​​​    Bandera Village of Hope

The Helping Hand Story...

                      Laura White

 Assistant Director/Store Manager

“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 Hands 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 4 years ago.  They have 5 grown children and 2 grandchildren. With a desire to contribute to her new community, Laura began volunteering at Helping Hands. She brings to her position as Assistant Director/Store Manager over 20 years of experience in management, sales and customer service and a wealth of business sense, responsibility and dedication.


 

                                                   Jesse Parks                                                              Executive Director

Jesse relocated from Corpus Christi, TX in 1995 and moved to the quaint Hill Country town of Medina, TX with dreams of establishing a Rescue Center for Teens. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, this dream was not fully developed. But good things did come out of this venture … attending one of Jesse’s bible study classes was a woman affiliated with Helping Hand.  She recognized qualities in Jesse that would be beneficial for 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 of 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.

 Volunteers:

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Helping Hand. They do the work that keeps the center financially viable. They work in the Thrift Shop, Clothes Closet and Food Pantry, handling 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. Turnover is rare and currently we have 15 Volunteers who work at the center.  If you’re interested volunteering, please phone for details….we can always use an extra set of hands!

A dream team to reach out...

Helping Hand was organized in 1984 by church and community leaders to provide a safety net for people in crisis.  Helping Hand continues to serve as part of the combined ministries of its founding churches.  And its founding churches continue to support Helping Hand with gifts of time and money.

When its building was destroyed in the Flood of 2002, Helping Hand raised $750,000 to build its new Crisis Intervention Center.  The largest room in that building is Helping Hand’s Thrift Shop.  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.

Organization’s Current Programs:  Helping Hand’s  programs include Crisis Intervention; Crisis Counseling; Client Referral; Thrift Shop; Food Pantry; School Supplies Program; House Furnishings Replacement (for homes destroyed by fire or flood;) Free Prescription Program; School Dental Program; Medical Clinic; and classes in job finding, budgeting, parenting, and 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.  Its staff 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 Hand does work closely with other nonprofit organizations to make sure Helping Hand’s 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. 



The Bandera County Helping Hand envisions every individual and family residing in Bandera County with legitimate needs facing a crisis situation in their lives being enabled to overcome their difficulties to become self-sufficient with self-worth. We will accomplish this with services provided by Helping Hand, working together with public and private agencies, churches, and businesses located in the county.

A Helping Hand strengthens  a community.