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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Americans Helping Americans

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Homeless & Housing, Housing & Shelter, Housing Support, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Americans Helping Americans works in affordable housing communities outlying or within inner cities. We work with networks of rural communities imbedded deep in the mountains of Appalachia. Even though the people we work with may vary in their struggles and experiences, many of their expressed desires for a safe and affordable home, and economic security for themselves and their loved ones, are desires shared throughout America.

Programs: Appalachian Programs Youth Programs Housing for Domestic Violence Victims and children Veterans Programs Home Repair Programs Enriched Housing Programs

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Of One Accord Volunteer

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Of One Accord is a ministry serving two poverty stricken Appalachian Counties. Americans Helping Americans has helped us raise our level of service several steps. Through your contributions to Americans Helping Americans you provide resources to serve Americans neediest families.

The primary program operating every day is 3 emergency food pantries serving all of both counties. AHA has provided many types of in-kind items including food distributed to some of our nation's neediest families.

Our organization host church groups that travel from around the country to serve in Appalachia. AHA has helped with building materials to insure families have safe, dry homes to live in.

Another program is a Christmas program, serving all our county. Children receive toys, but also shoes, winter coats, all of which greatly benefit families living on household incomes averaging $600 a month.

Americans Helping Americans is a "great friend" helping empower the ministries in Appalachia to meet their local needs.

2 Mary394

Board Member

Rating: 5

Lamp Ministries is blessed by Americans Helping Americans in many ways:
Last winter we received a call from a family living in the woods, when we found them it was freezing, the children were so cold they had Icicles in their hair. Because of the help from Americans helping Americans we were able to help them with a place to stay, and food for the family. We were also able to help the Dad find employment. They are currently doing well.
Americans helping Americans has been a blessing for so many families that are struggling to get by and we are blessed by their giving.

Americans helping Americans, provided us with blankets coats and shoes and we were able to help over 200 needy families get ready for another brutal winter.
Americans helping Americans, also helps us with our afterschool program, by providing, snacks, crafts and school supplies. The really enjoy the one on one attention they receive and we are preparing them for middle school.

They also help the veterans in our community survive, by providing meals ready to eat in boxes. Many of our veterans are taking care of their grandchildren in they are so happy to get the help with the utilities which also surviving the very cold winters hear.

L.A.M.P. Ministries INC is blessed by having AHA, they are people that really care and they are wonderful to work with we thank GOD for Americans helping Americans.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

They are wonderful to work with and appreciative of all of the help they receive. I just wish there was more I could do.





1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the communities we serve there are many veterans who need just as much help as the rest of the people of the region in fighting the cycle of poverty and Americans Helping Americans provides emergency assistance such as food, clothing, blankets, utility assistance and home repair all benefit those Veterans in the community we live.
We are grateful for all the support from Americans Helping Americans .
Cheerfully serving our community!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to Americans Helping Americans emergency utility assistance program every year. The program assists families in need in Appalachia with gas and electric bills, thereby preventing them from suffering in the freezing temperatures and dangerous elements of a harsh Appalachian winter. I have limited budget to give more, but I am very pleased with the organization efforts to help family.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans completely furnished my home. They provided tables and chairs for my family and a place were we can live! I am extremely grateful for Americans Helping Americans!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our Family Resource Center serves students in rural Appalachia and AHA has helped put shoes on the feet of children in need, put clothes on their back and put food in their stomach. Our poverty rate for children under the age of 18 is about 60% and without the help of AHA many of our children would suffer each day. We do a back to school event and over 98% of our families attend. The event gets our students prepared for school and without AHA we would not be able to continue the event. AHA truly cares for the children!!!

