medical care from the clinic staffed by 6 and volunteer medical professionals. 1,000 to 1 is a tough ratio for any organization to manage.

How Can WE help?

Margot named three ways we can help:

  1. Food donations
  2. Financial donations
  3. Volunteers

Food Donations

Food Moves FastWhen you go to COSTCO, Kroger or Wal-Mart to pick up your groceries, think about taking along the list to pick up a little extra for the food pantry.

Click Her for List of Pantry Items

Drop off your food donations at 950 Williams Street.

Financial Donations

Margot - "Doing less with less"

“I can’t pay light bills with cans of beans”, Margot sighed. How can we get funds to you? Ms. Nielsen described several convenient ways you can make tax-deductible donations to Helping Hands.

Make checks payable to “Helping Hands”. You can also designate your gift to be used for food, medical, utility bills, etc. If you do not designate your donation, it will be put to use where it is most needed at the moment.


Helping Hands needs a volunteer-to-staff ratio of 10:1 to operate efficiently . Presently, that ratio is half what is should be at 5:1.

Volunteers serve in medical positions, provide clerical services, sort donated materials, stock the food pantry and interview clients.

Helping Hands has 4 buildings on 10 acres – a neighborhood “garden club” would eliminate the cost of hiring professional landscape contractors.

Prospective volunteers can call Michelle Tauzin at (972) 771-4357 extension 221. Click here to see complete descriptions of the volunteer opportunities.

WHEN can we help?

The needs are great and urgent. You can help now. Remember – donations received prior to December 31 are deductible from your 2009 income tax.

And when did we see You a stranger and welcomed and entertained You, or naked and clothed You? And when did we see You sick or in prison and came to visit You? And the King will reply to them, Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least [in the estimation of men] of these My brethren, you did it for Me.

Matthew 25:38-40 AMPLIFIED

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