Hands Across Middlesex / Habitat
Two non-profit organizations that are household names in Middlesex County held a joint meeting June 24 at Lower United Methodist Church.
Hands Across Middlesex Inc. was first organized in 1991 with each church in the county having two members on the board. They are more commonly known simply as “Hands.” Through the years Hands has helped many families and elderly with home repairs, handicap ramps, septic repair, water, and other basic daily necessities. It also has a supply of clothing, furniture and food available as they are needed.
In 1998 some of the Hands members expressed a need for Habitat for Humanity in the county to “do the things we can’t do.” After initial exploratory meetings it was found there was interest in the county for a Habitat Affiliate. The organization was put in place and approved by Habitat for Humanity International as a recognized Affiliate, known as Habitat for Humanity Middlesex Inc. The local Habitat is now working on the third house, which is near completion.
Through the years both organizations have found that there are more houses to repair, more basic, daily needs to be met, and more decent, affordable housing to be built than can be provided. In addition the pool of volunteers in our rural setting is limited, and sometimes hampered by a lack of organization that could use the volunteers in the most efficient way.
The recent meeting was led by Penny Lawson, president of Hands, Jim Ritter, president of Habitat and Macey White, a fund raiser and community organizer. Many ways of working together were discussed. Both groups have agreed to continue conversations with the goal of sharing office space, storage area, and volunteers so together they may be more effective in meeting the needs of the local community.
For more information or to volunteer, please contact Penny Lawson at 758-0028 or Jim Ritter at 776-6226.