1 clfGA

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our church, Appalachian Hope Center, shares space with a ministry that is a partner with Americans Helping Americans so we have seen the big difference Americans Helping Americans is making for people in our part of Appalachia, We have seen the difference their help makes both for the organization and for the people served. There is such a broad range of help hat Americans Helping Americans makes it possible for them to give from food to warm coats, to help with rent and power bills, to summer camp but the thing that impresses me the most is that it is done in such a way that encourages the organizations served to encourage people to help themselves and their neighbors. Here's one example. One corner of this area has some very well off people transplants and retirees who have always kept themselves separate from the mountain people. 2 years ago winter was especially severe and AHA had sent coats and blankets and money for heat. The local paper ran some stories about that help that mentioned that more was needed. This was a fire starter and transplant people started to try to help and found that they could and should work with and even under direction of the local folks. It has not all become one big happy family yet but it is a lot better. Another example a young mom with a bad record because of choices in her teens but a heart that is much changed received a coat for her preschool daughter. Next thing she had gone to the preschool and asked the teacher to send a note home with each child asking if they needed a coat and had parent permission to have one. That young woman was at our center almost every day for a week matching up coats, hats, scarves, mittens for the preschoolers as permission slips came in. Next she started canvassing the old people at the back of the mountain for need for coats and blankets. Someone saw her doing this and gave her a job cleaning up in an eating place. Not a glanor job but it was work and pay. A year later this woman who felt she could not hold her head up and look at anyone is managing that eating place and has hired 2 moms who had never worked and taught them the basics of working a public job and instead of being that horrible person is becoming seen as a person to talk to if you need to know where to get help or need somebody to pray with you. Americans Helping Americans not only helped to keep her family warm provided the material to help her change her life and start to help others change their lives. It's not just stuff and money that they give. It's hope and from what I've seem the people who are helping need that almost as much as the people getting help need it. Please help them if you can.

Previous Stories
2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Americas Helping Americans has made a big difference for people here in the mountains. Times are hard. Children are hungry. The average homeless person here is a 6 yr old kid. Kids need to be in school but they get in trouble if they aren't dressed right or don't have school supplies. AHA makes it possible for us to give them these things, to give food especially during summer break when there are no lunches and breakfasts at school. They have been there for us an the people we serve and they really care. Too many times people see someone homeless ad they are afraid or hate them without knowing them. That is not right and AHA helps us make a difference This week we are giving away coats and blankets that AHA sent. That way even a family living in a car will not die of hypothermia. This is real and serous and without AHA help we could no help people anywhere near as much

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans is a fantastic organization which is all about helping Americans that are in need. They give support for people’s basic needs including home repairs, diapers, food, coats, blankets, and others. They have gone up in many of the hollows in the middle of the Appalachian Mountains to see the impact of their support. Supporting Americans Helping Americans will in turn support thousands of those less fortunate who are in need of a helping hand.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would just like to thank Americans Helping Americans for helping me get shoes for my kids for school. I cannot express how stressed I have been because of money issues. There is no way that I was going to be able to get the shoes that my three children needed. This was such a blessing! You are absolutely great. Thank you Americans Helping Americans from the bottom of my heart.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans is an amazing organization committed to helping those who are helping others. AHA has had a profound impact in our area of the Appalachia and Southeast Tennessee. Many families that have been suffering from mitigating health issues and safety problems related to poor living conditions are now living in healthier conditions, sleeping soundly at night and have experienced a sense of hope – thanks to the home rehabilitation that Americans Helping Americans has helped to resource.

1 Efern4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans is simply that - people helping their fellow countrymen and women in need. They have such low overhead - it is obvious that they put all donations to good use - and people need their help!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans helps people throughout America but with most of their focus on the forgotten areas of this nation - like Appalachia where some of the poorest struggle to survive.

1 Frank25

Board Member

Rating: 5

American Helping Americans is dedicated to helping low income Americans survive in some of the most economically challenging times in recent memory. The organization provides basic support for the poor in Appalachia and throughout the country. They provide warm clothing for children as well as basic family support to help children find better futures.

