Inez Neal Recognized as Volunteer of the Year

by: Jim Willhight

Inez Neal being presented Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award for Albany Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year at the April 2019 Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

Inez Neal being presented Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award for Albany Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year at the April 2019 Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

This year’s Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award was awarded to Inez Neal a long-time volunteer at the Thrift Store. 

She was presented the award in front of a crowd of over 400 at the ninth annual Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

 The event was the biggest ever raising well over $100,000.

The auction is the primary fundraiser each year for Shelter and Kitchen Operations.  

Paul Schultz auctioneered, and John Kollaer was M/C of the dinner at the Linn County Expo Center.

Special Thank You to our Sponsors

A special thank you to our generous Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction sponsors and donors who include but are not limited to Coastal, Dahled Up Construction, Frank & Linda Morris, Jim and Phyllis Richards, Chad Davis Construction, Cadwell Realty Group, John & Jane Donovan, Santiam Christian, Chris & Kathy Erickson, Linn Benton Tractor, Harts Nursery, Valley Christian Center, Eads Broadcasting (KGAL/KSHO), BiCoastal Media, JTI Supply, Vic's Roofing & Construction, OFD Foods LLC, Ticor Title, Burcham Metal, The Conser Group, Mennonite Village, Jim & Marilee Sapp, Will Tucker, Steele’s Insurance Services, Jenks Hatchery, Gray Farms, Northwoods Management, Stutzman Services, Central Willamette Community CU, Bob Anderson, Holistic Housing, Oxford House, Les Schwab, Love Inc. of Linn County, Mennonite Village Foundation, The Java Network, Gods Gear, Emerson & Linda Smoker, Three Lakes RV Storage, Carpet One, South Willamette Valley Oregon Honor Flights, Albany Hearing Center, Academy Mortgage, Valley View Farming, Davis Glass, Birky Farms, Chris Scariano and Fisher Funeral Home.

 Also, thank you to the generous auction participants and the hard-working volunteers. 

The 10th Annual Dinner Auction is slated for Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at the Linn Co. Expo Center.





Increased Need for Seniors

 By: Jim Willhight 

Burned out by Fire

Your contributions helped reduce the trauma of a serious fire for a retiree.

An Apartment fire resulted in a need of housing for a 76-year-old Sweet Home woman.

She had worked hard and has a pension but was without a place to live for the first time in her life.

The stories leading up to the need for support are many. Pastor John stated, “the ratio of elderly or senior citizens is higher than in the past in the last year or two here at the shelter."

Family Troubles

Your donations helped provide a safe and dry bed, plus hot meals for a Salem woman. 

Family discord was a factor resulting in her crisis.  She was a hard worker and has retirement income but was kicked out by her son.

With high rents and lack of affordable inventory, she found it difficult to find housing.  

Your ongoing generosity had an immediate impact on her life.

Thank you for your compassion and trust. Donate today.


PODCAST: To listen to the archived live Radio segment with Jim Willhight interviewing Pastor John where he discusses the increased need for senior housing click here for our Podcast Page.

Albany Angel- Doris Scharpf

By: Jim Willhight 

Dorish Scharpf- AlbanyAngel

Dorish Scharpf- AlbanyAngel

A recent Democrat Herald Editorial Headline proclaimed Doris Scharpf as “Albany’s Angel”.

Doris was a major, long time donor to Albany Helping Hands and many area nonprofits.  

She passed in April at 95  years of age.

Pastor John reflects “where would the Albany Helping Hands mission be without Doris.

She has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the mission.

It is questionable whether AHH would be [here] today”.

Thank you, Doris, for your years of contributions.

Your Big-Hearted Donations Enriching Lives- Story of Tammy and Marcus

Tammy and Marcus

Tammy and Marcus

Jim Willhight 

In a recent radio interview, Pastor John Leon (Executive Director) discussed how your generous contributions contributed to the lives of Marcus and Tammy. 

Spoiler Alert. The two are now married and are integral parts of the Albany Helping Hands organization thanks to your generosity. 

Marcus was self-supporting for many years but came to AHH with a housing need as a result of suffering and surviving 12 Heart Attacks.

“Tammy is probably one of the best managers we’ve ever had at the Thrift Store”
— Pastor John Leon, Executive Director.

Marcus was described by Pastor John as “a gentle soul, he is kind to the guests”.

Marcus is now AHH's Property Manager, supervising “roughly 3 million dollars in property assets” according to Pastor John.

Tammy worked for years in Utah providing loving care to individuals. Her dad passed away in 2017 from dementia. She had been his caregiver.

After time with her daughter in Portland, Tammy headed to the Coast. Tammy’s car broke down and she came to AHH for a meal.  She met Marcus and their relationship began.

Tammy now is Manager of our Thrift Store helping to generate over $100,000 per year in sales.  Pastor John stated “Tammy is probably one of the best managers we’ve ever had at the Thrift Store. She's very kind, empathetic, very professional, and very compassionate.”

 Marcus and Tammy recently married, moved into their own apartment and continue as AHH Property and Thrift Store Managers.

Your gift today will impact the lives of folks like Marcus and Tammy. 

PODCAST: To listen to the archived live Radio segment with Jim Willhight interviewing Pastor John where he discusses Marcus and Tammy’s story click here for our Podcast Page.