Hands of Grace serves 145 people

From left to right, Salvation Army volunteer Jim Calder, Wheelersburg First Church of Christ member Rase Martin, and Living Faith Temple member Darrin Miller pose by The Salvation Army truck. Calder, Martin, and Miller were among the volunteers that helped cook food and donate clothes to Hands of Grace’s latest ministry outreach.

When a group of people from areas all across Scioto County band together in order to help out those in need, it truly shows how special the cause is to those who participate.

Behind the leadership of Hands of Grace strongholds Carmen Josey, Darrin Miller, and Jim Calder, the ministry outreach was able to give free food and clothing to 145 individuals throughout the area Saturday at The Salvation Army in Portsmouth.

For Miller, Hands of Grace’s ability to feed and clothe numerous amounts of families on Saturday was an amazing accomplishment that he, nor Calder or Josey, will take for granted.

“It’s outstanding,” Miller said. “God is good. We had a really good turnout, and we’re just blessed to be able to give back to them what our Lord and Savior has given to us. It means everything.”

Since its formation in March of 2016, Hands of Grace has one main goal — to sacrifice time in order to help individuals and families in dire need of the everyday essentials that humans need in order to live — while offering up a place of fellowship for people who simply want to converse with other individuals, pray, or share the word of God.

The nonprofit organization, which was formed via a joint effort between Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, the Salvation Army, Living Faith Temple, and Pleasant Green Baptist Church — the latter trio being centered in Portsmouth — has added Christ Temple, which is located in Portsmouth, and First Church of Christ, a Wheelersburg ministry in less than a year and a half.

“We’re just all soldiers who are here for one cause, and that’s to help,” Miller said. “You see the people coming in, and you could tell that they just really appreciated that meal. They saw the clothes and were able to take them home. That’s our mission. It’s simply to just come out and help provide people with what they need.”

In addition to the hot meals and the much-needed clothing that Miller, Calder, and Josey were able to serve to the people Saturday through Hands of Grace, the organization got another church involved as Minford’s Grace Baptist Church — who helped put in a garden that is comprised of apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and plums at The Salvation Army — has also officially joined the nonprofit organization to officially make HOG an organization that stretches into all corners of the county.

“We all got together, Carmen mentioned it to myself, and then she mentioned it to Darrin, got some other people involved from some other churches, and it has just continued to grow from there,” Calder, a Salvation Army volunteer, said.

And again, hot meals and clothing aren’t all that Hands of Grace provides.

“We’re here to propose fellowship, too,” Calder said. “If they want to pray, we’re here for that. If they want somebody to talk to, we’re here for that as well. We’ll gladly talk to them.”

Hands of Grace, which holds ministry outreach events once a month, will hold its next event on Saturday, July 29 in Wayne Hills, where free food and clothing will be offered once again. In August, Hands of Grace will return to The Salvation Army location in Portsmouth, with a back to school giveaway, including bookbags and school supplies — in addition to the free lunches and clothing that is offered at every meeting — being offered.

For more information about Hands of Grace and its upcoming events, check back at the Daily Times website at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com.

Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7