2017-12-07 / Community

Thumb Area Helping Hands offers assistance to ‘the working poor’

By John Bonke
Staff Writer • jbonke@mihomepaper.com


BAD AXE - Thumb Area Helping Hands - a group of volunteers aiming at helping “the working poor” - hopes to open a storefront location before this Christmas in the 100 West Huron Ave. block on the southwest main corner of downtown Bad Axe. 
Photo by John Bonke BAD AXE - Thumb Area Helping Hands - a group of volunteers aiming at helping “the working poor” - hopes to open a storefront location before this Christmas in the 100 West Huron Ave. block on the southwest main corner of downtown Bad Axe. Photo by John Bonke BAD AXE - There are forms of help for those in poverty, but, sometimes, “the working poor” could also use a helping hand. So, Thumb Area Helping Hands does that through donations organized by local volunteers, led by Helene Lockhardt.

This group was founded to help those who need a little help when both paychecks do not seem to be helping make ends meet, Lockhardt said.

“We are a non-profit which helps residents in Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties,” Lockhardt said. “We help those who need an extra hand in making ends meet.”

Thumb Area Helping Hands is there all year around, Lockhardt added.

The 501(c)3 non-profit group is directed by Foundation President Emily Fiedler, Vice-President Jenna Durbin, Secretary & Founder Helene Lockhart and Treasurer Angela Rumble, as well as by Co-Founder Angela Rumble.

The volunteers offer help when something out of the ordinary happens such as a fire or a death in the family. The volunteers also may take those who need a ride to the doctor’s office or to do shopping. The volunteers also offer a home cleaning or moving service on a donation basis.

Local area individuals can also help by ‘adopting’ a family and provide needed items for them. The families provide a list of necessities and volunteers distribute the help. Families can call to be placed on the list and others can ‘nominate’ a family. There are no income guidelines and information is kept confidential, Lockhardt added.

The volunteers have been helping 109 families in the local area and it has four on its waiting list. One of the families includes seven children.

In fact, employees of the Gemini Group have ‘adopted’ others for the past four years by collecting items to be donated to Thumb Area Helping Hands.

“They are a blessing to us,” Lockhardt said.

Thumb Area Helping Hands is collecting donations from individuals, families and other organizations by appointment. Clothing is washed by volunteers prior to it being distributed, Lockhardt noted. The group also accepts monetary donations.

The group helped 73 families by providing one set of clothes and a pair of shoes for the students in the families at the beginning of this school year. Volunteer Patricia Rumble coordinates organizing school supplies.

The group has also been busy trying to open a storefront location the 100 West Huron Ave. block on the southwest main corner of downtown Bad Axe before this Christmas. Plans being considered are for it to be a free store with a freewill donation collected or perhaps a $1 per bag format, Lockhardt said.

The store will also serve as a contact point for families getting assistance that will come into the store and sign a sheet for record-keeping purposes.

For details on how to help, call main organizer Helene Lockhardt at 989-963- 0146 or email her via thumbareahelpinghands@gmail.com.

You can adopt a family of nine for the Holidays

Thumb Area Helping Hands offers assistance to 109 families in the local area and four more are on its waiting list. One is a family with seven children. Individuals can ‘adopt’ a family and provide needed items for them. The families provide a list of necessities and volunteers distribute the help. Families can call to be placed on the list and others can ‘nominate’ a family. For details on how to help, call main organizer Helene Lockhardt at 989-963-0146.

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