It’s all about the volunteers!

Sometimes it’s smooth sailing and other times it can be like pulling teeth.

A Hand Up volunteers are making it happen this summer.  Summer is a tough time for recruiting volunteers at A Hand Up.  With summer vacations, college and high school students are not in session; it’s hot or hot and humid or raining or….there is so much else to do – you know it’s summertime.  But….our volunteers hear the call and they rally their families and friends and GET IT DONE!

The weekend of June 28 and 29 was such a time.  We have a backlog of clients who have been waiting to help make their apartments more livable.  On Saturday, Tom O’Neill and his family (Jen and Victoria) along with Jeremy Fishman and Mary Stauffer made life a whole lot better for Theresa and her 3 children with the delivery of beds, dressers, table and chairs, lamps, shelving, linens, dishes, utensils – yes, it was pretty empty before they arrived.  Theresa was at work – yes, some of our clients work! and two of her teenage children pitched in to carry up all the items to the third floor. It was hot and sweaty but the teens were so appreciative that it made it all worthwhile.

The next day another A Hand Up family heard the call. Rich Allen and his family along with Paul McDill and his daughter Emily  attempted to make a delivery.  At times things don’t always go as smooth as butter with a delivery and this was one of the examples.  The delivery team had trouble reaching the client.  Alls well that ends well – after some frustration of waiting, calling, knocking on doors, leaving notes and messages, the team was just back to the warehouse when the client called  to say he had returned.  The stalwart team went back and delivered their load up two flights of narrow stairs.

During the week board member Sam Paul recruited his UPS Capital colleague, Tom Izard on the hottest day so far of the year to make some needed pick-ups.  Often our donors want “instant” pick-up not realizing that we are a volunteer based organization with real people who have day jobs!   Sam and Tom picked up a nice truckload of items ranging from dining room furniture to boxes of kitchenware.  They soldiered on and even unloaded everything back at the warehouse.

The next day – the second hottest day of the summer –  our amazing Sam Paul and Dave Wayland loaded up for two deliveries in Middletown.  This is further than our normal delivery area – gas is expensive and volunteer time is hard to come by.  Earl is an amputee and in a wheelchair.  His case manager met the team at the apartment. They were able to commandeer the one working elevator just long enough to deliver a full size bed set with frame, a bureau, a small couch, an end table, a desk, a vacuum cleaner, 2 lamps, a kitchen table, kitchenware, silverware, linens, blankets, a pillow, a set of towels, a coffee maker and a toaster – another empty apartment converted into a home.  Earl was happy to have a bed to sleep on and the place looked so much better.

Sam and Dave  trucked on to Steve and he scored the armchair, end table, coffee table and kitchen table and chairs from the pick up the day before, along with a twin bed set with frame, kitchenware, dishware, glassware, silverware, and a coffee maker.  Steve was very thankful for the new items that fit his apartment well.

That makes four new homes furnished and 2 pick-ups and all those wonderful volunteers and GETTING IT DONE!  Thank you!