A Helping Hand Strengthens A Community
Bandera County Helping Hand envisions all residents, individual and family, with legitimate needs and/or facing a crisis in their lives should have the ability to overcome their difficulties and to become self-sufficient with self-worth. We accomplish these goals through our various services provided by Helping Hand, in conjunction with public and private agencies, churches, and businesses located in Bandera County.
Helping Hand was organized in 1984 by church and community leaders to provide a safety net for people in crisis. We have continued to serve as part of the combined ministries and its founding churches continue to support Helping Hand with gifts of time and money.
When our building was destroyed in the 2002 Flood, Helping Hand raised $750,000 to construct a new Crisis Intervention Center. The Helping Hand Thrift Shop is our largest room. Helping Hand’s Board learned early that a nonprofit should not rely solely on gifts and grants, but should develop their own means of producing revenue. That is what the Thrift Shop has been for Helping Hand. Operating entirely on community donations of unwanted items, the Thrift Shop has provided over half of the Center’s annual revenue since it opened in the new building.
Jesse relocated from Corpus Christi, TX in 1995. Moving to the quaint town of Medina in the Hill Country, she had a dream of establishing a Rescue Center for Teens. However, unforeseen circumstances changed this dream, when a woman recognized qualities in Jesse that would be beneficial to the future success of Helping Hand. The timing could not have been better, since the current Director was in the process of retiring. In 2000, Jesse was hired as the new Executive Director of Helping Hand.
With Jesse at the helm, she has since relocated Helping Hand (after the 2002 flood in Bandera) from the old location on Highway 16 North, to their current location at 1116 12th Street. Along with her daily duties, she is responsible for the Management of the Helping Hand Village of Hope; social intake, interviewing and counseling of candidates to qualify for services; daily accounting functions; Director of Programs; Public Relations Manager; and (last but not least) Volunteer Treasurer for the local Salvation Army.
“I love helping people. The satisfaction I receive in giving assistance to those in need is truly a pleasure to me. I am very grateful for the help I have received throughout my life. It is my turn to give back. Helping Hand is the most rewarding and challenging job I have ever had. It is an honor to be part of such a giving organization.”
Laura and her husband moved to Bandera four years ago. They have 5 grown children and 2 grandchildren. With a desire to contribute to her new community, Laura began volunteering at Helping Hand. She brings to her position as Assistant Director/Store Manager over 20 years of experience in management, sales and customer service as well as a wealth of business sense, responsibility and dedication.
Assistant Director / Store Manager
Volunteers are OUR lifeblood here at Helping Hand. Their work keeps the center financially viable. They work in the Thrift Shop, Clothes Closet and Food Pantry. They handle the intake and inventory of merchandise, sorting, stocking, displaying and assisting customers. In the Food Pantry, they unload the food from the Food Bank, help keep the shelves stocked and fill bags of food for our clients in need. We currently have 15 Volunteer but can ALWAYS use an extra set of hands. If you are interested in volunteering, PLEASE call or drop by for details!
Helping Hand’s programs include: The Thrift Shop; Food Pantry; School Supplies Program; House Furnishings Replacement (for homes destroyed by fire or flood;) Free Prescription Program; Medical Clinic; and Classes in job finding, budgeting, parenting, as well as, low-cost meal preparation.
Accomplishments: Helping Hand has become the first point of contact in Bandera County for people in need, and now serves more than 2,500 clients a year. Our staff has developed collaborative relationships with other social service agencies and serves as a source of referral to those agencies.
Helping Hand is the County’s only crisis intervention center and the only organization in the County to offer free healthcare services through its own clinic.
Helping Hands works closely with other nonprofit organizations to make sure our clients find the help they need. Some of these organizations include: the Nagel Clinic, Silver Sage Senior Center, Hill Country Cares, and the local State Health Department.