Wow! September 1st! It's hard to believe that the end of summer is almost here.
Back in March someone asked me if I thought we'd be wearing masks through June and having the increased food pantry numbers etc. I said, "As much as I'd like to think that it will be over so soon, we are anticipating this extended need to be at least through the fall months. We are going to prepare to serve the community should that happen. We want to be here to support our families' needs." I'm so glad that that is what we planned for because we're still wearing masks and social distancing. Though the numbers are down considerably from the spring when were were serving 500+ families a week, we are still serving about 3x's the usual average number of weekly pantry clients at 225-250 families/week. So, we're still busy. Not "crazy busy" but "busy busy". lol.
Last week was WONDERFUL as we partnered with Family Service League, The Junior Welfare League, Tri-CYA, the Town of Huntington, Friends of the Huntington Station Latin Quarter and local churches including Island Christian Church, St Luke Lutheran Church & Dix Hills Evangelical Free Church to provide new backpacks and supplies to 1,`126 local children. There were so many wonderful volunteers and we are so grateful to have had this opportunity to serve together. We are completing our waiting list this week and will continue to give out school supplies as needs arise etc. It's always great to move forward to what is next knowing that a previous project has been completed well!
We are preparing for our annual FALL FAMILY CLOTHING DISTRIBUTION which will be September 30-October 3rd. We are making every preparation to have a safe, COVID guidelines compliant, encouraging, practical distribution that will provide FUNCTIONAL everyday clothes for families. We'd love to add new socks and underwear to that list so we'll be posting an AMAZON wishlist and have a drop off box at HHRM for those items. Families will be scheduled by 20 minute appointment (In person registration will begin 9/7/20 at HHRM) We will be posting volunteer needs for the set up and event. We'd love to have you join with us and help give out clothing to some beautiful families.
What are our current needs? The food need is ongoing. We'd like to continue giving out fruits and vegetables which we received in abundance from Dan Diviney through PROJECT HOPE throughout the summer. We are waiting to see if another grant will come through for those items or if we will be purchasing them weekly. Milk prices have increased making it difficult for us to purchase weekly. If anyone has a contact for milk we can use 200-300 1/2 gallons per week. We'd be happy to purchase at a reasonable price. We are still giving out fresh eggs which Project Hope has been providing as well as items received from Makinajian Farms and Target. Local neighbors have also been providing produce from their gardens and we appreciate that so much!
You can help to support our food pantry by bringing in non-perishables, hosting a food drive at your home or place of business, making a donation to sponsor a food pantry bag or two or ten:) Helping to volunteer as the needs arise. You can find a list of needed pantry items on our website under the "Food Pantry Needs" tab.
You can also help to support our mission by making a donation through our website or with no fee on our Facebook page Helping Hand Rescue Mission. You can pray for us or send us some encouraging words which mean so much!
We're planning for our annual Thanksgiving food basket and turkey distribution and our holiday Christmas celebration though due to COVID-19 these events may look a little different this year. We can still share these celebrations and share God's love and the message that He came to bring PEACE on Earth!
Isn't that a wonderful message?
We pray for God's peace that passes all understanding to be present over our community, city, nation and world. We pray for our leaders and ask God to give them wisdom as they lead. We pray provision and protection over HHRM, those who serve with us and those that we serve. We pray for divine direction as we plan and go about our daily work. We pray for love to be over all that we do and that His love will motivate our hearts towards greater service and a wonderful season of giving.
We will continue to MOVE FORWARD in the days ahead. Sometimes it may feel like baby steps but FORWARD Is FORWARD and we are MOVING.
Kim Gambino, President HHRM
Kim (Gaines) Gambino serves as the President/Pastor of the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Huntington Station.