By Janee Law
Rev. Kimberly Gaines-Gambino, president of the Helping Hands Rescue Mission, is determined to continue the legacy her late parents left, while introducing a new program that focuses on assisting local moms and their babies.
"My parents always said we can't help everybody, but we can help some people and the ones we are able to help are a blessing to us," Gambino, 51, of Huntington, said.
Helping Hands, based out of 225 Broadway, Huntington Station, was founded in 1965 by Gambino's parents, Rev. Jim Gaines and Rev. Rose Marie Gaines.
After completing its backpack distribution campaign, which provided more than 350 local children with new backpacks and school supplies for the 2017-2018 school year, Helping Hands started its new "Baby Blessings" initiative. The objective is to provide baby supplies to local families who are struggling financially.
"We've given out diapers before, but not in an organized program, and the number of mothers coming to us now has really grown,"Gambino said. "We're seeing more and more moms who are in need, so instead of helping people as they come, I wanted to have an organized approach to doing this."
Since diapers are hygiene items, they can't be paid for out of EBT funds or SNAP funds, Gambino said, adding that sometimes babies go without being changed for long lengths of time or in some cases diapers are reused.
"It's really sad and then the baby is unhealthy and unhappy and we want happy and healthy little babies," Gambino said.
Those interested in helping can drop off items, including diapers, baby wipes, formula, clothes and other supplies for infants and toddlers, at the Huntington Station location.
Rev. Kimberly Gaines-Gambino, president of the Helping Hands Rescue Mission, which was co-founded by her late parents, is in the process of collecting baby items for the new Baby Blessings program.
Would like to be able to give the moms one week’s worth of diapers, which is about 40,” Gambino said.
The new Baby Blessings initiative will distribute supplies to local families on the third Wednesday of each month from the Huntington Station location; the first distribution date is Sept. 20, 10:30 a.m. – 1p.m.
“A light lunch will be served afterwards, and some kind of inspirational, devotional time for encouragement because it’s not easy,” Gambino said. “I’ve gotten to know a lot of the moms personally and a lot of them work hard, a lot of them are trying to make ends meet.”
Growing up in the mission, Gambino said she’s become familiar with the work and the people, serving alongside her mother to help provide local families with food, clothing, household item, prayers and spiritual encouragement.
With her father passing seven years ago and her mother recently passing in March, Gambino was determined to continue Helping Hands and carry the legacy her parents left behind.
“The mission was their life and it was their heart. I really miss them more than anyone will ever know, but every day I feel so close to them here,” Gambino said. “To know that it’s continuing on and that people are supporting and helping us to continue mean the world to me.
“We will carry this forward to become what they really wanted it to be, continuing lighthouse in the community.”
225 Broadway Huntington Station, NY 11746
Donation Hours Wed. & Friday 10-4pm
Saturdays 10-12:30pm (see calendar for closings)
PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE DONATIONS WHEN CLOSED.
Food Pantry is open Tues-Fri 1pm-4pm
Huntington Township Residents unless referred by another church or agency
Photo ID is required to register for the pantry.
Free Hot Community Lunch Thursdays 12-1pm.
Volunteers by appointment only please!
Baby Blessings at HHRM is on the 3rd Wednesday of each month 10:30am-1pm.
Diapers, wipes and other available baby items are given to Huntington township families in need.
Proof of Residency is required and Birth Certificates or Insurance cards may be requested..
Donations of diapers, wipes, formula and baby items are appreciated.
Saturday-Happy Day Express Children's Outreach
10:30 am-12:30pm Free for Children Ages 5-12
Call for Specific Spring Schedule or See Calendar
Call 631-351-6996 for Information/Free Registration
Join us on Sunday mornings at 11am for worship at the Half Hollow Community Church
11 Seaman Neck Road
Dix Hills, NY 11746