Helping Hands offers hope to Bell County

lton Ministers Fellowship in 1995, Helping Hands has aided thousands of families who have fallen on hard times. Aid can be anything from groceries, items for new parents, financial help, and professional training, all at no cost to the participant.
The executive director of the ministry, Rucker Preston, said it is important to have something like Helping Hands available in the community in order to solve social and economic problems that face the people of Belton, TX.
“The reason we do what we do is because we believe Jesus meant what He said, so we are to follow His example and serve people in a very holistic way,” Preston said. “We do that through three different initiatives—relief, development, and advocacy.”
Relief comes in the form of helping someone with their pressing physical needs like providing food, clothing, praying with them in the organization’s chapel, providing school supplies, or providing emergency needs for homeless families.
“And then there’s development, which is where we work towards helping someone work their way out of poverty, save for the future to get a higher education, or find a job in our employment mentoring ministry,” Preston said.
The director said it is also important for the organization and those who support it to be an advocate and a voice for the families who are trapped in poverty. Advocacy can come through talking to others about Helping Hands, providing donations, or volunteering at the organization.
Senior social work major, Braden Wilson, said he chose the ministry to fulfill his internship requirements because of what they do for less fortunate families and the Kingdom of God.
“I just love that Helping Hands is faith-based,” Wilson said. “[The organization] is supported by all different churches in the area who really work together to better the community.”
Wilson also said that she likes Helping Hands’ holistic approach to helping each person who benefits from the ministry.
“We ask them, is this helping? How can we improve this? What can we do better?” she said. “So, they really work for the clients.”
Helping Hands is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, which means the services they provide are not funded by the government. They fund their charitable giving through a resale shop, donations from private donors, and monetary support from local churches.
Senior social work major and Helping Hands intern, Michael Carpenter, said the work he’s done through the organization has not only helped needy families, but it has also helped him gain a unique perspective and experience that will help him in his future career.
“I am a social work major and Helping Hands directly helped me by allowing me to meet with clients once per week to help them with long-term employment,” he said.
The executive director of the ministry believes that Helping Hands would be a great fit for any UMHB student looking to gain volunteer hours or those who just want to make a difference in their community.
“Our mission and the mission of the university align,” Preston said. “We’re here to reach people in our community with our hearts, but also with our brains and physical bodies. Jesus said to love the Lord with our heart, soul, and mind, and we’re trying to do that, and share the love of Jesus with our neighbors. I think that’s what UMHB’s mission is pretty much about, too.”
For more information about how you can be a part of the Helping Hands ministry, visit helpinghandsbelton.org or follow the organization on Facebook or Twitter.

Author: Jonathan Allison

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