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Leesville Daily Leader - Leesville, LA
  • Helping Hands Storefront Ministry seeking donations, volunteers

  • After another rather busy holiday season spanning nearly a month of generous giving during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Modie Phillips, Helping Hands director,  says the ministry needs help from the general public.


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  • After another rather busy holiday season spanning nearly a month of generous giving during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Modie Phillips, Helping Hands director,  says the ministry needs help from the general public.
    “We deliver about 10,000 pounds of food to approximately 286 families and 683 individuals a month,” Phillips said. “Our food pantry and entire organization is here to serve Vernon Parish and is open to people of all faiths.”
    The food pantry is, as always, in need of canned goods and is asking churches, organizations and individuals to continue helping the ministry as it assists those in need.
    “The needs of our neighbors don’t stop or diminish after the Christmas holiday," Phillips said. "We order food from the Foodbank of Central Louisiana and there are very few canned goods on the list.”
    Helping Hands assists families on an ongoing basis and families in crisis. Since the cold weather set in there have been multiple house fires and the solely volunteer-operated organization is there to support those who have suffered losses.
    “We have a special program for fire victims,” Phillips explained. “If we are presented with a report from the fire department, we can give a family 50 pounds of food per week for a month. We also have free clothing and household items for them.”
    Besides canned goods, the ministry needs volunteers to support their outreach efforts. Helpers can work within their personal constraints. All help is welcomes at the ministry. Some of the tasks that need to be done include preparing food allocations, sorting through and preparing clothes and working at the clothes store or at the home center.
    There is also a need for tutors. One of the services the ministry has provided since 1997 is English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The classes are offered in Spanish, Korean and Chinese.
    “All a tutor needs is to be able to read and be willing,” Phillips said. “You do not have to speak a second language.”
    In addition to all the services offered at Helping Hands there is also the Adopt-A-Senior Program, which is designed to assist seniors in stretching their monthly budgets. For a $100 annual gift, individuals or groups can sponsor any person over 65 or over 60 with a disability. The program supplies the senior with 50 pounds of food per month. Phillips urges churches, community organizations, businesses and families to adopt seniors this year. Currently 88 seniors are participating in the program.
    The Helping Hands Storefront Ministry is open to the public Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. Individuals interested in taking advantage of the food pantry must complete an application and should bring the following items with them: picture identification; Social Security card for each member of the family; personal information; proof of income; and food stamp sheet.
    Page 2 of 2 - Other special activities the ministry provides besides the annual Christmas campaigns is the school supply drive in July and chapel services every Friday from 9-9:30 a.m.
    Individuals and groups interested in volunteering or donating to any of the ministry’s missions should contact Modie Phillips in person 601 South 3rd Street in Leesville or call 337-238-3832. Cash donations can be sent to P.O. box 1205, Leesville, LA 71496.
    All donations are tax deductible.
     

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