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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Helping Hands of Summit County Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: To help the less fortunate that God puts in my path, and give them a way out of poverty/sickness and by giving them a hand UP (not out), the charity gives HOPE and dignity.

Results: "David's House" ( a project of the charity), has seen many youths come into a SAFE home, ending the cycle of being on the streets and dropping out of school and ending up in our prisons, or on drugs/alcohol and worse: death.

Target demographics: women, children, elderly,disabled and those with a terminal or chronic diagnosis, mental and most traumas, + 'life-changing' events.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 399 individuals or families

Geographic areas served: Ohio, primarily summit county + stark, wayne, holmes,cuyahoga and geauga counties.

Programs: "David's House, "Cribs 4 Babies", Holiday 'Adopt-a-Family', to those chronically ill, those who do NOT have the resources or capacity to help themselves, the charity provides opportunities for them to help theirselves, , or those experiencing a traumatic or LIFE-CHANGING event. We give a 'hand up, not a hand out' to those God puts in my path. Also, when funding allows the ministry helps the sick pets of our clients. '

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Phyllis29

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Maudie R posting my thoughts: I love the fact that the founder, ms phyllis byrd follows up with many of her clients/does home visits too....I like she cares enough to talk and listen and if her charity can't help, she'll try to find somewhere that can. She puts her heart into it. ❤ Especially for the littlest ones...and the pets who can't speak for themselves!

Paul A.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Helping Hands is a humble, selfless, hardworking organization. Their leader, Phyllis Byrd, is a fine example of what we hope a leader of a non-profit organization would be. We are fortunate to have Helping Hands in our community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The lady that run this nonprofit organization is such a beautiful soul..I thank God she iwas there for me when my dog might of has cancer..he needed surgery and I'm on a fixed income .I would not been able to do this without the help of Helping Hands..

suesanne

Board Member

Rating: 5

Excellent local charity serving our local families in need. Phyllis is very hands on, and is a committed to others in our community

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I LIKE what this charity is doing for children who otherwise would be ON THE STREETS...it's cold out there and UNSAFE...they have to know they matter to someone! The charity is building SELF worth and esteem and teaching real LIFE SKILLS...:DAVID'S HOUSE" is where and how...There is none TALLER than the man who STOOPS to help a child"...PLEASE go to www.GoFundMe.com/5f2eqo and if you like what this ministry is about, please help them help those lesss fortunate than YOU or ME. "WITH GOD all things are possible." Please help!!! Visit @ helpinghands-sc.org or contact: P.O.Box 26601 Akron, OH 44319

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to know Phyllis of Helping Hands for almost 20 years now. She has poured her heart and soul into the organization and the mission statement of giving a hand up and not a hand out. She's successfully held fund raising events for young and old. If you are looking for an organization to help with donations and such, I strongly suggest considering Helping Hands of Summit county.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been on the outside looking in for several years. Often "checking/researching" non-profits legitimacy. Helping Hands Is one of the best independent, non-national organizations I have come across. Phylis is non stop assisting those who are willing to be helped and NOT expecting a hand out. She is resourceful and goes the extra mile. I have personally witnessed some of Helping Hands success stories and am pleased to say this is the real deal. Thank you Helping Hands of Summit County for being here/there and thank you Ms Byrd for all you do and limitless compassion for others!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

After the sudden death of my husband back in 2013 I lost my house and lots of other things dear to me.I called helping hands in dispare for help.Ms Byrd listened to my plight and immediately got busy helping me with renting a place I could afford,also getting furniture and household items I needed.Helping Hands was a lifesaver for me.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with Helping Hands of Summit Co.was very uplifting.Im a widow with COPD,when my constant companion,my fur baby became deathly ill,her only option was emergency surgery to save her life.Helping Hands stepped in to help with medical bills,for that I thank you and am forever grateful.Myrtle

Donor

Rating: 5

This is great charity doing wonderful work. I know that all donations will be used to their strongest potential with Phyllis in charge.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My golden retriever Scully is the only thing I have in this world. She helps me get around as I am legally deaf. And blind in one eye. I was beside myself when she became deathly I'll this summer. I have low income from SS. I heard of a local charity and reached out. Helping Hands provided some financial help because I didnt qualify for credit or care source. The Vet and the charity literally saved her life! I would not have wanted to live either if Scully died. This charity can't help everyone-it is a small 501c3 charity but with a BIG heart! ♡ If the founder can help, she does..but with more donations I know she could do even more! Please consider helping this organization if you can. Everyone is a volunteer, including Ms. Phyllis. No one gets paid. 98% of donations go to the families that are helped...

