We hope you are healthy and well as you read this update. The leaves are beginning to change and the cooler air is coming our way. In this season of fall and thanksgiving, we would like to take time to give a special thanks to our supporters, volunteers, and most importantly those who take time to pray for Hearts With Hands.
"O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:..." Psalms 136:1.
The month of August started with a local children's group volunteering and helping us with our second quarter mail-out. We appreciate their help with this special project. On August 10th, we partnered with the Land O' Sky Shriners and Street-tiques of Asheville for the 15th Annual Car, Truck, and Bike Show. They used our facilities for the fundraiser and attendees brought can food items for us. We also provided concessions as a fundraiser for Hearts With Hands. This was a great opportunity to invite folks who have never been to our warehouse to see our facilities and share the mission of HWH. We also shared about Hearts With Hands in the month of August through the Belk Charity Sale and the Gatlinburg Gathering, a southern gospel concert weekend put on by Abraham Productions. On August 16, we delivered our second load of 100 Boxes of Hope to the Asheville Police Department. They reported that the first load went very quickly, especially in the downtown Asheville area. All of the patrol officers carried a Box of Hope in their patrol car as well as some of the school resource officers. We are so excited about this partnership because as one of the officers told us, "they never expect an officer to pull a solution to their problem out of the trunk of their car." At the end of the month, we had two volunteer days to pack food boxes in preparation for Hurricane Dorian. Together, we packed over 2,000 boxes! We are so thankful for new volunteers and those who faithfully come to the warehouse and help out.
In September, we participated in the Hendersonville Apple Festival Parade and passed out hand fans with our supply list on the back. We are thankful for our local communities and how they come together to support Hearts With Hands. As we continued to track Hurricane Dorian, many local businesses, churches, and community groups began to collect items we needed. We are so grateful for Ingles Markets and the wonderful effort they put in each year in assisting us with collection drives. We could not respond in any magnitude if it were not for individuals who have the heart to help those in need. As the storm approached, Media Director, Andrew Winebarger, and Director of Emergency Operations, Winston Parrish, flew to Tampa, FL and followed the storm up the East Coast to access any damage she may have caused. This hurricane thankfully spared most of our East Coast except for a few areas around Ocracoke Island, but it devastated several islands in the Bahamas. We immediately knew we needed to help the Islands in the Bahamas, but we were not sure how we were going to be able to get the supplies over to the people. We began to pray for the Lord to guide and open doors. Within hours, we received a call from a local individual who is originally from the Abaco Islands of the Bahamas and who had family there. He asked us if Hearts With Hands would be able to help his family. We continued to pray because with no personal plane or boat, we knew we would not be able to do this on our own. A couple of hours later, we made a contact with Missionary Flights International and re-connected with Puerto Rico Relief Flight. We had partnered with Puerto Rico Relief Flight two years prior following the devastating Hurricane Maria. On September 6, we were on the runway in Stuart, FL and Ft. Pierce, FL with supplies being flown and delivered by black hawk helicopter to the Bahamian people on the same day! This first tractor-trailer load of Boxes of Hope, large food boxes, and hygiene kits were taken to the Grand Bahama Island, Abaco Island, Marsh Harbour, Grand Cay, Treasure Cay, and Turtle Cay. This was nothing short of a God thing. After the first load was delivered, we knew we would need to provide more supplies. We needed immediate funding assistance to get these supplies to the Bahamas, so we held our first ever LIVE Facebook share-a-thon. Throughout the day on September 10th, 8 AM-Noon, we received donations and pledges over the phone by volunteers. We had a goal of $50,000 to pay for the second load to go to the Bahamas. We are so thankful for everyone who called and donated online! We were able to raise almost $48,000 to pay for the second load that was already in the process of being delivered to the islands. We then started preparing for the third tractor-trailer load of supplies. On September 13th, the third tractor-trailer load left the warehouse in Swannanoa to go to Florida, and then to the Bahamas. A special thank you to Chris and DeAnna McCarson for providing their truck and transporting each load thus far for Hurricane Dorian relief. On September 23rd, we had a volunteer day to pack more supplies in response to the flooding in Orange County, Texas after Tropical Storm Imelda.
August and September were very busy months in responding to the storms as it typically is. As of the beginning of October, we are currently still assisting the areas in North Carolina that were affected by Hurricane Dorian. On October 1, we delivered supplies to Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Island. We are currently preparing the fourth load of supplies for the Bahamas. We are still in need of your help financially for our continued efforts to offer relief supplies in the Bahamas. Please pray for the Bahamian people and the over 70,000 who were left homeless. Our Box of Hope project for the homeless students in our area is still much needed. Our next delivery of Box of Hope food boxes and other supplies to the Buncombe County School System is scheduled for October 23rd.
We would like to invite you to join us for a special HWH Sunday at our home church, Trinity Baptist (216 Shelburne Road, Asheville, NC 28806) on November 3rd at 10:30 AM. We are also participating in the annual giving campaign #GivingTuesday on December 3rd. Please pray and plan on how you would be able to participate in this special end of the year giving opportunity. Your end of the year gift will be a special blessing for Christmas projects and is especially needed to help with maintenance on trailers, equipment, and building projects. We thank you for your continued prayer, love, and support as we try to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
In His Service,
Greg Lentz, Director