December 31. 2022
I have been at the helm of Albany Helping Hands for three months. In that time, I’ve seen people near death from drug overdoses. I’ve seen many people whose lives are chaotic due to mental illness, drug use, or both.
We’ve had people die here at the shelter and in the street out front. I’ve had people tell me that, without Albany Helping Hands, they would be dead. Most of our residents are here because they have experienced one or more of life’s unexpected catastrophes. Things like unemployment, divorce, fire, the death of a loved one, incarceration, and so on.
Thank you for joining us through your generous and consistent support through financial gifts, clothing, blankets, household items, downed trees, appliances, and the list goes on. It is a humbling challenge to address the needs of those who come to us for help, and we certainly cannot do this alone.
The people we serve depend on the generosity of people like you who give as individuals, who give through your churches, who give through your businesses and other organizations and clubs. We do a lot here at Albany Helping Hands to help, and I am committed to improving and expanding the help and support we provide to the people we serve.
Another new year is upon us, and 2023 will be Albany Helping Hands’ 25th year of operation. We will all continue to be confronted by challenges AND opportunities. My goal is to make this the best year ever for Albany Helping Hands. Our success will be defined in terms of the number of people we can help and the obstacles we can help them overcome.
This year we plan to complete the construction of a 30-bed low-barrier shelter—a place where those who are still using drugs can come to get off the street and start the road to healing and a drug-free future. We hope to rebuild our computer classroom to provide educational opportunities, including GED completion, resume’ writing, and job-hunting tools. We will continue to work on fully developing our TOPS Program and expand life-skills training. Last year was a challenge. The new year is full of opportunities.
Please continue to partner with us and keep Albany Helping Hands and the people we serve in your thoughts and prayers.
Thank you, and may God continue to bless and prosper you!
Don R Sparks,
Executive DirectorAlbany Helping Hands
December 1, 2022
The Christmas season will soon be upon us. A time of celebration and thanksgiving for God’s gift to us through the birth of His son, Jesus. We at Albany Helping Hands (AHH) hope that your Christmas celebrations with family and loved ones is joyous and blessed. As you look forward to this season of giving, I hope you will remember those who would not have a warm, safe place to stay if it weren’t for AHH.
Albany Helping Hands was birthed out on one man’s vision, Pastor Les Bailey, to share the love of Jesus by meeting the most basic needs of people who had no home. Today, 40 years later, the mission remains the same: to serve and support those experiencing homelessness by extending God’s love in tangible ways.
To fill that mission, we are housing roughly 100 people who have nowhere else to go. We serve meals to any who come through our doors three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. We provide clothing, hot showers, and through March 31st, a warm, dry place to spend the night for those who are living on the streets or in their cars.
Your generous support during this season of goodwill enables us to continue to pursue our mission to touch and change lives. We depend on the generosity of everyday people like you for gifts of your time, talent, and treasure.
As the new Executive Director, I am energized by the opportunities that I see to continue our legacy of sharing the love of Jesus by meeting the needs of the homeless in our community. I invite you to partner with us.
First, we want to thank you for your continued and vital support of Albany Helping Hands (AHH). You have been at the forefront of the significant community involvement and support we have received for over 40 years, helping us provide shelter, food, clothing and services to Albany's homeless population.
In the beginning, our founder, pastor Lester Bailey, began providing peanut butter sandwiches and shelter at his small church. Now, with the support of people like you, AHH provides three nutritious meals daily, shelter, and services to over 100 homeless guests, which will almost certainly grow.
We are on a mission to help relieve suffering and brokenness by sharing the love of Jesus through providing basic life necessities and faith and hope for a brighter future. Your continued support has never been more needed or appreciated.
Through our current dedicated professional staff and active and invested board of directors, and a Christian church service offered each Sunday morning, we plan to continue reaching out to those who need shelter, food, encouragement, support, and the tangible expression of God's love.
Your support enables us to operate separate men's and women's dormitories, five smaller homes for transitional housing, counseling services, free meals and food service training in our commercial kitchen and cafeteria at our main campus on 9th Ave. SE.
We also provide job skills training at our thrift store on 1st Ave. SE and at our firewood enterprise and U-Haul dealership on Highway 20 E. In addition, the Bailey Home offers shelter and counseling for women with children.
We wanted to let you know how important you are to the ongoing work at Albany Helping Hands and give you a glimpse of what we are doing with the dollars you entrust to us.
In His name and in His service,
Michael Davis, President, Board of Directors
Don R. Sparks, M.Ed., Executive Director
PS. Our professional staff: Don R. Sparks, M.Ed., Executive Director; Ben Jones, Case Manager; Trudy Fields, Finance and Office Manager; Jeff Fields, Operations Manager; Nichole Robertson, Thrift Store Manager; Raymond Cooper, Farm Manager, and Dayna London, Bailey Home Manager.
AHH Board of Directors: Michael Davis, President; Corey Bontrager, Vice-President; Marilee Sapp, Secretary; Chris Erickson, Treasurer; James Sapp, Chaplain; Emerson Smoker, Robert Anderson, Jeanine Howell, John Donovan, Gloria Bond, Erik Anderson, Nick Ochse and Mike Stanley.