Irving—As winter temperatures drop, the need for new coats, shoes, and warm clothes increases, especially for those who are experiencing housing uncertainty. Many Helping Hands is a local charity organization that works to meet the needs of the homeless in and around Irving.
The organization held their annual winter event at Good Shepherd Lutheran Churchon Dec. 5.
“This is always on the first weekend in December,” Lana Hansen said. “Good Shepherd Lutheran Church was the first to host this event, so we always host this event here. It is the perfect spot for being able to lay out all the items, so people can see what they need.
“We are supported by twenty churches in Irving. We work together to gather supplies for this event and the meal we serve every week. People are welcome to take as much as they like. There is no limit. We want parents to be able to come and get some gifts for their children for Christmas, as well as to make sure everyone has the warm clothes they need throughout the season.”
Jalen Bridges came to find essentials.
“I am browsing around, finding any clothes that may catch my eye,” Bridges said. “This is a great, positive environment, and there are so many items to look through. I would invite others to come up and check it out. The people who run this are kind and will help you get what you need.”
Pat O’Reilly is a member of the board for the organization.
“This is important for folks in Texas, because the weather fluctuates so much,” O’Reilly said. “We help people who are on the streets, and it is difficult to keep up with clothes when it is freezing one day and eighty degrees the next. It is a challenge a lot of people do not think about, but storing clothes you are not wearing is difficult. We are always collecting coats for people.”
Many Helping Hands offers other events throughout the year, as well as specialized care when a person begins a job.
“We offer weekly meals for everyone, sponsored by different churches in the community,” Hansen said. “We also provide a week’s worth of bus passes when someone gets a job, plus whatever shoes or specialized items they may need for that job. We offer hygiene kits, especially when someone first joins us. Really though, we are providing love for people in our community. We want people in Irving to know they are important.”
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