Donor

Rating: 5

When my daughter was in Kindergarten she raised money for Helping Hands Of Summit County Inc. she was actually chosen out of a few hundred kids out of her school with a simple idea of what she would do to help someone in need with just $20. With just $20 she was able to raise over $500! Her classmates all made cards for this nonprofit organization as well. If a 5 year old little girl can do all that, think of what we all could do

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Phyllis at the bank where I worked several years ago. When she told me what her small organization did I was amazed. Through donations and her hard work she has helped thousands over the years who had no where else to turn. Every time I made a donation she would tell me about the families she was trying to help at the time. Sometimes they needed a place to live, others needed clothing, or a bed, or food, but regardless of their need, Phyllis doesn't stop until she finds a way to help. I can't help but wonder what our city and world would be like if all of us put in just a small amount of the work and caring that she does, but I know it would be a thousand times better place. I consider myself fortunate to call her my friend and will continue to support her any way I can.
Jan Richards

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered my help to this awesome charity for 10 years. It is my pleasure to help those struggling who are less fortunate and in MUCH need.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is ms diamond. I lived in Detroit with 5 little ones and a rescue puppy. I adopted 'Biscuit' because she was kicked and burnt. Me and her had ALOT in common. I should have left my situation but couldn't leave Biscuit behind with my abuser husband and no shelter would take us all in..so we all stayed put. Scared, beat down and hungry. Trust me it was HELL. Then I heard of HELPING HANDS of Summit County in Ohio. I called and the founder Ms. Phyllis helped me navigate to Akron in the middle of the night and go to a shelter for abused women and children AND PETS. She had just started working on a new project her charity calls 'Leashes of Love.' Partnering with a area shelter home, she had been seeking donations to make this possible. Thanxs to all who helped in this endeavor as it may have saved my life! (As well as my kids and fur baby). Please help ms. Phyllis and HELPING HANDS of Summit County provide this much needed escape for those who feel trapped. The families and a pet can HEAL TOGETHER and feel SAFE.

Phyllis29

Client Served

Rating: 5

A single mom with a young toddler and a baby daughter supported her family with minimum wage job until...COVID. No job since March 2020. Filed unemployment compensation- never got it started and now 4 LONG mths. into this, employer closed the doors 4 good! With little ones and fur babies too, reached out to HELPING HANDS of SUMMIT COUNTY. The founder, Ms. Phyllis Byrd made a home visit and from 'A-Z' came up with a plan to save our family. She runs a small charity with a BIG heart. ♡ Relying on private donations and alot of faith...please consider helping her HELP others! The charity is on FB and at: www.helpinghands-sc.org . They help CHILDREN and PETS. 100 % of any donation goes to needy clients and the founder has even taken her own personal funds and shared with those less fortunate. The mission is to 'give a hand-up, not a hand-out' , to give love and instill self worth and a purpose , for every life (and family) matters! ♡ Won't you help? A little can do ALOT!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Maudie R posting my thoughts: I love the fact that the founder, ms phyllis byrd follows up with many of her clients/does home visits too....I like she cares enough to talk and listen and if her charity can't help, she'll try to find somewhere that can. She puts her heart into it. ❤ Especially for the littlest ones...and the pets who can't speak for themselves!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Two years ago a friend introduced me to "Helping Hands of Summit County, inc." and it's director Phyllis Byrd. She was in need of a grant writer and I had done that in my professional career as a non-profit director of senior volunteers. I checked out her website and found her brochure and was impressed with her mission of 'a hand up, not a hand out' for needy folks. I began fundraising and was asked to join her charity's Board. I discovered that HH did indeed help most everyone who needed it, if they were able..This included cancer patients, adults and children with disabilities, everyday people like you or I, but struggling with life-changing events! They were given the assistance they needed to become stable members in our communities-food, shelter, or mortgage assistance, school clothes, medical help, vehicles and more, even including emergency help for PETS. Our "Cribs 4 Babies " was a priority for families that needed a SAFE place for their child. Area business's collect donations on site at Cottage Muffler and the New Era restaurant. Good used appliances and furniture are collected by volunteers and installed in homes. Every year there is a 'Adopt a Family' campaign for the Holidays and a 'Winter Crisis' program. And 'David's House", a SAFE home for 'at-risk' youths that is still in the planning stage. No one on the Board or any staff are paid-EVERYONE is a volunteer. Surrounding counties also are helped as the need becomes known... Some local agencies donate annually such as Ronald McDonald House charities, Omnova companies and some like The Italian-American Society every other year. Dr. Fred Starheim of the Weather Center of First Energy was a advisor and Honorary Board member. He donated his money and time for he believed in what ms. Byrd was doing in our local community. Sadly, he passed away suddenly in March of 2017. Currently we are sending fundraising letters to business's in Summit county and writing for a grant from Walmart. I feel honored to be helping such a worthy cause and for a woman who started with a dream and (on a shoestring budget) made it a reality for the last 16 years. This year 2018, over 400 families and individuals have been helped ! Any donation is greatly needed and greatly appreciated!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a blind lady named Teresa and my Lab companion is 'Scully.' Phyllis who started the charity gave a fundraiser for me! I was home less and needed a bed to lay our heads on(me and 'scully'), and then my daddy died in Michigan and I had no way to go back to my child hood home to bury him. I was heartbroken and broke. With $ left over from the fundraiser (car wash), ms Phyllis got me and 'scully' ticket to go home! I didn't even know a charity or church could or would do anything like that. But the founder takes each person's problems seriously and if she has the way to help, she does try. Sadly the $ isn't always there...but she is only one person. When I hit the lottery I am going to donate alot to this charity!...or leave them in my will..when I get one...

