Since its incorporation in 1979, HELP Works Inc. has hosted some type of fund-raising event to help offset operating expenses. Saturday night marked the 34th anniversary of HELP’s dinner and auction.
Executive Director Janie Glendenning was still calculating receipts for the auction and was excited to say, "So far the auction brought in $7,820!
"Without community support, HELP would not be able to survive," said Glendenning. "I can only go back twenty years on our history. Many of our current sponsors were active before I came on board in 1993 as Financial Director. When Marjorie Moore retired in 2003, I was appointed Director. The GFWC Heeko Club is one of our long-time sponsors. Heeko members sponsor an annual Christmas party for our individuals, including Santa, and provide individual individuals with Christmas gifts. For some, this is their only Christmas."
Missouri native Justin Ehart, Glendenning’s nephew, served as auctioneer. Ehart has been attending HELP’s dinner and auction for the past ten years.
HELP Works, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit program governed by a ten person Board of Directors. Officers for 2013 include President Marjorie Moore, Vice President Tammy Cartwright, Treasurer Kathy Ware, and Secretary Gerald Moore. Board members are Lynn Apala, Marcene Baze, Eddie Fields, Clifford Mills, Kathleen Walker, and lifetime member, Barbara Strahm.
Early each year, Glendenning sets goals for HELP individuals. She accomplished her 2013 goal of finding employment for ten HELP individuals within the community. Each was successfully placed in local businesses or the fast-food industry.
"When my sister visited recently, she was amazed at how much Pawhuska has grown since her visit a year ago," said Glendenning. "She expressed the quaintness of our community is sure to draw even more visitors. I want HELP Works to be a part of this growth."
Glendenning said HELP is open to new ideas about how to better serve their individuals and the community. HELP’s cleaning services are the center’s bread and butter. However, Glendenning would like to expand their program.
"We have five individuals who are extremely talented and who can contribute to area businesses. Their creativity is amazing. One artist excels in origami. Another is a gifted quilter. Others excel in pencil, chalk, oil and watercolor art. Each one is a perfectionist."
HELP has four group homes that house up to 23 residents.
"Although we are at capacity in our group homes, we are accepting applications for new individuals."
Currently, HELP has 35 individuals and 34 staff members who can provide a ratio of almost one on one.
With this year’s auction behind her, Glendenning is already beginning plans for next year which is always the last Saturday in October. The success of the auction is made possible by donations of individuals and businesses throughout Osage County.
Glendenning is available to speak to area groups, civic organizations and churches about the program by calling 918-287-1588.