Mission: Recognizing that many families and individuals in our South Shore community function near or below the poverty line, the Helping Hands Essentials Pantry seeks to provide personal items to those in need. We strive to provide a service not offered by other social service agencies in having a pantry dedicated to offering a broad selection of personal care items.
The “Essentials Pantry” will be accessible to any and all members of the community who have a need for this service, with a focus on the working poor. Our goal is never to turn a family in need away from our doors. We do not aim to cover 100% of the items used by a typical household, but to partially defray their expenses by providing items most needed.
While the pantry will be housed at Christ Church Quincy, this will be a secular and inclusive program provided by and for all members of the community. We try to make our pantry a non-judgmental, spirited and uplifting place to visit for our neighbors who need a helping hand until their financial resources improve.
Results: In our guests surveys conducted over the course of 1Q10, 98% of our guests had favorable impressions of their experience with HHEP, including interaction with volunteers, items received, additional resources provided and overall impression. Based on the responses and additional input from our guests, we firmly believe that our efforts make a significant impact on the lives of those we serve.
Helping Hands Essentials Pantry has been featured in The Patriot Ledger on December 10, 2009 “Girl Scouts get a lesson in giving back” and Episcopal News December 2010 edition “South Shore helping hands gets down to essentials.”
Our number of volunteers continues to increase, with the largest growth coming from those under the age of 18. The young volunteers get to see first hand who receives the items they gathered during the toiletries drive they helped to coordinate. They participate in all aspects of the pantry, from shopping, shelving and interacting to with guests.
Target demographics: HHEP serves residents of Boston’s South Shore who live in the following towns: Braintree, Cohasset, Duxbury, Hingham, Hull, Marshfield, Milton, Quincy, Randolph, Scituate and Weymouth. Our guests cannot have income from all sources of more than twice the federal poverty guidelines. We do not restrict based on race, creed, sexual orientation, or any other basis.
At a time when many families are experiencing challenging financial pressures, we open our doors to our neighbors in need. We can't provide all the personal care items for everyone, but by sharing 7-8 items such as toothpaste, diapers, shampoo, toilet paper, and razors, we partially defray their expenses for the month. Our guests are primarily the working poor, and the disabled and elderly who rely on Social Security as their sole source of income. We see some every month; other we see only when they're in a pinch. All are grateful for the non-judgmental and friendly help we provide to them.