Helping Hands Receives October Honor
The Wells County Chamber of Commerce staff and Ambassadors congratulated Brandy Aschliman and staff with Helping Hands as the October Member of the Month. Helping Hands is located at 116 E Dustman Road in Bluffton.
Helping Hands was founded in 2011 by Brandy Aschliman. “Prior to 2011, I was teaching in Huntington County and felt compelled to do something Kingdom focused. I visited the Decatur Hope Clinic and honestly didn’t know anything about a Pregnancy Resource Center,” explained Aschliman. “I suggested to them that they should open a center in Wells County. You should have seen the lady look through me and then she explained that they had been praying for someone to open a facility. I knew then that Gold wanted me to pursue this mission.”
Aschliman quit her teaching job, started a committee, and researched extensively about pregnancy resource centers. A Board of Directors were formed in 2012 and Aschliman was hired as the Executive Director.
Aschliman explains that Helping Hands is not just another organization, but a community. Relationship building is key to their success. “Our goal is to do life with you. We may not have all the answers, but we will connect you to the resources and people to help you with your needs. Getting to know our clients and pour into them the love of Jesus is what we do.”
One of the services Helping Hands provides to anyone free of charge is an ultrasound. “We will take the time and care with a client who wants to see their baby,” said Aschliman. “This provides a reassurance for a mother or helps to solidify a decision for a spouse. The first 13-14 weeks of a pregnancy is crucial for the health and well-being of a baby.”
Additional programs offered by Helping Hands include MomTime, Man2Man, and Family Life Group. Each focus on how to build a family unit, co-parenting, understanding finances, what parenting means and how that impacts a man or woman. “What sets us apart from other programs that may be similar is the focus on Jesus. Many of the individuals we serve will not go to church or have been hurt or judged by others; our goal is to show them that they can serve the Lord and be comfortable here and know they are loved through us and through Jesus Christ,” explained Aschliman.
The past two years Helping Hands staff have been trained in the Parenting in Progress program, which is recognized as a Level 3 Tier Intervention for child abuse and neglect. The program is a 16-week course, meeting once a week, 3 hours in length. Staff work closely with DCS for at-risk individuals and clients that are potential candidates. Aschliman explained that the program has the potential to change our community; however, it is a lot of work changing people from their history of abuse and then learn to be a parent. Anyone can take the program to understand what a healthy relationship is and how to be a nurturing parent to their children.
Helping Hands is primarily funded through individual donations and churches; it does not receive any funds from the state. “We are not a duplication of services with other nonprofits in our community because all of our services are faith and relationship based,” stated Aschliman. “It is not a transaction, we build relationships with people and it is a constant interaction through meetings, follow ups, phone calls, etc.; all the while directing them to the love of Jesus.”
One of the largest events Helping Hands holds each year is their annual benefit; however, this year staff had to be creative and change it to a virtual event on Saturday, October 10. The event will be held with guests watching via live streaming. The event will have a presentation about the services Helping Hands offers, entertainment, and client testimonials.
Pictured in the photo left to right:
Kylie Tomlin, Helping Hands
Kristin VanDeman, Helping Hands
Alexa Reed, Helping Hands
Brandy Aschliman, Helping Hands
Hattie Wondercheck, Helping Hands
Erin Claghorn, Helping Hands
Not pictured: Kevin Keller, Linda Ellet, Heather McFarren