Sunday, May 28, 2006


HANDS is a 501 (c) 3 that is funded solely through the generous donations of foundations, corporations, churches, and individuals. If you would like to make a contribution to HANDS’ relief efforts,

please contact our distribution center at 601-957-0094.
Make checks payable to:

P.O. Box 16449
Jackson, MS 39236

HANDS, Helping Americans Needing Disaster Support, is a Mississippi faith-based non-profit founded in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. HANDS’ mission is to help rebuild, recover, renew, and restore the individuals, families, and communities devastated by Katrina and other disasters. HANDS is adapting to the changing needs during the different stages of recovery, including the distribution of supplies and clothing, coordinating cleaning and debris removal, and partnering individual families with churches and communities groups to assist in the recovery process.

Dear Friends:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we have seen the horrific television footage. We have all
struggled with a sense of helplessness at the devastation and number of families left in need. I thank each and every one of you that have taken part in the recovery efforts through sending supplies, money, or volunteering your time. Without your support, the relief efforts would have suffered greatly. However, there is much more work to be done. The recovery process is just beginning. Some of you have toured the coast and seen the devastation first-hand. For those who have not, the destruction is indescribable.

Approximately 70,000 homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast were completely destroyed, and thousands more were damaged by wind, trees, and water. While the physical destruction has been staggering, the hope and faith of the people affected has been greatly strained. Each passing day our neighbors on the coast see what you and I may catch as a glimpse hidden on the news. We believe God has raised up HANDS to bring the hope of Christ to the region through the physical rebuilding as well as emotional and spiritual support.

While this is sobering news to hear eight months post Katrina, the Mississippi,Faith-based nonprofit, HANDS (Helping Americans Needing Disaster Support), offers a brighter vision for the future.

The goal of HANDS is “to rebuild the Coast one family at a time” using a new initiative called the Family Connection Program. HANDS has gathered data on the needs of over 1,500 families, or approximately 6,300 individuals, from the devastated region, including Biloxi, Gulfport, Waveland, Pearlington, and Pass Christian. There are far too many needs to list in this letter, but none are greater than their need for a renewed spirit of hope. In the early days after the storm, many people placed their hope in their insurance companies, the government, and the nation, assuming that these groups would be able to provide enough support to help them rebuild. However, the harsh reality is that many people have gone back to their normal routines, offers of assistance have dwindled, and many Coastal residents have begun experiencing
widespread depression as they face their bleak future. We believe Jesus has called us to love our
neighbor during this time of need and the Family Connection Program is a vehicle to do just that.

The Family Connection Program offers you, your family, your church, or your business an
opportunity to take a personal hand in rebuilding the Coast. Each HANDS Sponsor Group is assigned one family, and is asked to commit one full year to developing a relationship with the family and addressing their emotional needs. Pray for them, Care for them and Share with them in their time of need. After becoming “intimately” involved in the family’s life, if there are physical or financial needs that you feel led to address, HANDS’ encourages you to do so. Each family in the Family Connection Program shares similar emotional needs, but the financial needs vary from family to family. Using detailed research data, HANDS can match each sponsor group with a family based upon the sponsor’s anticipated time and available resources.

For more information on the Family Connection Program, contact HANDS at 877-426-3703 or 601-957-0094. You can also visit their web site at

Through the Family Connection Program, HANDS is making a profound impact in the lives of many people, and I encourage you to become a part.

As Americans, we can find no greater way to promote the general welfare of our nation and our
people than a program such as this. The largest natural disaster in the history of our nation is upon us and now is the time for each of us to make a personal difference and exhibit the passion Christ has placed in our hearts to Love our Neighbor as ourselves.



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