Simply Give Supports Helping Hands of St. Louis

OREGON, OH—Now, through Sat., Sept. 16, is your last chance to purchase $10 Simply Give donation cards at Meijer in support of Helping Hands of St. Louis. Only cards purchased at the Meijer on 1725 S. Wheeling Street, in Oregon, OH, will support this Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo ministry.

MANY THANKS for your continued support! Donations in increments of $10 will be loaded onto gift cards which will be given to Helping Hands to purchase purchase food items for the food pantry and on-site hot meal program. Every penny goes towards food purchases for Helping Hands of St. Louis food programs! 

In addition to in store donations, Meijer will donate $1 million to the 2017 Simply Give program which will be dispersed to food pantries after the Fall 2017 campaign ends Sat., Sept. 16, 2017. Thank you Meijer and all who support this program!

 Each Meijer storeMeijer Simply Give partners with a local food pantry during campaigns to ensure that all donations generated remain within local communities.The Simply Give program runs three times a year to help fulfill the needs of our food pantry partners when they need it most: Spring, Fall and Holiday. The partnering food pantries are rotated to ensure broader outreach in our communities.

Instead of determining what food to donate to food pantry partners, the Simply Give program allows them the flexibility to choose the grocery items best suited for the families they serve in their communities, including baby food, formula, diapers and wipes.

For more information contact Sue Shrewsbery or Gabriel Skiver at Helping Hands of St. Louis at 419.691.0613. For more info on Meijer’s Simply Give Campaign go to http://meijercommunity.com/commu…/hunger-relief/simply-give/  

MANY THANKS for your continued support of Helping Hands of St. Louis, a ministry of Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo!

 

Helping Hands 4th Annual Shoe Fest August 5

TOLEDO—Upwards of 40 volunteers will spend the morning at Helping Hands of St. Louis, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH, washing children’s feet and fitting them with new shoes and socks to get their new school year off on the right foot. Face painting, games and children’s activities will keep the youngsters occupied as they wait their turn.“Each year we’ve provided new shoes, socks and school supplies to nearly 300 school-age children,” says Sue Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis. “We focus on East Toledo families, but no child will be turned away, if we have their size shoe.

Shrewsbery notes children must be present to be fitted for shoes. Available sizes run Toddler size 10 through Youth size 6. First come, first served.

Various areaIMG_6054 Closeupa churches, service groups and businesses are volunteering and many have donated new shoes and socks. Toledo Zoo Teens and AK Tube LLC, Walbridge, are the two largest volunteer groups, with teams of eight.

This year, over 300 pairs of new shoes were purchased through Samaritan’s Feet, with money raised from friends of Helping Hands of St. Louis, local children and a church in Illinois. One group of girls raised over $1,500.

Hannah’s Socks donated new socks. School supplies + bags were donated by Buckeye Health, Herzing University, and friends of Helping Hands of St. Louis. “Books for Buddies” will be passing out new and gently used books for children.

Sixth Street will be blocked off, but the parking lot across the street is accessible. Individuals, churches, service groups and businesses interested in donating new shoes and socks or making financial contributions to are asked to please contact Susan Shrewsbery, Director of Helping Hands of St. Louis, at 419.691.0613, ext. 2; or email sshrewsbery@toledodiocese.org.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and support of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo‘s ministries!

July 29 Helping Hands 14th Annual Golf Outing

BEDFORD HILLS—Looking for a great way to give back and help others this summer? Join us Saturday, July 29, for our 14th Annual Golf Scramble Outing benefiting Helping Hands of St. Louis, at Bedford Hills Golf Course, in Temperance, MI! 

Our 4-pGolf_Outing_1_save_for_weberson Scramble includes: 18 holes of golf, a golf cart, hot dog at the turn, beverage tickets, New York Strip Steak and Chicken dinner at completion of play, raffles and prizes. And the winning team’s names will be engraved on a trophy permanently displayed at Helping Hands of St. Louis, 443 Sixth St., Toledo, OH.

Early Bird Registration is $80 per person if received by July 18. The registration fee from July 19-24 is $90 per person. To register or for more information on becoming an event sponsor, please contact Sue Shrewsbery at 419-691-0613, ext. 2.

Consider Them Family

Kyla, a single, stay-at-home mother of three, can be seen sporadically around Helping Hands with a big smile on her face and her children nearby.

She’s not a stranger, and the faces of volunteers and staff members are not unfamiliar.

“In a way, I guess you can say I consider them family,” Kyla says about the people who have helped her over the years.

Kyla started coming to Helping Hands of St. Louis after she lost her job due to her pregnancy. In an effort to get back on her feet, Kyla moved in with her mother. Her search for a job has not been easy.

With goals to go back to school and one day become a Certified Nursing Assistant, Kyla says she appreciates all the help she has received from Helping Hands.

