HANNAWA FALLS, N.Y. (WWNY) - There are a lot of Christmas donations to sort through at the Helping Hands post office box in Hannawa Falls. They’re all appreciated. But, last week there was one that stunned even the most experienced hands.
“There comes a check for $10,000 from anonymous donor,” said Ed Sachs, Helping Hands board president. “We were all shocked and surprised and thrilled.”
They got so excited they made up a mock check. The donation is badly needed. The pandemic is back with a vengeance. Businesses are closing. People are losing jobs.
“Every time we turn around there’s someone here,” said Ellen Planty, Helping Hands volunteer.
“So you see a different group of people that aren’t traditionally struggling financially,” said Sachs.
Helping Hands helps people keep their homes heated, lights on, rent paid. It has a food pantry, furniture barn and wood pile. $10,000 can help with all that.
The anonymous $10,000 donation wasn’t the only amazing story; you also hear stories of people’s struggles and how Helping Hands helps them overcome them.
One young man from Hannawa Falls needed a job. Helping Hands got him one in Potsdam. He rode his bike up Route 56 and back every day. Then came the snow.
“So he rode his bicycle through the snow...to go to work. He could really use a set of wheels, besides a bicycle,” said Phillip Bridgman, Hannawa Falls resident.
Mission accomplished. Bridgman donated a Toyota Tundra and it’s going to the young man. It’s the kind of personalized giving Helping Hands specializes in.
“People feel like there’s a human connection when they come and talk to somebody and receive a prayer,” said Sachs.
Helping Hands’ free lunches had to close down, but Thanksgiving fixings for 250 dinners went out the door.
Right before Christmas there will be another big milk and food giveaway.