HELPS Ministry Resumes Limited Help

As reported in early August, Good Samaritan’s local outreach ministry HELPS suspended offering  financial assistance to Chester County residents requesting such assistance. (Current counselors, Angela Linden and Rose Dodd continued receiving requests and provided non-financial assistance such as lists of other resources, suggested agencies clients might contact, and moral/spiritual help.) The need to suspend financial assistance through HELPS, which has been a part of the Good Samaritan outreach ministry for many years, was due to an overwhelming increase in requests for assistance. By late July, it became obvious that available funds would soon be depleted, in addition to the increasing difficulty of HELPS counselors to keep up with demand. HELPS is not a “budgeted” line item, relying in large part to the annual Christmas Tree sales as well as individuals' donations.

For a detailed summary of the reasons and statistics behind the decision to suspend HELPS assistance, along with a personal client’s story, see Helps August 8 News.

With some generous and much-appreciated donations over the last few weeks, HELPS has been able to once again provide financial assistance on a limited basis, presently dealing only with clients who have been referred by other supporting agencies. HELPS has established good working relationships with many different agencies, especially Orion Communities in Phoenixville. Such agencies have the resources to do more extensive background work on needy potential clients, and refer only those they believe HELPS assistance can be significant in helping an individual or family through a difficult, but potentially short-term financial need. HELPS continues to follow its standard guidelines for deciding what situations to address: Chester County residents, providing a limit of $300, not assisting more than once in a calendar year, and an indication that their assistance can help as a short-term solution rather than just a portion of what may be a long-term need for help.

HELPS has reviewed their total structure of operation to make it more compatible with potential financial resources and the management abilities of the volunteer counselors. They hope, with good income from this fall’s Christmas Tree sales, the availability of some yearly scheduled gifts, and the generosity of the congregation, HELPS will be able to start 2019 under usual operation. Gifts of any size are always helpful. The pew envelopes can be used for cash or checks, making sure that the HELPS ministry is noted on the envelope.

HELPS counselors also plan to make a presentation at church services on Sunday, November 18. You can learn much more about this important program, as well as the types of situations that HELPS is able to address. Come and learn: and then be able to encourage friends and neighbors to support HELPS by purchasing their Christmas Tree from the Church of the Good Samaritan!