Helping Hand Mission

by Terry Watson | August 6th, 2011
Sylvia Wiggins

Sylvia Wiggins (Photo by Greg Allen)

The Helping Hand Mission, Inc. opened its doors in the winter of 1972. The Helping Hand Mission Inc. assists families on a one-on-one basis with food, clothing, furniture, and shelter. An article in a local newspaper printed a story of a homeless man who was found frozen to death in downtown Durham due to the lack of sufficient winter clothing and no available shelter space. This article touched Mrs. Sylvia Wiggin’s heart and that winter she began “Operation Warm Clothing.”

The program took-off and collection boxes were placed throughout the Triangle, collecting coats, blankets, hats, gloves and any warm article for needy adults and children. So many families participated in this new program that the focus expanded into ways to provide “special services” to needy families with children, the elderly, the disabled, the homeless, and victims of disaster.

From its humble beginnings, the Helping Hand Mission, Inc. has grown into a vital source of help and relief for the downtrodden. Its doors are open 365 days per year to serve everyone regardless of race, creed, or color. The Mission receives reusable items from families all over Wake County and surrounding areas. The mission also provides pickup services for large items such as furniture and appliances. These items can be picked up within 24 hours. The Helping Hand Mission has collection boxes located in shopping centers in Raleigh, Cary, and Garner.

Love Baskets are delivered to needy families. These baskets consist of meat, canned goods, vegetables, and provides the recipient with a wholesome meal. During the Holidays, the Helping Hand Mission opens its doors to anyone without a home for a traditional dinner fixed with all the holiday trimmings. Each plate is carefully prepared with a homey touch to let our less fortunate friends know somebody cares. Volunteers come from near and far to help with a smile and the doors don’t close until everyone is fed. The Mission helps less fortunate families with small children by providing gifts for the holidays.

Their mission is to provide relief and support to needy families and victims of fire and to distribute food and clothing to persons in need. They also seek to direct people incapable of handling their business to appropriate sources for help, and train and educate the unemployed and help them to find employment. Helping Hands also help individuals become self-sufficient and restore dignity and pride to those who have had difficulties as a result of a lack of services and resources.

The Board of Directors for Helping Hands Mission are Harold Whipple, Chairman, Sylvia Wiggins, Executive Director, Roger Sessions, Trustee Board and Charity Dunn, Human Services. Some of the services offered are Daily Food baskets, Food basket distribution to the elderly, Operation Warm Clothing, Operation Fan Relief Love Baskets – Thanksgiving and Christmas, Summer Camp for Girls Youth Enrichment for Boys, Back-to-School Assistance, an After School Program, Toys for Needy Children, Weekend Meal Program for the Hungry, Transitional Housing for Families with Children May Day Festival, Helping Hand Mission Marching Band and Donation Pick-Up Service.

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