Column/Helping Hands for those in need

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 20, 2006

From the outside, the church building looks like any one of a hundred others

located throughout the Black Belt.

But, step inside the doors of Helping Hands Bible Ministries at 1500 Woodrow Ave. E. and you realize there’s a difference here.

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Visitors are greeted with hugs and big smiles as they enter the church, which is home to a Senior Care Ministry.

As part of Leadership Selma-Dallas County, Class XIII, I received a tour of the facility recently.

It’s amazing to see what a small staff and group of volunteers can accomplish.

The Senior Care Ministry signs up new members each Tuesday. Anyone over the age of 55 is eligible to participate.

The program helps seniors by providing food distributions once a month, and assisting with other supplies.

We hear all the time about senior citizens who live on a fixed income having to make choices between medication and food. Programs such as the Senior Care Ministry should help eliminate some of those concerns.

But, it’s not just about distributing food.

The Senior Care Ministry helps seniors by giving them the opportunity to socialize, holding events such as a Thanksgiving meal that will be shared on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Anyone ages 55 or above is invited to attend the fellowship.

In addition, Helping Hands Bible Ministries gets the young people involved.

Students from the local high schools serve as volunteers during the senior activities.

It’s great for the students to participate, and it’s good for the senior citizens, as well.

Through crafts such as canning and quilting, the seniors are able to share their knowledge and pass along these dying folk arts to a younger generation.

Programs such as this one help make Selma a caring community. There’s no reason for a senior citizen in our area to be lonely, or go hungry.

And, that was just one of the outreach programs the Leadership Selma class got a first hand look at last week.

Others included government operations, such as the Department of Human Resources, the Emergency Management Agency and the Child Advocacy Center, as well as charity groups such as the Selma Charity League.

We also heard from representatives of non-profit services such as the American Red Cross, SABRA Sanctuary, Divine Life Community Development Corporation and Christian Services for Children.

In addition, we received a tour of the United Methodist Children’s Home, a beautiful facility that has deep roots in Dallas County.

All of these organizations and agencies help people right here in our community.

Whether it’s the elderly, children or families in distress, it’s good to know there is somewhere to go when you need help.

And, it’s important to remember that some of these

agencies can use help from those who aren’t experiencing tough times.

Tammy Leytham is editor of The Selma Times-Journal.