Last week volunteers from local service organization Helping Hands braved the hot summer heat and gathered in northern Bryan County to lend their talents and skills to those in need.
The organization was in the Pembroke area for three days and assisted nine homeowners with repairs, electrical wiring and maintenance on their homes. Over 20 volunteers from all areas of Bryan County and the surrounding communities lent a hand. The work day started early beginning with a free breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. at the City Hall in Pembroke.
After breakfast, the group broke up into teams and headed towards the job sites. Among the volunteers were members of Ft. Stewart’s 92nd Engineers 554 Company. According to Army Specialist Breithaupt, their commander had read a blog on the Bryan County News website written by Pembroke Councilwoman Angela Reed. In the blog Councilwoman Reed informed the public of the Helping Hands mission, volunteer dates and the need for assistance.
"We are happy to help out," said Spc. Breithaupt. "This is an excellent cause and it helps us keep our skills sharp while we are home from deployment."
The military volunteers were each granted a two day pass to help Helping Hands. Spc. Breithaupt, along with Spc. Riquelme, PV2 Moreno, PFC. Coyle worked on the home of Pembroke senior citizen Eleanor Corbit located on Bacontown Road. Mrs. Corbit was born on the property and needed a little assistance after a small electrical fire.
"We are rewiring her electric, doing some plumbing, fixing the roof and building some back steps," said Spc. Breithaupt. "It is always nice to be able to help others and serve the community."
Helping Hands began in 2003 when Rotary president Jim Gardner, challenged the Rotary to take on efforts to assist the needs of citizens of Bryan County. It is a cooperative effort between the Rotary Club, United Way of Coastal Georgia, the Home Builders Association, area churches of Bryan County and many individual volunteers.
To qualify for Helping Hands’ assistance the person requesting help must own the property in which they reside, the property must be in Bryan County and they must have a financial need for assistance. The United Way of Coastal Georgia uses their screening process to assist in making sure all projects taken on by Helping Hands are truly that of special needs.
Building materials and supplies are donated or purchased at cost from local business such as Gaster Lumber, Choo Choo, Owen Supply, Pembroke Hardware, Plantation Lumber, the Paint Store and many other local Bryan County businesses.
"We have had such a great turnout of volunteers," said Janice Blunt of the united Way of Coastal Georgia. "We helped so many people this week. The people we helped are so thankful. It is truly a rewarding project."
Helping Hands will be back in northern Bryan County again on July 31, August 1 & 2. To lend a hand to or to donate materials to Helping Hands contact Mrs. Blunt at 653-5344.