Help save Arlington's Helping Hands
March 16, 2011 · 9:04 AM
Helping Hands is a vital service both to the working class citizens of Arlington, and to the various service organizations to which it donates 100 percent of its proceeds. Last year, Cocoon House and the Boys & Girls Club were just a few of those organizations.
Anyone who has need of basic household things, such as clothes, dishes, toys ... anything you could find in a thrift store, is free to come to Helping Hands, in the building next to the Food Bank near Haller Park, and fill a bag for just a few dollars.
I know many people who depend on this service. The Helping Hands sets aside blankets and other items for people who lose their homes in fires. They give dry shoes to homeless people who walk in off the street.
Imagine you are single mom working at a grocery store, living in the city of Arlington. It's winter. Your child needs a coat and you can't afford one. Your dishes keep getting broken and you can't afford new ones ... you are struggling just to get food on the table. Your son just wore through the soles of his shoes and your daughter's pants are suddenly three inches too short. Your 2-year-old has a birthday coming up and you can't afford a gift. There is hope ... you can go to Helping Hands and get all of those things in a brown paper sack for just a few dollars. You can breathe easier and tend to the needs of your family with no stress.
I have been in conversation with the volunteers and board director of Helping Hands and found out that the Helping Hands will have to leave their building, currently provided by the city, so that the new water treatment plant has a place for their offices.
Unfortunately, Helping Hands is an organization with unpredictable income so they are not able to take on regular rent. Their income in one month can be as low as $500, so they need a benefactor. Their needs are simple: a building at ground level, as most of their volunteers are elderly. They told me that currently the city provides electricity and the building, but garbage and heating oil are provided by donation. They pay for their phone, and pay sales tax from their proceeds, and every penny remaining is donated to local charities.
If our the people of our city are serious about helping the citizens of Arlington in this time of economic distress, they will be serious about finding a home for the Helping Hands. I have posted this new information to the Facebook cause I have created supporting the food bank and Helping Hands.
Thankfully, the food bank was able to get a grant for a new place, but from what I understand Helping Hands is not eligible for a grant because they are technically a thrift store. I have also asked people to talk to their churches and people they know to see if anyone will take the Helping Hands.
Please get the word out to all the citizens of Arlington. Let's find a home for the Helping Hands. If you would like to help, please call 360-435-2214 and leave a message.