Hands 4 Hope will add Wednesday stops in April, May

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 April 2020 at 6:16 pm

Ministry offers food, takes prayer requests

Photos by Tom Rivers

MEDINA – The Hands 4 Hope ministry was in Medina today, set up in the parking lot at the MAAC Thrift Depot at the corner of Star and Orient streets. (The MAAC Thrift Depot is closed right now due to concerns with the coronavirus.)

The top photo shows Hands 4 Hope leader Jack Burris chatting with Ivy Schell of Medina.

Hands 4 Hope started on Jan. 20, 2016 taking the red truck to locations in Albion, Holley and Medina on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Hands 4 Hope offers a “share” of food, toilet paper, socks and some other supplies. The ministry has suspended accepting and offering donated clothing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hands 4 Hope for the first time next week will be expanding to Wednesday evenings, going to different sites than the current schedule on Saturdays.

Kevin Lemcke, one of the Hands 4 Hope volunteers, fills a bag with food. A typical share includes rice, spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, crackers, corn, beans, dish soap, a bar of soap, 2 rolls of toilet paper and some other toiletries.

The new Wednesday schedule will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Hands 4 Hope will be in Kendall on April 8 and expects to be parked at the Town Hall parking lot. Burris said to look for the red truck.

On April 15, Hands 4 Hope will be outside the Yates Community Library in Lyndonville. April 22 will be in Waterport on Baker Road at the Heritage Meadow Apartments and April 29 will be in Murray at the Countyline Trailer Park, with a similar schedule in May.

Burris owns a carpet cleaning business. He has had to cut back due to the pandemic. It also has given him more time for Hands 4 Hope. He is committed to the Wednesdays the next two months and will then reassess if it continues.

The Hands 4 Hope truck is parked outside at the MAAC Clothing Depot today. The line was spaced more than 6 feet.

Hands 4 Hope has scaled back its crew of volunteers during the pandemic. Burris said many of the volunteers are 60 and older and he doesn’t want them out on the truck until the pandemic is over.

He also has marked spots spaced at least six feet apart for people to stand in line. The volunteers also aren’t hugging people, which Burris said is hard for everyone.

Ivy Schell of Medina has been coming to Hands 4 Hope for its monthly stop in Medina for about three years.

“It makes life a lot easier,” she said about the share of food and other supplies.

She gives Burris and the volunteers updates on her life and they will pray for her on the spot. Today the volunteers were joined by the Rev. Randy LeBaron for the prayer requests.

Ron Stewart also has been coming to Hands 4 Hope for more than a year. He remembers the group going in his neighborhood, knocking on doors to get the word out about the program.

“I appreciate the people that put this on, the heart and spirit of them,” Stewart said. “They’re here to help spiritually, emotionally and with the food, but the food is just the icing on the cake.”

Stewart commended the volunteers for continuing the ministry during the pandemic, and even expanding to the sites in Lyndonville, Kendall, Waterport and Murray.

Burris said Hands 4 Hope welcomes any donations financially or with food. Any checks can be sent to Hands 4 Hope, 243 South Main St., Suite 174, Albion, NY 14411. Donations can also be made through the Hands 4 Hope Facebook page or the Hands 4 Hope website.

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