Helping Hand of the Heartland began in 1970.  In 1974 the Elizabethtown 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 Ministerial Association. The final member of the board is the President of the Elizabethtown Ministerial Association each year.

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, 86% goes directly to benefit clients, 2% for fund raising, and 12% for administration.

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 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 job skills to clients and how to dress for work.  We also provide clothes for their work.  While we believe in helping those on low-income, we want to offer them a chance to change their lives for the better.