VINTON — The nonprofit group God’s Hands at Work has made a mission of helping those in need, not just during the holiday season, but year round.
According to group director Lisa Carroll, the nonprofit organization in mid-November gathered its largest collection of supplies and non-perishable foods as part of a drive in coordination with Norris Northup Dodge and the community’s help. God’s Hands, as the group has often been referred to in short about Gallia County, will distribute this food throughout the holiday season and winter to those in need. During National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the nonprofit held a live remote with Walk FM in Huntington as part of their food raising event.
“Need is much greater in the winter,” said Carroll. Carroll said the event yielded two vans and a pickup truck full of food.
In early December, the organization held a free toy distribution through its five county reach covering Gallia, Jackson, Mason Meigs and Vinton. Around 300 children were provided for.
“We originally aimed to give away our gently used toys but found that we had to get more,” said Carroll. “The kids also got a pair of pajamas as well.”
Carroll said the organization has partnered several times with Vinton Elementary School, just across the street on Keystone Road in Vinton. Carroll said Vinton Elementary students provided pajamas as part of charity efforts for the holiday season.
“Parents were actually able to come in and shop (at the nonprofit’s facility),” said Carroll. “Many programs the parents don’t know what a child might get until Christmas. We want to let the parents maintain as much dignity as possible when experiencing a hardship.”
Local Girl Scout Troop 201 made cards for nursing homes and provided food and clothing donations to God’s Hands efforts.
Carroll said the God’s Hands at Work group started as a way to help a family that had suffered a tragedy due to a home fire and the program sprung to life from the incident. The group has helped provide food boxes, clothes, hygiene items, household items, furniture, as well as prom dresses to individuals searching for such items. When the group can, it attempts to help with utility payments such as getting a family’s electricity turned back on, provided that funding is available.
Despite holiday season efforts, across the course of the year had served roughly 350, which may have amounted to around 2000 individuals served.
The group bases its mission around the traditional biblical passage of Mark 12:31 which states one should love a neighbor as oneself.
For those wishing to volunteer, they can visit the God’s Hands at Work Facebook page, call 740-645-7609 or visit its Keystone Road location in Vinton on Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m. or noon to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.