History of Helping Hands
Rev. Robert Armstrong had a dream of serving the poor and disadvantaged in East Toledo. In January of 1981, Rev. Armstrong’s dream was realized when he, St. Louis parishioners, and a handful of willing volunteers opened their doors and their hearts to those in need. Beginnings were meager. The guests were served soup, bread, drink, and maybe a treat once in a while. From humble beginnings, this St. Louis ministry has grown into a multi-service, social service agency.
Helping Hands of St. Louis is dedicated to serving God’s people by providing a hot nutritious meal and a compassionate ear to all who come to us in need. Through our ministry of hospitality, we strive to acknowledge the dignity of each person; to foster an atmosphere of courtesy and fellowship: and to provide support in times of material or spiritual need. Helping Hands of St. Louis serves approximately 80,000 on-site meals on an annual basis.
The soup kitchen, however, is only one piece of the outreach program. An initiative was begun in the late 1980s to broaden our outreach efforts. We now provide 3,100 bags of groceries and 650 hygiene kits each year. In 2011, we opened a clothing and home center, which has served over 6,000 shoppers with free clothing and household items.