Helping Hands of Paulding County received an overwhelming amount of support in 2012.
The organization was able to donate 100 turkey and ham dinners to families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, said Andrea Watson, executive director of Helping Hands.
“We served 35 to 40 families with children [through the dinners],” she said.
Paulding County Helping Hands is a non-profit organization made up of “church, community and professional people working together to provide temporary emergency aid for those in need residing in Paulding County, Georgia,” according to the agency’s web site.
Watson said residents were very generous in the holiday season. The food donations were so high that they are able to give out about 30 pounds of food per person right now, she said.
“The community itself thinks of their neighbors that are hungry,” Watson said.
There was enough food for all of Helping Hands clients during the holiday season, she said. They distribute the food based on serving sizes and members in a family, she said.
“We put a lot of thought and love into what we do here,” Watson said.
In November 1,193 residents were served, which broke the all-time record of most clients served in the organization’s 25-year existence, Watson said. From January to November 4,478 clients were served and 800 residents received food from the “mobile food pantry,” she said.
All of the food given out in that time totaled 267,213 pounds, with 5,611 pounds of non food items, Watson said.
“We weigh everything coming in and going out,” she said.
Toys and winter clothes also were donated, Watson said. Families with children were able to pick two toys for each child in the family, with most of the toys being for the ages of 12 and under, she said. There are still coats available for those who need them, Watson said.
Helping Hands only serves Paulding County residents that meet all of the requirements listed on helpinghandspauldingga.org, she said.
Shepherd’s Rest Ministries saw donations of food, clothes, toys and money. However, donations were down this year compared to last year, said volunteer liaison Dawn Erikson.
Shepherd’s is a faith-based organization based in Paulding that offers a variety of services to victims of domestic violence and their children, Erikson said.
Domestic violence reports typically spike during the Christmas season in slow economic times, she said.
She said the agency saw a high volume of residents who needed their services.
“This economy has put a strain on relationships,” Erikson said.
Helping Hands, visit helpinghandspauldingga.org.
Shepherd’s Rest, visit www.shepherdsrestministries.com.