The organization provides support year in and year out even when the cause isn't the cause of the month advanced by national media.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

AHA has consistently stood for meeting the needs of Americans even when meeting those needs has lost its popularity. The Organization works with and through other local organizations to distribute goods and services on a national basis.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Simply put, Americans helping Americans is just that. Their unwavering support of Americans in need is both inspirational and necessary. Supporting this organization is supporting the promise of America.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans is helping people in Appalachia which is a part of America that seems forgotten. When the coal mining industries left, the people remained with few ways to support themselves and the infrastructure they had depended on (work, stores...etc) disappeared as well. I know Americans Helping Americans doesn't just give hand outs. They help the communities become self-sufficient and that is the only way the communities will thrive.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have supported Americans Helping Americans for years. They go into the communities where help is needed the most and support grassroots efforts that are already underway in those communities. In doing this, they are letting helping the communities help themselves. It isn't a handout. It is a building up of communities that are in trouble and making them stronger from the inside out.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

AHA's is an empowering organization, excelling in assisting communities organize from within to support those in need.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our all-volunteer Board strongly supports AHA as it continues to struggle through some lean funding years, which as a charity addressing basic human needs has nevertheless been unwavering in its determination to help the forgotten poor of America in Appalachia. With a strong emphasis on children, housing, and helping the poor to help themselves, AHA stretches its budget to the breaking point to deliver shoes to kids who have none, repair houses for families at risk of becoming homeless, provide food to the hungry, and offer hope to those Americans who have so much less of that precious resource than do most of the rest of us. I hope that you will help us to continue to do that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lamp Ministries has been so blessed by Americans Helping Americans there giving and care they really care ,we partner with another Ministry we have seen how we have been able to more then double the number of people we serve because of your in kind donations and the financial help without that many many people would go unserved hungry children with no school supplies coats were blessed with the bare needs. Thank God for all you do for the least of this we are all working together to reach as many as we can again Thank You.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our church has partnered with a couple of Americans Helping Americans grantees to reach out to people in need in our area. It has been a very gratifying experience for a number of reasons. Needs are met and met efficiently. The goods sent are of good quality and not extravagant. By working with grass roots organizations many of which are volunteer based Americans Helping Americans can have a wide outreach at a relatively small cost and can be sure the help goes to people who really need it. Local people know local needs better than anyone off in an urban office could possibly know. I know that we have had to account for every item sent and that the organizations with which we partnered have had to send regular reports and even photographs to prove the things were used for what they were supposed to be used for and the exact number of people who got help. We have worked with a number of organizations and seen the work of many more over the 34 years I have been in ministry. Americans Helping Americans does as good a job as any of them and a better job than most.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Americans helping Americans found us in 2010 and has helped greatly in providing both funds and in kind materials that have enabled us to at least double the number of people we have been able to help. They have also offered much positive feedback and encouragement. These people really care. They do require strong accountability from the ministries and agencies they help without being overly burdensome and I believe are very good stewards of the finds and goods they receive. AHA helped us help over 3,000 people in the fiscal year that just closed out, For many of them this was life saving help. We were hit with record cold temperatures in this corner of Appalachia as was much of the rest of the country. Heating costs for many people more than tripled. One 90+ year old veteran was sitting in the dark when we found him. They had blankets but he had wrapped all but one of them around his seriously ill wife. We were able to get his power back on that day and pay enough to keep it on. The temperature inside his house was only 28 degrees and that was mid afternoon. He said he had stopped shivering about an hour before we got there and that is a sign of severe hypothermia. The power co worked with us for a fast restore of power w no extra charges. One of the best things was that because we had the money from AHA to help with power bills the power co was more than cooperative and the whole community came together to join in the effort to make a difference for their desperate neighbors. I believe that if we had not had this AHA grant money we would not have been anywhere near as effective in drawing the community together. As it was we only lost one person to the cold. It is my belief that Americans Helping Americans is one of the best organizations of its kind in the country,

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son was afraid to go to school. Last year he kept getting in school suspension and punishments because he did not have the supplies the school said he had to have and because his shoes had ripss in them. To the school that is defiance and not caring. They even reported him to juvenile. To a 9 year old that is very bad and afraid. To me as a mom with 3 kids and a husband who is bedridden from the cancer it is some days more than I know how to manage. I want my kids to have everything but food and a place to stay has got to be the first thing. Then my neighbor read in the paper that this Americans Helping Americans had sent a lot of school supplies and back packs for the kids here and the place that got them was giving them away. She gave me a ride to go and see. They had everything he needed. They even had shoes! nice new shoes. I just broke down and cried. They told me that this Americans Helping Americans place was sending them sandwiches the next week and I could have some of those too. I almost couldn't believe it. Somebody cares Somebody cares. There is no way I can tell you the world that means. My son got in that school bus and he was smiling really smiling. He came home and said his teacher was nice to him. and didn't yell didn't call him a bad kid. If only the people who help them get the things they send could know my mama's heart but if this can get to them please tell them thank you thank you you helped to change my son. He is liking school this year and not afraid.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My kids got coats. It was 25 degrees that night. We got blankets too at Caring Hands Ministries. They said you sent them. God bless you

