One of the areas prominent charities, North Strand Helping Hand (NSHH) needs your help.
NSHH is a United Way Partner Agency that helps local families in need on a daily basis. On Monday though Friday's families start lining up outside North Strand's Longs location an hour before they open in hopes to get basic items they may not be able to afford. Items such as canned and dry goods, toiletries, and clothing. And when they have enough monetary donations they can offer emergency help with paying all or some of a client's utility bill.
But, due to a temporary closing of the Our Lady Star of the Sea's food pantry NSHH has also been helping with their clientele which has helped to contribute to the empty shelves pictured above. I spoke with Jamie Hedden, Interim Director for North Strand and she informed us that there are other factors, besides the closing of the Our Lady food pantry,
Many jobs in the area are already cutting hours so Dads and Moms can pay all their bills but there is no money left over for food. Food donations are always low this time of the year, and food drives usually do not occur during the busy summer months.
She assures us that there are several food drives planned in the coming weeks and months since the summer season is over. Also, the Our Lady Star of the Sea's food pantry is scheduled to open back up very soon.
How to Help
If you would like to help North Strand Helping Hand with any donations you can, they are located at 2501 Long Bay Road in Longs. Their doors are open Monday through Thursday from 10:00am until 3:00pm, Friday from 10:00am until 1:00pm. If you can't make it suring their hours of operation they have a donation box ion site.
The Power of Social Media
We were alerted to NSHH's food crisis due to the above photo being posted on Facebook by one of their volunteers, the photo, accompanied by the story of their need went viral among all those who work at or volunteer with NSHH. Hedden, shared that one volunteer whose friends in New Jersey saw the post are putting together a package of nonperishable foods to send down.
We at North Strand Helping Hand are always so very grateful for the support given to us by our community, and I am amazed at how quickly word can get out of our need for donations thanks to social media. It's inspiring that people from as far away as New Jersey are willing to do what they can for a community they do not belong to. Acts such as that really does help to give hope.
- Jamie Hedden, Interim Director for NSHH
Additionally, we were contacted by a local who wants to do a small food drive for North Strand in the coming days. We'll let you know the details on that as soon as they become available.
What North Strand Helping Hand needs and accepts:
- Canned Meats (Tuna, Chicken)
- Canned Fruit in Light Syrup
- Peanut Butter
- Dried Milk in Individual Packages
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Spaghetti Noodles
- Dry goods (Mac n Cheese, potatoes, etc)
- Spring/Summer/winter Clothing
- Children’s Clothes
- Pots and Pans