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jerry W. I'm almost 70 yrs old and have had 2 strokes and lived fourty yrs w/Chrohns disease. Came here from NY, broke in spirit and $. Phyllis Byrd found me housing I could afford on disability. Found me furniture. And emotional therapy and animal. She has many good volunteers and a charity Board, accountant and atty. But in the end, as 'Founder' she looks over EVERY request for help. Does home visits and has followed up with me on and off you many years. If you're looking for a good 'home' for your donation to go to, stop here at: Helping Hands of summit county in Akron, Ohio. She helps mostly summit county but has went to other counties in Ohio if need be. The homeless (that was me), elderly (that is me), children, pets, and dusabled (that's me!)...PLEASE HELP this lady who wears her ❤ on her sleeve. She tells me mostly all her donations come from individuals. Sometimes a business. Thanxs for listening to a old man.

Comments ( 1 )

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Phyllis29 11/02/2018

So blessed to be able to help!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Jackie O here with the real deal. Living in a tent with my old dog. We both needed rescued...I sold my false teeth for a six pack. Didn't eat much anyway. Then tent city 'blew away' and I really was homeless. I called 17 places b4 phyllis at Helpin Hands answered and actually talked to me like I was somebody. Didn't hang up. She helped get me into a real apt with my old doggie. Helped me get SSI too. Phyllis really cared! Please help this lady help more people like me and she helps dogs too, if there's enough money too. We are worth saving...

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Just call me cottage ralphie. I had some police record and anger problem. Couldn't hold a job or a women. Ms Byrd arranged for me to get counseling and a list of employers who hired felons. Well, short story is I'm proud of me today! I got a good job and a gooder women. I found myself in the 'lost and found box' after ms Byrd got involved. I've taken some juvenile delinquents under my wing and helped them NOT go down the road I did. All cause one lady believed in me and kept following up with me! Ms Byrd I owe you cause I found God too, and when I can donate, I'm gonna!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is mara lyn. I love to gamble but it's not my friend. Ms phyllis helped me by talking me thru some dark times where I wanted to die. I got myself together and now have a house, car and my 5 kids back home with me. She recently got us a acme gift card and school shoes for all. She can only help till the donations run out. Altho I suspect she has put her own personal $ in at times. Phyllis of Helping Hands has a helping heart, that's what!.

2 Darrin J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When all avenues I traveled for help were exhausted one came thru with flying colors for me. Not once but twice Helping Hands fulfilled my request for assistance. I have had my share of housing problems over the past few months with one crazy landlord then a senile old slumlord in Ravenna. With my funds diminished from two moves back to back Phyliss Byrd helped me secure my new living arrangements in akron close to my new cancer doctors and my chemo & radiation treatments. I have nothing but praise for Helping Hands and Phyliss. Ty very much Darrin James.

