Helping Hands

Description: The “Helping Hands” Food Distribution Ministry was born out of the vision for a Church Alive. Sister Jean Whitley met with Pastor Bell to discuss plans for re-establishing a food distribution program at First Rising Mt. Zion. Volunteers were recruited and they attended formal orientation at the Capital Area Food Bank.

The Food Distribution Ministry officially began meeting in October 2003. Pastor Bell was named Executive Director, Sister Jean Whitley, Director of Agency Relations and Sister Barbara Jordan, Program Director. On October 21, 2003, the ministry officially adopted the name “Helping Hands” at the suggestion of Deaconess Virginia Logan. The ministry began making emergency food distributions to those in need. For Thanksgiving, the ministry was able to provide over one hundred families with a turkey and the makings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Today, “Helping Hands” continues to distribute food to needy families. In partnership with the council of churches of Greater Washington, there are presently 163 families registered to receive food every other week. These families cross the spectrum of need and include individuals from the Community of Hope, a program for families transitioning from temporary to permanent housing and permanent employment; the Strong Families Program, a family self-sufficiency program; New Endeavors for Women; and the House of Ruth. With the help of the Lord Almighty, “Helping Hands” will realize its goal of regular distribution to 200 families by the end of 2005.


Virginia Toney
Executive Director,   (vacant)
Director of Agency Relations,   Jean W.H. Whitley