By Teresa Barbian
Anson is a community of caring people. Rallying around those who suffer tragedies, hard times, destruction by Mother Nature, and countless other life events is one of our strengths in this community. One group of selfless volunteers offers help to those who experience financial hardships with clothing, feeding, and providing things like refrigerators and air conditioners (because life happens) to families in need. Helping Hands Ministries is an organization with Christian values. Yes, they are located in the old ‘Cowboy’ church, but they are a non- denominational organization which is not affiliated with any church. Some local churches do donate items and help support Helping Hands as do countless others. The fruition for Helping Hands came about through a children’s program with Bethel Assembly. This program took food to children, who were receiving backpacks for kids during the school year through the school district, during the summer months. Deann Powers, who bought the building from Bethel, realized that there was a great need for the community to help those in need and opened Helping Hands in February 2012. It wasn’t just the children who needed love, understanding, and non-judgmental help. People from all age groups experience hardships in their lives and sometimes it takes a special person or place to show God’s love. No one should ever feel ashamed to ask for help and Helping Hands offers that help while stressing God’s love for them. All you have to do is fill out a short information sheet. If you feel the need to leave some questions blank, that’s ok. They ask that you come in and take only what you or your family needs. If you take more, well that’s between you and God. They try to steer clear of home décor donations, but will gladly accept them if God is calling you to donate them. For legal reasons, they cannot accept mattresses, so please don’t drop those by the door. Some of the food that they give away comes from donations from our local Cash Savers, but most of the food is bought by using cash donations that are made to Helping Hands. They receive an astronomical amount of clothing. Some of the clothing is donated to Charity, Shoes, and Clothing in Dallas who in turn ships them to those in need overseas.
Volunteering is what has made this place work. There are many volunteers who sacrifice their time by helping to sort through clothes and stock the racks and shelves. Some customers will come in and volunteer their time in exchange for food and clothing, but that is not a requirement for assistance. It’s a personal choice for some people as to the reasons they volunteer; again, it’s between you and God. This place is like God’s gift to our community, however, like God’s love for His people, Helping Hands needs the community's love as well. Donations of food (especially food), clothing, appliances, money, baby essentials, and much more are needed to help with community needs. Deann stated that it takes roughly $815 per month to cover general expenses like electricity, water, gas, insurance, and building payments. Deann and husband own a construction company called CanDo Construction and there have been times that they have offered jobs to their customer base. God’s love really shines through Deann and the volunteers at Helping Hands. So whether you are Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Church of Christ, or yes that charismatic ‘Cowboy’ church at the north end of town, it’s time for our Christian community to unite to rally around those who are less fortunate or those who have had unexpected life expenses. Helping Hands ministry is located at 401 Commercial. They are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays 9 am to 12 pm. If you have any questions for them, you can call 325-721-0817 and remember this scripture “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35 NIV.