Because we feel it is important that you know how and where your donations to Helping Hands are spent, here is what was done last week:
Electric 5 families $ 2,596.12
Water 5 families $ 630.08
Rent 46 families $ 45,406.22
Transportation 1 family $ 1,372.06
Total $ 50,004.48
We are often asked what criteria we use in determining who gets help. By way of explanation, we receive anywhere from 50-80 calls per day on our helpline and another 20 or so on the weekends. We are obviously unable to respond to all of the calls, so we do our best to discern who gets selected based on what we find to be the greatest or most urgent needs. For example, being behind on an electric bill is not as bad as having no electricity at all. Having no electricity, but still having a roof over your head is better than living in a car (especially if you are a large family). Living in a car is better than having no car at all and sleeping on a park bench or under a bridge. Believe it or not, these situations exist right here in Midland, and we deal with them every day.
Through this pandemic we have had a multitude of people calling us for help who have never had to ask for help before. Those people also take precedence over those who call us month after month. What has been so difficult these past 10 months is that so many of the people who call us for help are those who have never asked, and who have become jobless due to job loss or extreme decrease in hours due either to the pandemic or the depressed oil industry. In other words, through absolutely no fault of their own.
Simply put, there are way more people asking for help than we can possibly assist. It grieves us deeply to not be able to respond to everyone who comes to us with a legitimate need (and believe us, there are many, many, many of those cases out there right now). Even though we are an all-volunteer organization and use no money at all for salaries and even though the people have been generous to us beyond belief this past year, our funds are still limited. We are especially concerned of what will happen when the moratorium on evictions ends at the end of this month.
On a positive note, we thank all of you for your donations, both financial and in donated goods to our thrift store, that allow us to help as many families as we do. We consider your trust in us to make sure that the needy are helped through your donations to be no less than sacred. Thank you very much and may God bless you richly!