Have you ever worried about where your next meal was going to come from? For 19 years, families have been coming to Hands of Christ for help when they had nowhere else to turn.
Close to a dozen local churches and many businesses have come together to provide food, money, supplies and volunteers to Hands of Christ -- A Duluth Cooperative Ministry.
“We provide food, assistance with rent, home mortgages, utilities, prescription medication, vouchers for clothing, job referrals, referrals to other agencies, support, solutions, shoulders to cry on, and open ears to hear and listen to the clients," said Director Mary Roberts. "Many clients tell us we are the only ones who would take time to listen.”
Imagine having to choose between keeping electricity in the house or celebrating your child’s birthday. Of course, the need for electricity would have to come first. Hands of Christ steps in and provides a birthday cake (donated by Kroger) for children and mothers in the area who would otherwise have to go without. The children also receive birthday gifts to help make their day special.“We like to celebrate life by giving a birthday to those who are short on funds,” Roberts said.
Hands of Christ is currently in process of renovating part of its building to create a Thrift Shop. The lack of sheet rock and drop ceiling tiles have put the project on hold. Donations of these items are needed in order to complete the renovation and provide a Thrift Shop to the community. “All funds from the Thrift Shop will go back into the ministry to help serve people in need in our community," Roberts said.
If you are able to donate sheet rock, floor tiles, ceiling tiles, shelving, clothing racks or used cars, please call 770-232-7454. Hands of Christ also accepts donations of money, food, gift cards such as Wal Mart and Kroger and gas cards.
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. individuals can call Hands of Christ to make an appointment to come in for an evaluation. If families qualify, they are eligible to receive items from the food pantry up to 12 times a year.
When families arrive, they are greeted and volunteers gather a list of needed food items and deliver it to the family in a shopping cart.
Six volunteers are needed each day the pantry is open. Students can volunteer to help meet their school volunteer requirements. Individuals with court-ordered community service can also volunteer at the pantry. Call 770-623-9563 to schedule a time to volunteer.
Roberts has been the director of Hands of Christ for 10 years. “It’s very rewarding. It’s a ministry I feel God has prepared me for, for a number of years. It’s wonderful to help those who are hurting and downpressed.”
Hands of Christ has a motto: “A community that cares is a community that shares.” And through its ministry, the community does.