“The soup kitchen is nice because I don’t have to worry about making them [her children] lunch at home. I can just bring them down here, and we can eat lunch as a family. It helps with the cost of food as well.”

The staff have worked hard to help Kyla when she comes to the center for help.

“When she comes, we try to help her with pampers and baby milk,” says Vanessa, Helping Hands Meal and Volunteer Coordinator.

“Sometimes I’ll give her a little food just to keep her going until she gets her food stamps.”

“Ms. V (Vanessa), Paul and Sue, they all go out of their way. The three of them go out of their way, and that makes me feel good,” Kyla says.

Kyla’s children, ages 2, 3 and 4, all enjoy coming to Helping Hands as well.

“They like coming down here because they get to get out of the house and socialize with others. Everyone here loves my kids, and my kids get to come out and see people.”

“I would like to say thank you to the people who make this possible,” she says with a smile.

“Their generosity tells me that there are still good people out here willing to help.”

Bishop Daniel E. Thomas and volunteers from several area churches served a Christmas meal to 370 people at Helping Hands of St. Louis on December 23.

Bishop Thomas read the account of Christ’s birth from Luke’s Gospel before blessing the food.  Guests were invited to sit down while volunteers served them a meal of ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn and desserts.

Jim Meads and Bishop Daniel E. Thomas serve a Christmas meal to Helping Hands of St. Louis guests.

Jim Meads and Bishop Daniel E. Thomas serve a Christmas meal to Helping Hands of St. Louis guests.

“It means a lot,” said Judy as her three-year-old daughter Hailey enjoyed a large spoonful of mashed potatoes.  Judy said her family sometimes needs help with food, and she is grateful for what is offered at Helping Hands.

Mr. Jones is another guest who comes on a regular basis for lunches.  He plays piano for worship at his church and said his faith is helping him through hard times.  “No one is going to be perfect, but we strive to be better … that’s why God sent Jesus and why He is the reason for the season.”

Mr. Jones appreciates the food and fellowship he finds at Helping Hands, describing the program as “God’s love being shared.”

The daily meals could not be possible without the help of dedicated volunteers.  Cheryl Sheffer, her son, John, and his children were all on hand to help serve the Christmas meal.  Both Cheryl and John volunteer at Helping Hands on a regular basis with their churches.

“I love these people,” Cheryl said.  “I always feel good after I’m here.  I am dead tired when I leave, but it’s a good tired.”

“When you live in the suburbs, you tend to get comfortable with your life,” John added.  “It’s good to be here with the people and share their burdens.”

In interviews with WNWO and WTOL, Bishop Thomas said he wanted to be part of serving the Christmas meal at Helping Hands because Jesus came as a poor infant in a stable.  As much as the poor need food and drink, what they need is the joy that comes from Jesus, he said.

Click here to learn more about Helping Hands of St. Louis.

 

The hands at Helping Hands were busy as volunteers served Thanksgiving lunch to 500 people in need of a meal for the holidays. Lunch included turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy, candied yams, dressing, mixed vegetables and dessert.

The occasion brought hope to David and his nephew Shaun who were first time visitors to Helping Hands. The holiday lunch was their first holiday meal after losing their landscaping business, income and car over the summer.

“When we walked in today, we were amazed at how many people who are in the same position as we are,” says David.

“We had no food and my neighbor told us about this place. Thank You. We never thought we would be in this position. We truly would not be here if we didn’t have this option.”

For many Helping Hands clients, lunch was more than just another meal. This was their opportunity to spend the holidays with people they called family.

“We are very thankful for this place,” says Rhonda, Jodi and Dino all who are not related but have formed close relationships since coming to Helping Hands over the years. “This is our family right here,” says Dino.

“I think that Thanksgiving lunch is a great thing that they’re doing,” says Angel. “It give people a hot meal to eat on cold days.”

“I come because I like this place, and I like the people. There are a lot of good reasons for coming to here. Not just the food, it’s the people. There are good people who are here to help,” she adds.

“It gives you a chance to stretch your food at home,” says Dennis, a regular to Helping Hands. “When you run out of food at home, you can come here to get a meal.”

 

 

Today, hundreds of Toledo residents lined up for a serving of Little Caesars pizza at Helping Hands of St. Louis. The pizza was prepared and cooked inside a semi-truck called the “Little Caesars Love Kitchen,” which was parked outside the center’s soup kitchen doors.

The Little Caesars Love Kitchen is a pizza kitchen on wheels that “travels across the continental United States and Canada meeting the needs of the hungry, the homeless and disaster survivors,” according to the company’s website. Employees from Little Caesars Pizza helped prepare and cook pizzas for an estimated 300 guests. All food and services were donated by Little Caesars Pizza.

After the pizzas were baked inside the truck’s kitchen, they were delivered to the Helping Hands’ kitchen and served to a long line of excited people. The clients at Helping Hands loved every slice. Waves of appreciations and thank yous could be heard from satisfied individuals within the dining hall.

