MIDLAND, Texas (FOX 24) – “Be Our Change” is our positive, inspirational segment. This time, we’re highlighting a nonprofit that’s been in the Basin for more than three decades. Its volunteers are passionate about making a difference.
“That’s what Helping Hands does,” said Debra Northcutt, a volunteer of five years. “It gives those people just a little bit of hope.”
It’s very emotional and personal for volunteers like Northcutt.
“I’ve been here through the up’s and the down’s so I’ve seen it. I remember they slept in tents in ’76 in people’s yards,” said Northcutt.
Mary Hardin is the Executive Director of Helping Hands of Midland. “Last year, we spent more than $1.7 million assisting the people of Midland with rent, utilities, medical and other expenses.”
The nonprofit operates a store, that’s where it gets about half of its income.
“It’s been devastating,” said Hardin.
And it’s been hit hard by the pandemic.
“I would say 80 percent of the cases that we’ve helped since the pandemic has hit, has been people that we’ve never seen before,” said Hardin.
“I’m retired from the oil industry. I’ve gotten to see a completely different side of humanity,” said Scott Sollee, Helping Hands of Midland Store Manager. “When you’re in the oil industry and you’re making a lot of money and then, you get to see the other side.”
He goes on to say, “You only have to give a little bit. Just a little bit from a lot of people really helps.”
“It pains me to see us through this downturn but we are resilient and we are strong. We will come back and there is a plan, it’s God’s plan,” said Northcutt with tears in her eyes. “This was God’s plan for me to come here and to help people and work here.”
In 2019, Helping Hands of Midland helped more than 2,000 families in Midland County. All of the contributions stay local.