Outreach - February - March 2024:
SPRING 2024 -
We will be heading to ROLLING FORK, MISSISSIPPI to assist them following the tornado of March 24, 2023. This damaged over half the structures as it ran right through the middle of town.
Ninety volunteers will be heading to Rolling Fork, Mississippi to build homes. Three separate groups will participate with the Hand of Hope team...
Ø Saturday, February 24 - Saturday, March 2
Primarily Omaha based volunteers
Ø Saturday, March 2 - Saturday, March 9
Hosting Morningside University football players plus other leaders
Ø Saturday, March 9 - Saturday, March 16
Hosting both UNO & Kearney, plus other Omaha Rapid Response volunteers
ROLLING FORK, MISSISSIPPI
What can we do TODAY?
Nineteen members of a small congregation lost their homes, so their church is struggling already but that did not deter them from stepping up from the rubble to be a Host Center for volunteers. We have been working with Pastor Williamson, to identify ways to get help, to prepare and effectively equip their facility. They have done a fabulous job converting part of the church into sleeping quarters, adding facilities, and expanding their kitchen. Now WE get to help fill the drawers, cabinets, and rooms through an Amazon Wish List. If each of us helps just a little, we can remove this large expense from their limited resources and enable them to bring more volunteer teams to their aid!
FIRST, we wouldn’t ask you to donate without fully understanding the need and the nonprofit, so take a minute and view these two videos.
SECOND, with a clear picture of what is happening in Rolling Fork, go out to the Wish List and show them we care.
Details of the “Rolling Fork Rising” (Previously Build Back Better) project:
Fox Nation Patriot Award for Tracy Harden (Board Member) 11/16/23:
NEXT: START Sharing the WISH LIST link with friends
The Disaster – At 8:00pm on March 24, 2023, ROLLING FORK was mowed over by an EF4 Tornado. The exceptionally wide, ¾ mile, path ran for over 59 miles. The track was from the Southwest to the Northeast, the same layout as the town. It ran right up through the middle! Over 260 of the 500 structures were completely destroyed.
Why did we “pick” Rolling Fork? That’s the funny thing, we didn’t. We had crossed it off our list because it was a bit far, they are in the early stages of learning how to host, etc. Bottom line, it would take more effort on our end. Less than an hour after crossing it off, a return call was received from a message that had been left the week prior. We heard of an amazing grassroots program they had put together to save their town. The needed fuel to make this happen …. volunteers.
Get to know Rolling Fork - The town of 1,700 is situated at the intersection of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas. This is the Delta, some of the richest soil in the world. But that does not equate to financial freedom for everyone, 38% of the people live below the Poverty Line, compare that to 24% for the State and 15% at other states. The “Teddy Bear” got its start there and Jazz great Muddy Waters was born there. Other than that, it is a poor town in need of your help.
The Program that hooked us – “Rolling Fork Build Back Better” was set up by citizens and community leaders. While Homeowners do receive assistance from Federal programs to rebuild, Renters don’t. This is extremely important as 68% of the residents are Renters, so only 32% of the residents are getting Federal assistance to get a roof over their head. The community would not survive. Businesses, the school and hospital would close. This program is focused on displaced Renters who have completed vetting and qualification programs (Financial literacy, Emotional & Spiritual Care, Homeownership, etc.) They will be able to purchase a home through a no interest 20-year mortgage that has a payment (with insurance and taxes) similar to their previous rent. This only happens with the donation of materials AND volunteer labor. These fortunate people can now become homeowners, breaking the multigenerational poverty cycle. (See the QR Code for more info). By the end of December frames for up to a dozen homes could be prepped and ready for delivery to the lots.
Volunteers – This is where we need YOU! The impact you will be able to make into this community is huge. We will need multiple talented people who can Pick Up, Clean Up, Cook, Listen and Construct. Do NOT underestimate your impact! One week of your time can change lives.
