Through Relief ministries, we provide aid to our neighbors from the immediate effects of poverty.
 

Relief Ministries

Benevolence
Our Benevolence ministry assists our neighbors in the Belton or Academy school districts in emergency situations. If funds are available, $50 may be used once every 6 months for aid with rent or utility bills. Helping Hands also partners with Smith Brothers Gas in Belton to provide gas vouchers of $8 or $12 for transportation to verifiable medical appointments or job interviews. When individuals receive assistance through Benevolence or gas vouchers, they must complete one course of classes within 6 months to be eligible for further financial assistance.

Client Choice Food Pantry
Clients may visit our food pantry weekly to choose non-perishable food for their families, in addition to fresh produce, bread, and frozen meat. We strive to have a variety of healthy food available each week. Clients can also receive a personal hygiene item from our General Store when they visit the pantry.
In addition to receiving food from community donations and the Central Texas Food Bank, Helping Hands also participates in "Food Rescue" with our local WalMart and H-E-B Plus. Several times each week, Helping Hands volunteers visit WalMart and H-E-B Plus to retrieve food items that would otherwise go to waste, such as day-old bread, fresh produce, and frozen meats.

Clothing
Our Clothing Ministry stocks new and gently-used clothes for men, women, and children. Clients may visit the Clothing Ministry each week. Available clothing items include tops, bottoms, dresses, socks, shoes, bras, underwear (new only), belts, purses, and backpacks. We also have a limited supply of maternity clothes for expectant mothers, as well as scrubs for individuals who need them for jobs.
Helping Hands always appreciates donations to our Clothing Ministry. However, the dignity of the families we serve is very important to us. Therefore, before you donate, please make sure all clothes and shoes are clean, free of stains and tears, without visible signs of extreme wear, and currently in style. We do not accept used underwear. If you have any questions about whether your items are appropriate to donate, just call us, and we will be happy to talk with you.

Kim's Closet
Kim's Closet stores household items for families in emergency situations who find themselves without basic household necessities. Our neighbors who are helped from Kim's Closet are often fleeing abusive situations, rebuilding their homes after a natural disaster, aging out of foster care, or coming out of prison. Kim's Closet provides families with basic household items, such as sheets, towels, dishes, silverware, pots and pans, and small household appliances.
If you would like to donate new or gently-used household items to Kim's Closet, please make sure all items are clean and in good working order. Helping Hands does not accept furniture, electronics, large appliances, or household decor. Kim's Closet items can be donated to Helping Hands during our operating hours.


Thanksgiving & Christmas Groceries
For two days during the weeks before Thanksgiving and Christmas, Helping Hands ceases its normal operations and opens for a special distribution of holiday groceries for our families. Families may shop the pantry specifically for groceries that allow them to prepare a holiday meal in their homes. Specialty holiday food items include turkeys, hams, stuffing mixes, vegetables, dessert items, and other ingredients. Helping Hands welcomes your church or family to participate in our holiday grocery distributions by collecting special holiday food items. If you would like more information, just call us or e-mail us at info@helpinghandsbelton.org.


TXU Energy Aid & Reliant Energy (CARE) Program Helping Hands Ministry partners with TXU Energy and Reliant Energy to administer TXU Energy Aid and the Community Assistance from Reliant Energy (CARE) Program. TXU and Reliant customers living in Bell County who need assistance paying their energy bill can bring the bill to Helping Hands and speak with a member of our Benevolence team about the programs.
 

through our development ministries, helping hands empowers our neighbors with long-term solutions to end poverty.
 

Development Ministries

Bundle of Joy
Bundle of Joy is a ministry for new and expectant parents. Parents who complete a course of parenting classes at Helping Hands receive a layette of necessities for their newborn infant. Each layette includes diapers, wipes, bottles, pacifiers, onesies, towels, and blankets, along with assorted baby items as available. Every bundle also includes a prayer for the family and a book for parents to read to their new child.


Chapel Ministry The heart of Helping Hands Ministry is the gospel of Jesus Christ. At the center of our facility stands Conaway Chapel, where clients and volunteers can pray, meditate, worship, seek refuge from life's troubles, or simply rest. Conaway Chapel was named after Lola Conaway, the first executive director of Helping Hands, whose vision and love for her community became a bedrock of our ministry. Helping Hands also has volunteer chaplains available during all hours of operation. Clients seeking prayer or a listening ear are invited to come to the chapel anytime during hours of operation to meet with a chaplain. Clients are also welcome to leave written prayer requests in any of the Prayer Request boxes throughout our building, which will be prayed for by our chaplains.

Education Classes
Through the help of partnering organizations and businesses, Helping Hands offers courses taught by local professionals on a variety of topics. To learn more, click on the Education Classes tab, or e-mail info@helpinghandsbelton.org.

Employment Mentoring Ministry
The goal of the Employment Mentoring Ministry (EMM) is to help clients work out of systemic poverty by providing temporary employment, job training, and life skills mentoring that eventually leads to permanent, full-time employment in the community.
The EMM program provides paid, temporary part-time jobs at Helping Hands in our warehouse, Laura Mae's Resale shop, and janitorial service. While working at Helping Hands, participants also meet with staff weekly to work on their resumes, receive assistance with their job searches, hone their interview skills, and receive help identifying and overcoming obstacles to employment. After 3-6 months, participants who successfully graduate from the program are able to rely on Helping Hands for a favorable job reference.
The Employment Mentoring Ministry is being re-designed and will restart at a future date.


Project Apple Tree
Since 2001, Helping Hands Ministry has served families in Belton ISD and Academy ISD through Project Apple Tree. Project Apple Tree aims to help parents provide their children with everything they need to begin a successful school year. Prior to the summer deadline, parents or caregivers can sign up at Helping Hands to purchase school supplies, a backpack, and a new set of clothes (a pair of jeans or shorts, a shirt, a pair of shoes, a package of socks, and a package of underwear) for each of their children for $5.00. Items will be pre-packaged by volunteers and may be picked up at the gymnasium of First Baptist Church Belton the Monday before school starts in August.
To sign up for Project Apple Tree at Helping Hands, parents must bring a birth certificate for each participating child and a current proof of address confirming that their children will attend Belton ISD or Academy ISD in the fall.

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program
During tax season (February – April), Helping Hands partners with the United Way of Central Texas to offer the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. VITA offers free tax help to people who generally make $55,000 or less, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. Our IRS certified VITA volunteers provide basic income tax return services without charge, ensuring 100% of the tax refund goes directly to the customer. VITA volunteers have helped Central Texans save thousands of dollars by providing free tax preparation. If you are interested in seeing if you are eligible for VITA, or if you would like to become a VITA volunteer, click here: http://www.uwct.org/who-we-help/vita-free-tax-preparation.