By Heather Wimmer
On Saturday April 30, over 40 volunteers came to Heart-N-Hand Ministries program center in Belton to help out where they could. Heart-N-Hand is a nonprofit organization that provides food assistance, life-skills classes, recovery groups, a day center for those in need, and clothing vouchers for their thrift store (200 B St, Belton, MO).
The nonprofit has seen needs grow dramatically in the last year as the homeless population in the area has mushroomed because of the pandemic and recent changes in the economy.
Claudia Allred, a specialist for JustServe.org, helped organize the event when Bishop Jacob Henderson of the Kansas City Third Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked her to find a service project that everyone in the congregation could participate in. Allred connected with Heart-N-Hand’s executive director, Alexis Butterfield, who came up with four projects to use the skills of volunteers of all ages and abilities.
One of those projects had children and some of their parents assembling items for sack lunches and hygiene kits, some of which were donated by the church. Adults and teens helped in the thrift store organizing and preparing clothing. Other adults worked out renovating portions of the Heart-N-Hand Ministries center, painting two rooms and a hallway and moving furniture.
“At each location there was a good spirit of teamwork. My heart was full of joy for the great service and spirit of the volunteers,” Allred said.
Volunteer Sam Wehner concurred.
“It was clean, efficient, and organized,” Wehner said. “They have created a physical and spiritual safe place for people in need.”