Comments ( 1 )

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Phyllis29 11/02/2018

Glad you were able to get close to your cancer docters on busline. I am praying for you!

1 ed25

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for this charity. Phyllis has helped many people and families in need through her work. I would recommend donating to this charity, it is a *first class * organization. Keep up the good work

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity has helped so many people including myself. I like what they do so much that I decided to volunteer. The joy and graditude I get from helping others is the only reward I need. There are so many needs in Summit County alone. Something as simple as a visit to a shut in does wonders for that person. Delivering appliances and hooking them up has helped many families with children . delivering turkeys during the holidays has also helped many needy families and single mothers.Please donate your time or whatever you can to help this charity help others, God Bless.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

THEY WAS THERE FOR MY FAMILY WHEN THEY NEEDED HELP,THEY HELP WHEN MY SON LOSS HIS JOB AND COULD NOT PAY HIS RENT ,PLUS WENT OUT OF THERE WAY TO GET THE MONEY TO PAY HIS RENT , PLUS HELP MY DAUGHTER WITH A GIFT CARD FROM KOHL SO MY DAUGHTER COULD GET SCHOOL CLOTHES FOR HER 3 GIRLS , THIS IS VERY CARING AND HARD WORKING Organization

Comments ( 1 )

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Phyllis29 11/02/2018

Hard work pays off!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Helping hands donated laundry baskets full of Christmas gifts and made many children smile! Thank you to their team of helpers. God bless this organization!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have know of this nonprofit organization for years, it's wonderful.she dose so much for so many people,fund raising like car washes to get cribs for baby's that wouldn't have one,the elder and woman's who need apt or things to wear,they would be homeless if not for this so so many things,Its a Wonderful organization. Thanks
Renee Schucker

Comments ( 1 )

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Phyllis29 11/02/2018

I will continue to work towards our youngest babies to be safe!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I recently became acquainted with this charity through a friend. Having worked with a non-profit for 24 years I was very impressed with the help they give to the needy of the community. They help individuals and families of all ages with emergency food, shelter, and clothing and set them up with the proper agencies. The director takes money out of her own pocket when funds run short. Many are helped back up because of the directors' efforts. At this time she is trying to keep a family in a motel near Cleveland so that the mother can get chemo from The Cleveland Clinic. The father is out of work, and the mothers' brother, who is severely mentally disabled, lives with them. She has a Stage One brain tumor which may be successfully treated. They now have no home to go back to so the director is trying to find low-income housing for them. That is just one of the many families she helps.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am like so many others living from one pay to another. Car hit me head-on..no more paychecks. Landlord was nice for a minute, then started talking 3 -day eviction. My kids looking at me for school clothes and don't want to move out of the only home they ever knew and their friend too...I heard of Helping Hands and called...ms. Phyllis talked with me a long time and I hung up with HOPE and a sense of direction...With donations she received I applied for help and got caught up on my house, and training to re-invent myself in a new job field. She believed in me and my family and gave me a purpose...please just help Phyllis Byrd help others like me...

Client Served

Rating: 4

Hello all you people out there struggling with a dependency or addicted to ANYTHING...there is HOPE and a little lady over at HELPING HANDS helped provide me with that hope. Now, I'm not usually a street corner kind of guy. Actually very good at a trade, plumbing to be exact. Had my own business, newer truck, nice family. Long story short-got none of that in my life any more...So, I reached out on a recent holiday to ms. Phyllis and she found me shelter and food (hadn't ate in 2 days) , some help for what I liked way too much...and now I'm going to start a job Tuesday! matt

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello...It's a sad story I have to tell, but good as far as the kind help I got. I called ms. Phyllis w/Helping Hands, inc and reached out to her as I didn't know where to turn...My daughter had a baby who died at 11 months and we had no insurance or money to bury the baby girl. Ms. Phyllis kindly referred me to a program the city of akron had to pay for a burial for indigent families...thank God there are places for help and people like Phyllis Byrd and her small but amazing charity. She finds a way to get it done...please help her help others like my family...mrs. sarah and daughter, annie and baby bella