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The help that we have received has been greatly appreciated. Don't know what we would have done without it. Thank you and keep up the great work that you do.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The help that we have received in the last two years has been amazing, From Vetran's food boxes to coats and blankets we have been able to participate and have been forever grateful. Please keep up the great work that you are providing for all.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have helped unload and distribute items provided by Americans Helping Americans - food, blankets, etc. - for those in need in the North Georgia area. I've have also been a recipient of their veterans' food boxes when times were tough. AHA serves a great need in our community and I am glad to support their work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

have 3 adopted children this American helping Americans supplied my children book bags an school supplies for them with out them my kids would have nothing for school. there has been several health issues an am unable to work. for them I wont to say thank you and continue on folks.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As Executive Director of Caring Hands Ministries in the NE GA mountains I have seen first hand the difference Americans Helping Americans is making for people in our corner of Appalachia. Because of AHA more than 200 chi9ldren here have shoes to wear to school, 300+ have backpacks of school supplies, many children, parents, grandparents, and others had full tummies this summer, 600+ people here have enjoyed our Community Christmas Dinner each year. But an Autistic 10 year old at camp this summer said it far better than I can "I know they loves me" Thank you AHA and every donor that he and so many others here know that someone really cares.
Ann Fleming caringhandsministries@hotmail.com

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been supporting Americans Helping Americans for years. Founded by Gene Krizek in 1990 (here is a link to information : http://www.helpingamericans.org/index.php/50-home-page/news-archives/299-gene-krizek), they help our fellow Americans who need help the most.

Many of us don't know about the plight in Appalachia where so many people were left with no income when the coal mines closed and left.

Americans Helping Americans doesn't just provide a bandaid or a handout - they give support to community projects - a hand UP!

1 Cumberland M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Rev. Cindy Feller/Evanoff and I operate a small mission (Cumberland Mountain Outreach) in Beattyville Ky. For the past 5 years AHA has helped to better the lives here in the impoverished area of Appalachia. They sponsor the summer kid’s camp and laundry detergent program. They supply hygiene kits, school shoes and coats for children along with interactive books. AHA funds a summer family garden program and funds home repair program for families, elderly and Veterans. But the biggest blessing was the supplying of 1800 turkeys for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday. They are like a big brother that’s just a phone call away !

Donor

Rating: 5

This is one of my top organizations for donations. I have full confidence that Gene and his untiring teams of volunteers are doing all the right things with my donation. I Thank God for this organization and the support and joy it brings to our less fortunate citizens right here in America. Thank You.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I think this charity is doing such a needed service! The main reason I donate is because it is helping Americans in an area of our Country that is so impoverished and seems neglected by so many. Keep up the good work and God Bless American Helping Americans!!!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Americans Helping Americans manages to reach communities that have no access to the resources and support they need to better their situations. The remote location (often miles between towns...) means that these communities tend to get harder when things go wrong nationally - and I think we all know that the economy has certainly been taking hits over the last few years. I had the chance to visit some of the beneficiaries at a coat drive in Georgia earlier this year, and it's amazing how much the community residents rely on these coat drives for blankets, coats for their children, and other materials to help them survive the harsh Appalachian winters. It is utterly mind-blowing. And knowing that this community was right in our backyard, these people were an hour and a half from the Atlanta metro area...there's no reason that we shouldn't be helping these folks in their struggle to get back on their feet. Whether it's support with utilities assistance (electricity and heat!), food boxes, or clothing drives, Americans Helping Americans is making a real difference in the lives of these people and building partnerships with these communities. AMAZING JOB guys, keep it up!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

AHA is one of only a few non-profits serving domestic violence victims in the northern Virginia region -serving an important clientele and serving them well!