In January of this year, two local woman began working on a dream of helping others. Jennifer Dodson and Lacey Tooley only knew each other because their husbands were friends, but it didn’t take long for the two to realize they both shared the same vision, which was to bring refuge to those in need by working hard and asking for help.
Dodson serves as the president of the Logan County/Russellville Helping Hands, while Tooley serves as vice president. Their motto is “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” With that frame of mind, the two became quick friends, and with their passion to pursue what they feel is God’s plan for them, many in need are already being touched.
“We are just people doing God’s work,” said Dodson. “We are following what He teaches and reaching out to help those in need. It is a rewarding and fulfilling mission and we are both very thankful to Him and those who are helping us. This wouldn’t be possible without God.”
The women began their journey by becoming a non-profit organization, earning their 501-C3 status. Then they opened a thrift shop, located at 1211 Nashville Road, to help bring in funds to use on those who need them.
“The store offers a variety of items, from household and kitchen to clothes, shoes, knickknacks and all sorts of odds and ends,” said Tooley. “We accept donations and then price them low so people can afford to buy them.” The two women then turn around and use that money for food boxes, personal hygiene items and cleaning and school supplies for those who cannot afford them.
Helping Hands also helps those who have been affected by fire, tornado or natural disasters.
The two women will help anyone who asks. If they cannot fund their need they will direct them to someone who can.
“We believe it is all of our jobs to lend a helping hand,” said Dodson. “I remember helping someone during Christmas and thought to myself, why do this only during the holidays? Why not do this all year around.” People are not just in need during Christmas.
Both Dodson and Tooley could not do what they do without the continued support of the community. Two fundraisers are already planned to help generate money. They will have a road block on July 18 and on Aug. 4 McDonald’s will be donating a portion of its sales that day to the non-profit.
“We are always looking for ways to generate funding,” said Dodson. “This is how we can keep going and keep helping.”
If you are interested in supporting the Logan County/Russellville Helping Hands, please contact either Dodson at 270-772-1425 or Tooley at 270-893-3512.