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Porche Echols and I'm a young mother of two. When I was introduced to Phyllis Byrd by her daughter I was pregnant and homeless at the time. She was a good lister and adviser in my time of need. I do believe that had I been more active with her she would've been a big provider of other things I needed. Thanks for listening and being there when I needed a friend Phyllis.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

During the holiday season in 2016, my family decided to forego giving gifts to each other so that we could provide Christmas for a family that may not otherwise have the means. I wanted to work with an organization that would allow for my family to sponsor an entire family. Phyllis identified two families, obtained a wish list from each family member. We purchased gifts, boxes, wrapping paper, tape, tissue, etc. We wrapped the gifts for the adult members of the family. The kids gifts were placed in a box with the all the trimmings so that the parents could see the gifts, wrap them and participate in providing for their children. The names of the families were not provided and we chose to donate anonymously. It was one of the best experiences and we hope to help out again this year.

I love the mission/vision of this organization. This is an organization that helps those who want to help themselves. Every person experiences rough times in life and this beautiful organization provides the resources for change. Phyllis works tirelessly to preserve the dignity of the recipients of her work. Highly recommended.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a cancer survivor, who lost my business, my home and most of my personal belongings. I was so fortunate that Phyllis Byrd was put in my life. She helped me secure affordable housing, helped me with furniture, and most importantly helped me get back on my feet by connecting me with people that had side jobs so i could support myself and keep my home. I am proud to say those side jobs lead me to start my own business and i have continued to heal emotionally, & financially. thanks for believing in me, and giving me a chance to restart my life.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

my story is a simple one, Ms. Phyllis had a predictament a few Thanksgivings ago. She had over 100 local families that was not going to be able to sit down with their families and provide a traditional Thanksgiving day dinner. She realized she needed help, she called local businesses non stop until she was able to secure a commit from one of our very large national companies, who agreed to donate 75 frozen turkeys. Phyllis was ecstatic, but then realized, "i am but one person, with a little sub compact vehicle, now what?" She reached out to me, and i reached out to a few of my friends, and we picked up 75 turkeys on a Tuesday, and all was delivered personally by late on Wednesday night. i have never enjoyed so much chaos in my life, the happy faces, and the kids that greeted me, all so very thankful and appreciative of Ms. Phyllis, and so am I!... Thank you for all you do, God Bless

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello...I am a widow lady who has her two young granddaughters. Due to sudden onset of unexpected health problems, I almost died and that was only a few months ago. The challenge has been to keep a roof over our heads and pay for groceries, clothes, utilities and so on and so on...Helping Hands, inc. has been trying to help do all of that and more. The charity relies on private donations from people and business's to assist many families like mine. I thank everyone who has donated to the local charity. Many of us have a low income and it don't take much to pull the rug out from under us. And it is scary. Thank God for people like ms. Phyllis and Helping Hands and those who donate to her ministry. God bless! miss lulu

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I left new york state, without a penny in my pocket, a victim of a natural disaster...just the shirt on my back..disabled with a chronic illness and in my 60's...i ended up in summit county and a ms. phyllis had a heart, and had time to lend me a helping hand...found me a disability apartment and helped furnish it...i literally had nothing...but now i have hope. My illness has put me in the hospital and having no family here, i was truly alone and down in spirits...as it turns out ms. phyllis charity is called "HELPING HANDS". I am here today and doing well (even have a cat) because another human being really cared...Thank God there are people like her and the charity she founded and is a active person in it...otherwise, i might have given up and being overwhelmed even thought about ending my life! But ms. phyllis never gave up on me and kept trying to help me help myself!She told me she has followed alot of her clients thru months and years, staying in contant and caring...She does alot with little, anyone wanting to help her help others, send any donation to: Helping Hands, inc. P.O. Box 26601 Akron, Ohio 44319 or visit at: www.helpinghands-sc.org

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I came from Detroit in the middle of the nite with my 5 babies...HELPING HANDS, inc. CHARITY helped me find a house, completely furnished it too! It was this time of year, nov./dec. and the chsrity brought a christmas tree presents and xmas dinner...God bless them! They really came out, the founder IN PERSON and gave me and mine a HOME, HOPE and a HOLIDAY...I would tell anyone to please help ms. phyllis (founder) for she really does put her heart into helping and followed up with me to see how we were doing...i got a laptop and still go to her site...www.helpinghands-sc.org SHE and her orginization, HELPING HANDS, inc. really does help WOMEN and their CHILDREN!