Fighting Hunger Since 1983
In 1983, Candy Johnson and Hita Dickson, from Pearland, Texas, attended an Episcopal Women’s conference in Bryan/College Station. The Right Rev. Bishop Benitez challenged the attendees of the conference to see if there were any hungry people living in their hometowns. Of course, Candy and Hita thought there were none.
Candy had been assisting a local woman, “Maria,” who had five children, ages one year to seven years. Maria’s electricity was shut off and her husband was unemployed. When Candy inquired about how Maria was going to feed her family, Maria showed Candy the molding beans in the refrigerator. Maria simply scraped off the mold and placed the pot on the gas stove. Dinner was cooking, again.
With the witness to this single family in need, Candy and Hita contacted the clergy in the area. To their amazement, many local clergy in our area had been inundated with people needing assistance. The clergy welcomed the idea of a Christian organization to be formed that would aid and service this growing problem. The original nine churches provided the core of such an organization to be born on April 30, 1984. CHRISTIAN HELPING HANDS, a ministry of churches to those in need, was in operation by July 2, 1984.
Christian Helping Hands is operated by an ALL-VOLUNTEER staff. The member-churches have grown from nine to twenty-two churches (Baptist, Anglican,Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, Assembly of God and Non-denominational) all working together. Numerous “non-member” churches also participate in the assistance programs of C.H.H. They all follow God’s command “….therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor in this land.” Deuteronomy 15:11
Being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Christian Helping Hands has assisted the needy residing in Pearland, Friendswood, Brookside and Manvel (Texas) with food, rent and utility assistance, clothing vouchers, gasoline and medical vouchers and emergency lodging. C.H.H. has also provided school supplies and Christmas gifts, as well as assistance to those affected by flooding in the area. In the first nineteen years, Christian Helping Hands provided assorted services to 41,000 FAMILIES representing 143,000 PEOPLE.
Our First Pantry
July 2, 1984: The day the phone rang! The original location was a small building, with only 1,200 square feet. It had three walls and a roof. The building was a gift from Victory Pools. We rented the land from Verna Yost (deceased) until September 2002. The North wall needed to be closed in. The Aid Association of Lutheran Brotherhood came to the rescue, closing in the fourth wall. Our “closet pantry” was moved into the “Big Room” of 400 square feet. Within the four walls were two upright freezers, one chest freezer, one refrigerator, three window air conditioners, one table, four desks, three grocery carts, two file cabinets, one microware, one toilet (moving south), twenty chairs, shelving packed with canned goods and NO heat! The building was so jammed with stuff, it was often called, “The excuse me pantry.”
The ministry continued operation out of this tiny building for eighteen years. By the time the replacement facility was
completed, the old building had sagging floors, the toilet had move south and fire ants had swarmed six times. We could
not plug in a radio with out breaking the electrical circuit. Due to the sagging, rotten floor in the center of the
building, the carpet could not be replaced. It was so discolored, no one could recall the original color. The file
cabinets leaned against each other. The microwave was so tilted that one could not put a full bowl of soup in it.
The old place proved itself worthy. During the eighteen years of occupancy, approximately 139,00 people were assisted with a multitude services. No wonder it was falling apart!!