by Lisa Schauer
Vehicles were lined up around Widmeyer Memorial Park and down to Save a Lot last Saturday, August 13 for the ninth annual Hancock’ s Helping Hands event organized by the greater Hancock council of churches.
The drive-thru opened at 10 a.m. and the last vehicle pulled out at about 12:20 p.m. with the final two backpacks, according to event organizers.
“This is our third year doing the drive-thru. We did two lanes. It’s much more efficient for everybody. We don’t have to set up tents around the park, and its more convenient for those with disabilities,” said event organizer Kristie Stotler.
Everyone gets something, not just school-age kids, according to Stotler. Pre-K to high school students got a backpack, underwear or personal care items. Expectant moms, babies and toddlers got baby care bags. Every adult got a meal, socks, and personal care items. Each household also received items not covered by EBT food cards, including laundry detergent, dish detergent, toilet paper, tissues and paper towels. Snow cones were offered to all on their way out.
“There is definitely a greater need this year, as we served almost 200 more people than last year. It truly is a blessing to be able to touch the lives of so many people,” said Stotler.
Volunteers from Orchard Ridge First Church of God, Hancock Presbyterian, and St. Thomas Episcopal were on hand to direct traffic, greet people, and fill orders until the line disappeared.
“We like helping the community. Folks have been having a tough time,” said Pastor Jeff Hawbaker with Orchard Ridge First Church of God, as he greeted people, offering them a Bible and words of encouragement as they made their way to the drive-thru.