In 1974 the Elizabethtown/Hardin County Ministerial Association assumed sponsorship of Helping Hand and continues in that capacity today. Helping Hand is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors. Four are elected each year and serve a three-year term. Board members are selected from the community by a Nominating Committee of the board with the approval of the entire board and the Elizabethtown / Hardin County Ministerial Association. The final member of the board is the President of the Elizabethtown / Hardin County Ministerial Association each year.
The mission of Helping Hand is to offer compassionate and loving relief in the name Jesus Christ to people in need by providing immediate assistance and appropriate referrals to meet basic human needs; and, to provide our community with an opportunity for sharing resources that foster personal self-worth and human dignity.
Helping Hand serves low-income individuals and families living in Elizabethtown and southern Hardin County. To qualify, a client must live in the area and meet the income guidelines established by the USDA for food stamps. In addition, each person asking for help must complete an application and be interviewed by a case worker to determine what, if any, help will be given.
Some of the help we offer includes paying rent, rent deposits, utilities, utility deposits, prescription medicine, gasoline, small car repairs, baby needs (food, formula, diapers, etc.), and educational supplies. In paying bills, we use a voucher system so that no cash is given to clients. We also provide fans, air conditioners, heaters, food, furniture, clothes, and used vehicles for transportation to work for local residents, and clothes, food, gasoline or bus ticket, or a room in a local motel for transients. We provide food, toys, and clothes to approximately 1,000 families at Christmas. All help we give clients is free to them. Our support comes from area churches, United Way of Central Kentucky , individuals, companies, clubs and civic organizations, local government, grants, and other community resources. Of the money we receive, 88% goes directly to benefit clients.
Helping Hand works with area churches, Community Action, Community Based Services, Salvation Army, Red Cross, and North Hardin HOPE to avoid duplication and multiply community resources. Helping Hand, in conjunction with Hardin County Adult Education, provides job training, budget counseling, and assistance in the client completing his/her GED. We have a program called "Helping Hand to Work" to teach clients how to dress for work and provide clothes for their work. While we believe in helping those on low-income, we also want to offer them a chance to change their lives for the better.