By Bobbie Curd

Joan Huffman says several like-minded individuals realized there were some local needs not being met by their sister charities, which led to the creation of Boyle-Mercer County Helping Hands.

“Our goals are to coordinate assistance to the immediate needs of those individuals,” Huffman says, who is a board member of Helping Hands. “We provide aid to those affected by extraordinary events to ensure that their short-term and long-term needs are met.”

She says the group also wants to utilize other resources in the community to help meet those needs. The organization is a member of the United Health Services.

“Several of us were on various boards together, and we noticed a need in Boyle and Mercer counties …. We are a group of community-minded and professional individuals who are dedicated to helping those less fortunate and those in need.”

The board started with zero money, and the members donated enough funds collectively to start  the non-profit charitable organization.

“Then, we came up with the name Boyle-Mercer County Helping Hands Association and created a board of directors, our mission, goals and our philosophy.  We were all in agreement that Arnold Marshall needed to be our chairman of the board to lead us. We started in August 2011 and still have over half of our original board,” Huffman says.

Aside from Huffman as secretary, the board also consists of Bruce Nichols, chair; Tommy McGirr, vice-chair; Philip Nichols, treasurer; and members Arnold Marshall, Phil Sammons, Pat Bennett, Jeff Baer, Rev. William Jenkins and Baker Williams.

Huffman says the plans for the future of Helping Hands is to “continue what we are doing, and to constantly see where else we can help.” Since the organization’s inception, it has helped more than 3,000 people.

“We help with housing, food, clothing, utilities, installations, fuel, home furnishings, construction of ramps, painting, furniture, medical needs, etc. Also, we have a special interest to help the homeless, elderly and children,” Huffman says.

The group is always welcoming to volunteers. “They can help with building ramps, home needs, delivering food, painting, home improvements, monetary donations,” Huffman says.

Huffman says there are phone numbers listed on the door of the group’s meeting facility, located at 158 North Third St. in Danville.

And of course, the organization is always in need of donations.

“We are very grateful for the help from the Boyle Fiscal Court, City of Danville, donations we have received through our fundraising campaigns, and from speaking engagements,” Huffman says. The organization’s ability to help depends solely on donations.

“100 percent of our donations go back to helping the needs of Boyle and Mercer counties. Our needs are growing and we will greatly appreciate donations from businesses, governments, churches, individuals,” she says.

Donations can be mailed to: Boyle-Mercer County Helping Hands Association Inc., P.O. Box 1705, Danville, KY 40423.

For more information, call Joan Huffman at (859) 613-3770 or  Bruce Nichols at (859) 319-7014.