By EMMA MILLS
In keeping with the same philosophy that the organization touts, Helping Hands received a hand-up instead of a handout Monday as part of the ‘Day of Service’ in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
More than 40 community members – including several who hailed from local organizations – lent their time and services for an internal makeover of the local charity house.
“In addition to a deep cleaning and organization spree, our entire interior, including the vaulted ceilings, received a paint job,” Helping Hands director Melody Hail said, adding that the walls had not received an update from the previously dull beige color in almost 10 years. “We were so blessed to have Amy Rudesil (SP?) create the new store design and color scheme for us, and Sherwin Williams donated all of the paint. It really has given the thrift store a much-needed facelift.”
Hail said the day of service was an opportunity to increase community awareness about the organization while continuing to give back to community members in need.
“Because of the work done today in the thrift store, which is the main income source for us, everything here goes right back in to helping our neighbors in crisis,” Hail said. “Time was not only spent making the thrift store more appealing and accessible, but time was also spent over in the food pantry sorting through the dented and expired cans, and organizing them for the better service of our patrons.”
Just last summer, Helping Hands had experienced an extreme food shortage in their pantry that left them scrambling to provide much needed meals, but Hail says their shelves are now fully-stocked.
“In typical Rockwall fashion, all we had to do is let the community know and they responded,” Hail said. “The only things we seem to run low on lately are vegetable oil, flour, sugar, milk and eggs.”
According to Hail, Monday’s open house was the first of what they hope to make into an annual event for the public.
“Hopefully this will become an annual event for the agency as part of the Martin Luther King day of service, to give a taste of the kind of things community members can do up here to help those in need,” Hail said. “There’s always something to do here to help us lend a helping hand.”
Helping Hands is a local charity organization that strives to provide emergency short-term assistance for those facing financial hardships. More information on how to donate or volunteer can be found on Helping Hand’s website, www.rockwallhelpinghands.com.