MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As you're making Thanksgiving preparations and thinking about the time you'll spend with family, local organizations ask you to think about people in the community who aren't as fortunate.
The shelves at Helping Hand in Myrtle Beach were nearly empty two weeks ago. Something as simple as a few cans from your cupboard can make a difference and help feed a family.
"We have families that come in, and, while Christmas is on their mind, they're already worried about how they're going to provide for their children for Christmas," says Tina Shuppy the Executive Director of Helping Hand. "More important than that, they're wondering how they're going to keep a roof over the children's head, how they're going to feed them, how they're going to keep their electric on."
Helping Hand assists with all those things. The organization gives out food and financial help when families can't make their rent or need help with utility payments.
But Helping Hand relies solely on community assistance. The time you can spend volunteering for any organization that helps others, the few extra dollars you have in your bank account or even just a couple extra food items or hygiene products - it all goes to a family that may be wondering how they'll get by.
And this time of year, particularly in our area, many people are down and out because of job situations. "This is a service job area, a lot of people are underemployed or they're underpaid or they work seasonal jobs," Shuppy says. "They don't have a stable income, so right when they're starting to get on their feet their hours are cut. And so this is something we face every time during the season, or during this part of the year. Every year this happens."
Helping Hand is just one organization you could choose to assist. "You've got a lot of wonderful programs out there that people can pick what they're most interested in and what they're most passionate about," Shuppy continues. "That's the one they should support. Even with their presence, with their help, with volunteering, with their money, with whatever that agency needs, I would encourage them to go out and seek the charity that most touches their heart."