Lend A Hand is a non-profit (501 C 3) organization founded in 1989 as a local disaster response and assistance program. The Mission and Purpose of Lend A Hand is to coordinate a reliable system of transportation, labor, housing and meals, and job assignments for volunteers who wish to help people suffering extraordinary hardship as the result of natural disasters.
We have been responding to natural disasters throughout the country since our inception. Over 3,000 volunteers have stepped forward to assist those in need. We have always worked to help the uninsured and the under-insured to recover their homes from the damage of wind, water and fire.
In brief, Lend A Hand:
- Has no paid employees, we are all volunteers
- Works out of donated offices provided by the Presbytery of Carlisle, and previously, the Pa. Christian Churches United offices.
- Owns two passenger vans and one cargo van for supplies. All computers, office equipment, supplies and materials are donated to us
- All financial donations are used to charter buses, house and feed volunteers, and purchase materials used in the reconstruction process.
- We do not work on commercial structures, public buildings, or for-profit entities. We concentrate on those who are handicapped, elderly, lower income…all that needs a hand of compassion and caring.
In meeting these needs, we have responded to
- Floods in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Dakota, Minnesota, New York and Tennessee
- Tornado damage in Oklahoma and Mississippi
- Blizzard damage in Pennsylvania
- Fire in Pennsylvania
- Hurricane recovery work in North and South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana and New Jersey
As a disaster assistance program, we do NOT provide rapid response or medical triage activities. These works are the purview of FEMA, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. We, rather, are the second level of response…
- We “muck out” or remove debris, damaged furniture, carpeting, sheetrock, insulation, and utilities
- We move to the curbside all materials not salvageable as keepsakes
- We reconstruct houses, including all aspects of home construction from sub flooring to roofs
- We restore dreams, listen, pray, console and encourage
Many Hands, Light Work
In summary, Lend A Hand missions exemplify the ‘Many hands make light work’ philosophy. Although volunteers may begin their journey as strangers, a lifelong friendship and bonding occurs during the work week both with their fellow volunteers and with the host families they assist. It is a life changing, spiritually rewarding, ‘faith journey’ for most of the volunteers.