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Helping Hands in Horrible Times
Post Faith Articles - Mar 20 2009
by Post Editor :

Helping Hands - We Feed the Needy
by A.L.Lucketta : Post Editor

PORTERVILLE CA. - For 20 years, Helping Hands – a non profit corporation - has been “Feeding the Needy” in the Porterville area. Located geographically at 135 East Olive Avenue, just east of Porterville’s First Assembly of God Church, Helping Hands has been more than a mainstay to many unfortunates needing a meal, it’s become a mission of mercy. Mr. Roy Rockholt, who's been at the helm of Helping Hands for most of it’s time in Porterville, told the Post that he couldn’t have done this without the faithful volunteers, especially from Mr. Mike Chambers and Ms Elsie McCall.

“We currently have three to four full time volunteers, Mr. Rockholt explained, and many times we get additional help from Porterville College students fulfilling their requirements from classes in sociology or we may get a few from the court system … you know working off their community service time and what-have-you.”

Delving further into volunteerism, the Post learned that many who were court ordered to perform community service at Helping Hands, found it so rewarding they now volunteer on their own. As one {un-named volunteer put it} “Helping Hands are really helping hearts and that’s why I keep coming back to help Roy and Mike.”

Over the years Helping Hands have served over a million and a half meals. Elsie McCall told the Post, “There was a time when Roy and the others would even go as far as serving meals out of the back of his own pickup truck. Back then he would drive to where ever the need was and serve meals right there. How do I know he did all that ? I was with him most of the time, so I can say I saw what one man could do who truly wanted to help.”

“Much of the time we cook our meals from scratch, Mr. Rockholt told the Post. We do it because we want to folks to know we care about them and providing a home cooked meal means a lot to them. If we have to get down here at about 6 in the morning and peel potatoes, then that’s what we do.”

In these uncertain economic times the Post learned that Helping Hands clientele has changed. Many of those transitioning from job to job would cycle through until they found employment. But lately with Tulare County’s unemployment rate up by 5.8 percentage points from last year, Helping Hands has seen new people coming in looking for a warm meal and a helping hand.

Seeing the need is one thing but helping is another. As many know, Porterville has a history of stepping up when they see that need and 18 months ago, several individuals came together to rebuild Helping Hands to do an extreme make-over. One of the leaders championing this cause was former Mayor Kelly West, who asked other leaders to financially donate to the new building - and help they did. All total, donations were collected and the new building was complete.

PRAYER : Dear LORD … Please Bless Helping Hands and the folks who give of their time and efforts help and “do unto the least of these.” Please use their staff in a way that Blesses those who have fallen on horrible times. Please Bless those who have donated resourses and money to keep this operation open and alive. And finally LORD, please put it on the hearts of other Ministries to come and support this effort. In JESUS Name I Pray.

To Donate to Helping Hands call (559) 788-0812.

You will receive a tax deductible receipt from this 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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