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Ennis Daily News

20th year for Helping Hands

Agency sustained through dedication, faith, says director
Helping Hands of Ennis has hit a milestone not every non-profit agency achieves.
The group recently marked its 20th anniversary and will celebrate Thursday, June 26.
Helping Hands Executive Director Jo Wesley said, though odds were against it, the organization has remained open through the hard work of dedicated staff, volunteers and benefactors.
“I get very emotional about this place because it is so near to my heart,” she said. “I was shocked a few years back when I was looking for some statistics, and I saw on the Secretary of State’s Web site that 40 percent of non -profit groups in Texas never make it to their 10th year. It reminded me of how blessed we are here by the volunteers who work countless hours to make sure things are the way they are supposed to be and also by the board of directors and agency staff who go above and beyond to help those we serve.”
Wesley said when she and other staffers were going through the archives for the upcoming reception, they found lists of Helping Hands volunteers through the years.
It was humbling, she said, to see how many people have worked to get the agency where it is today.
“We have had and continue to have the most amazing people working with us,” Wesley said. “When I look back on the lists of people who have helped bring us to where we are, it makes me feel blessed to live and work where I do. It really is a tribute to the community that a place such as ours has been sustained for so long.”
According to the Helping Hands Web site, www.hhennis.org, the agency served more than 1,400 families last year, and for the first two months of this year the agency has served 328 people, including 140 children under the age of 18.
Wesley attributes the success of the outreach’s ability to serve families in need to the generosity of the community.
“We have never expressed a need that we didn’t get a response for,” she said. “I think that is a tribute to the heart of Ennis that we care about and look out for each other.”
She also said she believes the agency is viable because of the faith that motivates workers and supporters alike.
“We have a board of directors and a group of volunteers that put their heart and soul into making sure we follow the calling Jesus holds us to,” she said. “Our mission statement is based on the bible passage from the book of Matthew; to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give water to the thirsty and to welcome the stranger. The people who have been with us over the years never lose sight of that and I think we have been blessed because of it.”
The anniversary celebration will be held at the Helping Hands of Ennis, 604 NE Main Street from 5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
Wesley said she hopes the community will come out to share in the agency’s special day:
“It is going to be a fun moment in time, so I hope everyone comes to eat, drink and have a good time.”

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Posted by on Jun 24 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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