Thursday, November 24, 2016
Angels in the guise of health agency employees came through in a big way to help Miami County families have a bountiful holiday.
Miami County Helping Hands did not set a goal for this year’s Christmas Food Drive. Since needs extend beyond the holidays, the food pantry’s objective is to try to collect as many goods as possible to continuously help families in need, according to Diane Skillen, co-director at the food pantry.
Skillen said the nonprofit corporation services up to 150 families per month, which amounts to around 6,000 families per year. Assistance is only provided to Miami County residents whose income falls at or below 185 poverty level.
Though the Helping Hands provides assistance all year to those in need, they tend to receive a rush of donations over the Christmas holiday.
“December is definitely our biggest donation month,” Skillen said. “Leading into the holidays, everyone has the joyful spirit, and around Thanksgiving donations really pick up.”
On Friday, the American Health Network (AHN) donated 935 pounds of food to the food pantry, which will feed about 200 families in Miami County, Skillen said.
AHN Practice Manager Cathy Timmons said in previous years the health agency sought to help couple of families in need with children, and were looking to help several this year.
“Since there are 32 employees and we collect quite a bit, we decided this year to donate to Helping Hands in Peru and help them with needed items as they reach so many more families than we could,” she said.
Henceforth, Timmons said AHN hopes to continue to donate to Helping Hands since they are dedicated to providing to local families in need and added that she believes the pantry does an excellent job of screening applicants and disbursing the food.
“I was truly amazed at what a great organization (Helping Hands) is,” Timmons said. “Very few charitable organizations can say that no one is paid and everything coming in the door goes out the door to the needy.”
Skillen said that AHN’s donation was a blessing through and through.
“We’re very blessed we have organizations like AHN that take the time to look beyond their own needs and provide for the needs of others in the community.”
Photo - Blair Yankey
DONORS: (from left) Miami County Helping Hands co-director Diane Skillen is joined by American Health Network staff Kim Hall, Cathy Timmons, Autumn Lorenz, Teresa Hall and Avis Lennon after the carloads of donated food were brought to Helping Hands.