Last week a front page story carried a quote from Trigg County Executive Berlin Moore indicating he believed the Helping Hands program was operated by the Catholic church.
He made a mistake and readily admitted to that mistake. “I wasn’t thinking when I said that and I was wrong,” he said Thursday afternoon.
It was an honest mistake and mistakes happen. We don’t believe the Judge Executive had any ill intentions toward the group that helps literally hundreds of Trigg County families each month.
True, the Catholic Church makes contributions to the volunteer organization. But then again, so do the Methodists and Baptists and Christians (church) and the Presbyterians, as well as other groups around Trigg County.
The strongest reactions came in the form of Letters to the Editor that are being reprinted in this issue. The letters come from two people who have worked countless hours with Helping Hands on a volunteer basis and know full well what it means to deal with deserving families throughout the county.
For that, they deserve to have their impassioned objections to the comments aired to the public. Both letters are well stated as to the history of the organization and how funds are gathered.
We hope the issue is settled and the air is clear but one item does remain.
Sometime in the middle of October – that’s two and a half months away – the organization that has helped Trigg County families with everything from food to clothing to utility bill payments may cease to exist.
It will cease to exist because at the current time Helping Hands is using a portion of the basement of the Trigg County Courthouse. That will end when demolition on the building begins to make way for a new state owned facility.
If you are one of the more fortunate families who haven’t had to rely on Helping Hands to keep your air conditioning on in the summer or the heat in the winter; if your child has food on the table because you can afford to go to the grocery store; if you have a student in school who keeps warm because you purchased him a new coat for the winter; if you don’t have an elderly relative who relies on Helping Hands to buy prescription drugs; well then you don’t have anything to worry about.
But what about the hundreds of residents in our county who do depend on Helping Hands for what you might consider a normal existence?
It is those people whom you need to be concerned about. Not whether one church or another makes contributions or if a politician makes an honest mistake.
Helping Hands fills a real need in our area. But it can’t operate without a physical site in which to operate. Paying for rent and utilities is out of the question for the group, because all of its funds contributed during the year are barely enough to make ends meet.
Hopefully there will be some business or individual or government entity that will step forth in the near future to offer their help in seeing this worthy organization continue.
We’re sure that any suggestions would be welcomed by either K. G. Ariagno or Ronella Stagner, founders of the organization.