Saturday, February 24 - Saturday, March 2
We will need both site Construction Teams and a Kitchen Team
Saturday, March 2 - Saturday, March 9
Hosting Morningside University football players. We will need both
Site Leadership/Construction Teams and a big Kitchen Team!
Saturday, March 9 - Saturday, March 16
Hosting volunteers from both University of Nebraska Omaha and Kearney campuses
Again needing Site Leadership/Construction/Kitchen Teams!
Outreach - February - March 2023:
Grand Isle, Louisiana had been hit by 150+ mph winds back on August 29, 2021 when Cat 4 Hurricane Ida pummeled the island. Our Mission was to help rebuild the infrastructure, community, homes and lives. This Barrier Island of only 1,100 people is 7 miles long and a half mile wide and 40-50% of the homes were destroyed.
We rebuilt homes and celebrated Educators and Students with supplies, books and equipment for their school. We shared over 2,200 volunteer hours on 12 projects around the island over the 3 weeks.
Three teams took week-long trips to Grand Isle:
See pictures and recaps at the Grand Isle Button.
Outreach - February 2022:
Mission trips to Lake Charles, Louisiana were the weeks of February 26 and March 4. We partnered with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders again as they set up our housing and case management.
Outreach - MAY 2021:
HOUSTON/League City - 2021 -
The weeks of May 10 and 17 we sent teams to downs on the southeast side of Houston as we teamed up with a coalition of Omaha churches and Orphan Grain Train of Norfolk, NE to become “Team Nebraska” for this mission.. In Texas we assisted two non-profits, Fuller Center-Disaster Rebuilders and 4B Disaster Response Network (located in Texas City, TX). They are responding to the havoc created when in February, freezing temperatures swept deep into Texas causing the…. “Texas Frozen Pipe Disaster”.
Outreach - 2019 and 2020:
March 15, 2019 was the beginning of significant flooding from North central Nebraska all the way to the Southeast corner of the state plus flooding across the river into Iowa. Heavy rain on top of record snow fall, coupled with 60 degree temperatures melted nearly the entire snow base in 2 days. Waters ran wildly as the ground was frozen solid. Next, levees and dams broke which created walls of water and amplified the water volume heading into already flooded areas.
Our 191 volunteers shared 3,695 service hours with 22 families and their communities, from Pacific Junction, Iowa (2,510 hours) to Bellevue, NE/Valley (480 hours). This all began as we returned from three trips to Houston in February and March. (705 hours).
In 2020, we worked in smaller teams through July, contributing another 800 hours in Pacific Junction, but we wrapped up due to Covid-19 concerns.
From February through September 2020 we also became a furniture donations conduit, taking several trailer loads of furniture to Pacific Junction. Donated Kitchen Cabinets were reconstructed and refinished to fit perfectly into the last two homes we assisted with. We GREATLY appreciate the dedication of volunteers as we worked for over 15 months on this single disaster.
A huge THANK YOU to retailer Bomgaars and DeWalt Tools as they teamed up to make a fantastic donation of tools to Hand of Hope. We greatly appreciate their commitment to help rebuild homes. It's terrific to have battery powered tools for our volunteers to use and eliminate dragging multiple extension cords through the work area.
Hand of Hope Ministries is built on a strong foundation in scripture. The verse below affirms our mission belief that we are here for a specific reason and we should not stop short in achieving what we have been created to do.
Mission Statement: Hand of Hope Ministries is focused on spreading the love of Jesus to the Poor, Uninsured and Underinsured. We will share our unique God-given talents by reaching out to be His hands, His feet and His voice to those impacted by natural disasters throughout the Central United States. His love is spread through rebuilding both their damaged homes and lives, through community outreach and one on one prayer. Providing Hope to the hopeless and raising up volunteers to be Disciples of Christ.
For we are God’s handiwork,
created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
‘Truly I tell you,
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,
you did for me.’
Hand of Hope Ministries of Omaha, Nebraska, EIN # 46-4744120, is tax exempt as a Public Charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations to Hand of Hope Ministries may be tax-deductible. Consult your Tax Adviser.