“It’s a really good thing that they did here today,” said one Helping Hands regular. “Everything was really good.”

 

All Treats and Smiles at the Helping Hands Annual Halloween Party

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Over seventy children, parents and volunteers attended the Halloween Party at Helping Hands of St. Louis. Adding their own spin to trick or treating, people throughout the East Toledo community had a great time dressing up in costumes and getting together for the event. Candy, graciously donated by community members, was passed around as the sounds of children laughing could be heard throughout the center. There were arts and crafts activities, food, face painting and a huge inflatable green Frankenstein for families to take pictures and create memories.

 

 

 

 

Nov. 4, 2014—TOLEDO—Helping Hands of St. Louis is asking the community for donations of frozen turkeys, boneless hams, and other holiday food to serve and distribute for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The East Toledo soup kitchen expects to serve 500 people for a Thanksgiving lunch and to distribute 200 frozen turkeys to families and individuals in need.  Helping Hands will provide about 200 Christmas food baskets to families to make it possible for families to cook and enjoy their holiday meal together at home.

Meat, boxed stuffing, canned sweet potatoes, canned cranberry sauce, eggs, milk and fresh fruit are requested by Nov. 19 for Thanksgiving and by Dec. 15 for Christmas.

Donations may be delivered between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at Helping Hands’ soup kitchen at 443 Sixth St., Toledo.  To arrange for a different delivery time, please call Paul Cook at 419-691-0613, ext. 2.

Volunteers at Helping Hands dedicate their time and efforts to clothe many struck by hard times

In the neatly organized aisles of the old St. Louis church in East Toledo, clients look through long racks of clothes sorted by size, gender and category.

“We are a free store,” says Joan Schroeder, Helping Hands of St. Louis Clothing Center volunteer. “The concept of a free store is everyone gives and everyone gets.”

“People when they come in here, they are treat with respected,” says Anita Plantz, volunteer and founder of the Clothing Center.

Clients looking at items in Clothing CenterWhen the doors open on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, there are greeters, personal shoppers and sorters to help customers browse with ease and peace of mind.

All items are donated by community members and are closely inspected by volunteers before put on the racks. The Clothing Center helps an average of 400 people each month.

Stephen and his wife have been going for about a year.

“The center helps a lot,” he says. “I had a part-time job working banquets, and I needed black pants and white shirts. I was able to get them here so that I could be employed. Clothes are expensive these days, and I needed clothes to work.”

It’s an everyday struggle the volunteers hear too often ‒ not having enough money to purchase clothes for common life events.

“It’s amazing how many clients come in for church, job interview, or funeral clothes,” Joan says.

Sorting the Sanctuary

After St. Louis church closed in 2005, the sanctuary was used as a storage center for donations to Helping Hands’ food pantry and soup kitchen.

Joan Anita and Lillian

Joan, Lillian and Anita (left to right) enjoy volunteering at Helping Hands of St. Louis.

Anita had a dream of turning the closed church into a space for helping others. In January 2011, plans to turn the church into a clothing center were implemented. Request for help was sent throughout parishes in Lucas County. Before long, several volunteers and youth groups were there to help out.

“My daughter’s mission group came in and put up the pantry wall,” says Anita pointing at a large wall divider that separates the food storage from the clothing area.

“The Catholic Heart Workcamp student volunteers came in early that summer, and they built the clothing racks and then they started sorting clothes,” Joan remembers.

By July 2011, the Clothing Center was ready to open its doors to the East Toledo community. Business was slow at first, but in a few short weeks, traffic started to pick up just by word of mouth.

“The streets got the word around pretty quickly,” Joan says.

“We get people from all over the city,” says Anita. “Single homeless men, family men, single moms with kids, even elderly people.”

“It’s the talk around downtown,” says Mryon, a single man who came in from the streets for a few items and a meal from the soup kitchen.

“It’s very busy, but everyone is very polite and respectful. We rarely have an issue,” says Anita.

Clothing the Heart and Soul

The impact of the Helping Hands of St. Louis Clothing Center goes far beyond just a new wardrobe for customers.

“We have a few of our shoppers who come in and volunteer,” Joan says. “People want to work as a way to give back.”

“The service they provide helps a lot of people in the community. I really appreciate it, and I am sure a lot of other people appreciate it, too,” Stephen says.

For volunteers, it’s more than a job. It’s a calling that was placed in their hearts.

“I’m here because I think of Matthew 25, and I just get a lot good feelings from this place,” says Anita. “I love our clients. It’s just something we’re supposed to do.”

 

“A friend told me about La Posada. I came and I was surprised because it doesn’t look like a shelter. It looks just like a home. I was so glad when they told me we could stay. They’ve been so good to me. Honestly, none of this would be happening if I hadn’t been here. They’ve helped me so much.” – Marquita, La Posada resident

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio

 

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