Helping Hands eases stress of holidays
Sunday, 06 January 2013 by Grayson Edds
Hands of Belton has been a part of the community since 1995, and during the holiday season they try to do a little more for the families they serve, which includes both homeless and low-income families.
"Everyone we serve lives here within the BISD limits," said executive director Rucker Preston, "so that means Belton, Temple, Salado, Nolanville and Morgan's Point."
While the families are usually allowed to come in once a month to shop for their groceries, Helping Hands allows them an additional shopping day before Thanksgiving and Christmas. Distribution dates for Christmas this year were Dec. 20 and 21.
"Every family will be able to come in and get special holiday foods – cornbread, cake mixes, stuffing," said Preston. "Additionally, every family can either choose a ham or turkey. We distribute about 22,000 pounds of food just for Christmas."
Preston went on to say that Helping Hands increases the amount of food that the families are allowed because they know that the families are doing their best to provide a good Christmas on a tight budget.
"With the 10-15 pound of turkey or ham they receive, they double the amount of food they get on a weekly basis," said Preston.
Helping Hands expects about 900 families to register for Christmas distribution, having approximately 640 families so far. With 900 families, the amount of people they feed equals about 4,400 people.
"Those numbers are pretty big," said Preston. "4,400 is a lot of people to feed in BISD. There's been a steady growth every year. This year since January we've had over 1,200 new clients come to us. We lose some every year to, but it's a steady increase – about 1,000 people every year for four years."
Helping Hands of Belton is run by two staff members, two volunteer assistant directors and about 120 people who volunteer weekly.
Helping Hands of Belton is located on 2210 Holland Road. For more information on Helping Hands or volunteer information, call (254) 939-7355.