Serving others and making sacrifices for others is arguably one of the main goals that we should make as a human race.
Behind a dedicated team of individuals from several churches across the county, the Hands of Grace Ministry, under the direction of Carmen Josey, has given many impoverished individuals and families the dire needs that are necessary to live life, such as food, clothing, and shoes.
On Saturday, Hands of Grace will be holding another event to benefit the community, as the non-profit organization will hold its monthly outreach event at the Portsmouth Salvation Army, which sits on the corner of 9th Street and Findlay Street.
For Darren Miller — who got involved with the group through Living Faith Temple in Portsmouth — Hands of Grace is a wonderful program that adds a beat to his step.
“It’s just a good cause,” Miller said. “When you see the people that come out to events like it, especially the kids, and know that you are able to give them a hot meal and some clothes, is a wonderful thing. I’m just happy to be a blessing to them, because I’ve been blessed, and I know how it feels. It just warms my heart.”
Hands of Grace, which is a joint effort between Dry Run Church of Christ in West Portsmouth, the Salvation Army, Living Faith Temple, and Pleasant Green Baptist Church — the latter trio being centered in Portsmouth — was officially formed in March of 2016. Its mission is to simply sacrifice time in order to help individuals and families in dire need of the everyday essentials that humans need in order to live.
“We held our first meeting in the Lucasville Bottoms,” Miller said. “She put the call out to several churches, and my pastor, Vincent Kennedy, Jr., spoke out about the program and asked if anybody would be interested in getting involved with Hands of Grace, and I immediately raised my hand. So I’ve been representing Living Faith Temple for the past year and a half. We’ve gotten bigger over the past year and a half, and a couple of churches have joined us since that time.”
Over the past six months alone, Christ Temple, which is located in Portsmouth, and First Church of Christ, a Wheelersburg ministry, have joined the aforementioned quartet in providing food and clothing to the needy across the Scioto County area as a part of HOG — a group that Miller says is simply serving a greater good by holding monthly outreach events.
“We just want to reach out to any churches in the community, and just let them know what we are doing,” Miller said. “Once a month, we pick a place around the Portsmouth area to have a free lunch and clothing giveaway, and we invite anybody to join us. We’re just trying to do the Lord’s work. We’re just helping those out that are less fortunate than us. All praise and glory goes to the Father. It’s just a place where we can all come together and help those who are less fortunate.”
And that, Miller says, is what motivates him to get involved.
“The goal is to help people out,” Miller said. “We’ve not looking for praise, glory, or honor. Everybody that comes to Hands of Grace Ministry, I believe, is truly doing this due to the love that they have in their hearts, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
Anybody who wishes to donate clothes or food to the cause can contact Miller at (740) 961-5602, Carmen Josey at (740) 821-1188, or Jim Calder at (740) 550-3439. All three individuals will then come and pick up the food or clothing, regardless of where the person is located. Volunteers, or individuals who want to simply come and pray, share God’s word, or both, are also welcome to attend.
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7