Boston Charity Helping People Stay Housed and Self-Sufficient Looks to Expand Reach

Lend A Hand Society

In its 130th year, Lend A Hand Society seeks more donors and to expand its reach. Unique organization's speedy grants help recipients avoid eviction and keep heat and power on.

BOSTON, MA / ACCESSWIRE / December 8, 2022 / Lend A Hand Society, a distinctive charity with a simple mission serving the needy in Greater Boston, is making a push for greater public awareness and funding to meet increased demand in its 130th year.

It provides help faster to people facing eviction or loss of power because of unpaid rent, utility or medical bills. Nimble and responsive, Lend A Hand is the charity other charities rely on.

Working with advocates at nonprofit and government agencies who make requests for their clients, Lend A Hand helps recipients meet their pressing needs in a timely, dignified way. There's no involved application process.

"Our name says what we're about," says board president Erica Harmon. "We lend a hand to people who need help. Our assistance often prevents their lives from spiraling out of control."

The need keeps increasing. During the Covid shutdown, many people who fell behind on rent could get by because of the eviction moratorium. But now that they have to catch up with the back rent, many are struggling now.

Help from rent to eyeglasses staves off crises

  • A Roxbury couple with two kids had their power shut off. A Lend A Hand grant paid their electric bill and get the power turned back on.

  • A young Boston woman finished cosmetology school but didn't have the $68 needed for her state license. LAH paid for it.

  • An older man couldn't afford eyeglasses. LAH paid for them.

  • A Brookline family with a child with a serious disability was facing eviction. An LAH grant that helped with rent and medical bills enabled them to stay housed.

  • A handicapped woman, who requires the use of a wheelchair, had to move after her landlord increased her rent. LAH covered moving costs.

Most grants are in the $500 to $1,000 range-enough to help many people in Greater Boston who are "on the edge" from going over it. With rising rents and utility bills, more people are in danger of losing their housing and becoming homeless, she says.

Because LAH's endowment covers its modest operating expenses, 100% of donations support grant recipients. Grants are paid directly to utility companies, medical providers, and other service providers.

200th birthday of founder, iconic author Edward Everett Hale

Lend A Hand Society was founded in 1892 by Edward Everett Hale. Born in 1822, Hale was a prominent Boston minister, abolitionist, and humanitarian, remembered as the author of the iconic bestseller, "The Man Without a Country."

The inspiration was his story, "Ten Times One is Ten." Based on the life of a dear friend from Hale's Worcester days, Edward Greenleaf, it tells the story of mourners meeting at the funeral of a friend and each relating how the man had changed their lives. They decide to form a club in his memory with the motto: "Look up and not down. Look forward and not back. Look out and not in. Lend a hand."

By 1870 fifty Ten Times One Clubs had been formed and the number rapidly grew all over the world. At the height, there were over 800 LAH clubs. Those clubs evolved into the Lend A Hand Society in 1892.

Looking toward future

Harmon, 36, elected board president in 2021 is helping spearhead the organization's renewed emphasis on public and donor outreach. The past year has seen an event in the public garden celebrating Hale's 200th birthday and an outing for supporters to Hale's historic summer house in Matunuck, R.I.

Lend a Hand, serving clients in Greater Boston (inside route 128), is located at 89 South Street in Boston's Financial District. Donations are tax-deductible. Website: https://lend-a-hand-society.org/

LAH emergency grants

Housing

  • Rental assistance to prevent homelessness

  • Security deposit to help secure and move into an apartment, often from a homeless shelter

Utilities

  • Gas, oil, and electric bill assistance to prevent utility shutoff

  • Payment of overdue utility bills to have service restored

Medical Equipment

  • Prostheses for patients leaving hospitals after surgery

  • Wheelchair repair for elderly or disabled individuals

  • Walkers for elderly or disabled people

  • Shower chairs and other medical equipment to allow people to stay in their own homes

  • Eyeglasses for the elderly and others

Education and Job Training

  • ID cards for people in job training programs seeking jobs

  • Licensing fees for graduates of programs to become licensed in their fields.

Other programs

  • Camperships grants to nonprofit camping agencies provide scholarships for children and teenagers. Most camperships are for inner-city youth who benefit from attending creative, educational, recreational and nurturing camps outside the city.

  • Book mission grants are made to nonprofit organizations, schools and colleges for the purchase of books for their lending libraries and educational programs for children and adults to promote literacy and the love of books.

Media contacts:
Henry Stimpson, henry@stimpsoncommunications.com
Nancy Cooper, LAH, lendahandsociety@mac.com, (617) 338-5301

SOURCE: Lend A Hand Society



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