Local News

Helping Hand Mission struggles, desperately needs donations

Posted December 13, 2016

Helping Hand Mission, an organization that helps low-income families with food, clothing, furniture and shelter, is asking for help this holiday season. Organizers fear it won't be able to stay open after the high demand for services in 2016. The organization must raise $100,000 dollars in the next four months to keep its doors open.
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— Helping Hand Mission, an organization that helps low-income families with food, clothing, furniture and shelter, is asking for help this holiday season. Organizers said the organization has been struggling after the high demand for services in 2016.

The organization said it hopes to raise $100,000 dollars in the next four months

“Sometimes I feel sort of like the octopus,” said Sylvia Wiggins, director of Helping Hand Mission. “You have something going on over here, something going on over here. You have Hurricane Matthew, and other people need the help all over the place. “

The New Bern House, at 501 New Bern Ave., serves as housing for low-income individuals in need and a safe community hub for a variety of charity groups. Helping Hand Mission funds the house as one of several projects, many of which are in jeopardy as the bills pile up and drain funds.

“This is their family, and we're a family. They welcomed us with open arms,” Tocora Ziera said, a mother who said she benefits from the organization’s services.

Wiggins said the shortfall means cutting back in more ways than she could imagine. With an outdated water and heating system, the New Bern house has no central heating or air, and the list of repairs continues to grow. The house is currently heated by space heaters and window units, resulting in astronomical utility bills.

Wiggins estimates that water and heating averages $3,000 per month, but a new system they hope to install will be more efficient and cut costs dramatically.

“When it's cold, it's really cold. I know if I'm cold I know that the little ones are cold,” Ziera said.

From money to tech support, several major groups like Duke Energy, Triangle Community Foundation and the Raleigh Area Development Authority have stepped in to help, but the organization is still in dire need.

“I tell you what we just need it so bad,” Wiggins said.

With the 120-day deadline, Wiggins said she hopes they will raise the money so the organization can better serve the local community.

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