About Helping Hands of Kilgore
The East Texas area, and Kilgore especially, were hit hard by the oil bust of the mid-1980s. In 1987, Pastors at First Baptist Church and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church identified food, utility and prescription medication assistance as some of the larger needs in the community. The Kilgore Ministerial Alliance formed the organization involving other local churches that wanted to participate in helping, which allowed them to coordinate their efforts and consolidate their resources. They operated as a non-profit under the umbrella of First Baptist Church.
In 1991, a building was donated to house the food pantry. It was located on the property next to First Baptist Church and local churches took turns each day providing services for the community.
In 2003, Helping Hands entered into an agreement with the East Texas Food Bank, which took them to a whole new level of philanthropy. Now the organization was able to purchase items in bulk and seek out the best prices, which meant that they could pass those savings along to clients who came to the food pantry.
In 2005, Helping Hands applied for its own non-profit status and was able to begin working independently from the church. They relocated to 201 S. Martin Street in 2008 and have been serving the community from this location ever since.
Helping Hands is a faith-based organization. They serve the elderly, the disabled and low-income individuals and families who are in temporary need of help. Their very strong values of stewardship performed with honesty, integrity and confidentiality have helped them to serve thousands of families over the years.