It’s a beautiful autumn day in Pennsylvania and you are driving along Hoffmansville Road in Bechtelsville, on your way to Bauman’s to get some apple cider. You drive past a brick building with a sign by the road that reads “Helping Hands”. You have driven past this place many times, but today, for whatever reason, your curiosity has been piqued . . . what is this place and what do they do?
The story begins in 1976, when a small group of parents of adult children with intellectual disabilities got together. They formed a community to support and care for their family members who could not care for themselves on their own. This idea then evolved into Helping Hands, Inc., a day program for adults with intellectual disabilities that provides a safe and caring place for these individuals to grow together.
Today, Helping Hands continues to host adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them opportunities that otherwise would be difficult for families to do alone. Along with their day program, Helping Hands offers summer camp and vacation programs, as well as a Senior Care program that supports adults over the age of 60 with intellectual or physical disabilities. These programs allow individuals to participate in activities such as arts and crafts, sporting events, shopping trips, and more.
Helping Hands also have programs that take place outside of their home site. Their Community Homes program provides adults with full-time care, giving residents a place to live if their families are unable to care for them at home. Helping Hands own 6 homes in Gilbertsville, Perkiomenville, and Pottstown. These homes always have staff on site to help care for and support the residents when they are not at their day program.
Lastly, Helping Hands has a Work Activity Center program that gives high-functioning individuals from their day program the opportunity to work for a local business: All Balls Racing. In this program, Helping Hand adults help package shipments, earn a paycheck, and gain simple, yet meaningful work skills.
Helping Hands is an organization that humbly serves a community of high-need individuals and families. By providing quality, caring programs, they are doing important work in this area. Maybe this is something we can remember when we drive by and see their sign.
If you would like to support their work, Helping Hands hosts a holiday gift wrap booth at the Coventry Mall every December. Come out and support a good cause or maybe volunteer! To learn more about giving, volunteering, or how to stay updated with their happenings, check out their website here.