We could all use a helping hand around the house. Yet, for some older members in our community, a little extra help is more than nice, it’s a real need. The Helping Hands ministry at Memorial Drive United Methodist Church seeks to help its members who have difficulty doing things that most of us take for granted.
“Helping Hands is a ministry that bubbled up as a response to a need within the congregation,” says Kristy Elmore, Director of Missions and Outreach. Started in August of 2009, the ministry matches those in need of assistance around the home with volunteers who are happy to provide the requested service.
The church receives requests through phone calls or email. Then Eric Smuda, Helping Hands Coordinator, emails his team of volunteers to find the person with the right skills and availability.
To get the word out about the program, Smuda says, “We have gone to the Senior Adult Council, put notes in the bulletins, and gone to Sunday school classes.”
Common requests for larger projects are installing handicap bars or a wheel chair ramp.
Helping Hands changes Nell Stary’s air conditioning filter, which is in a ten foot high ceiling. “Helping Hands has reached out to us and acted on the commandment, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We are so grateful for their caring work,” says Stary.
Volunteers also help elders by hooking them up to the internet and teaching them how to use email and Skype. “They want to stay in touch with their grandkids,” comments Elmore.
Although the volunteers happily take on the larger jobs, they are glad to help out with small requests too. “They will change a light bulb,” says Elmore. Without help, many seniors put off these tasks until family comes in town, or they must pay someone to do it.
The Helping Hands ministry provides an opportunity for some handy church members to serve their congregation, and for those they serve, it is truly a blessing.
Copyright 2012 Absolutely! Focus Media