Spotlight on Nonprofit: Help Me Help You
2011-10-05 · By Editor
EverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Zina Washington, Executive Director of Help Me Help You, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.
How long has Help Me Help You been around? Did it start in Long Beach?
Our organization officially opened office in January of 2004 in downtown Long Beach.
Describe Help Me Help You. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.
Help Me Help You’s mission is to motivate and transition homeless and low-income youth and adults, addressing their most basic needs of food and shelter. Our primary program is our food pantry. We believe strongly in the role that food plays in human development. To the end our pantry provides nutritious food to close to 3,000 families and individuals each month. We are a volunteer run organization, grateful to have many volunteers who are dedicated to being of service to our community. Our goals include: 1) Helping to reduce hunger among the homeless and low-income populations. 2) Easing the financial burden among the homeless and low-income populations. 3) Link clients to other primary services in the community.
How is Help Me Help You different from similar nonprofits?
Help Me Help You is fortunate enough to be selected as one of the partnering collaborative agencies located at the city of Long Beach’s Multi-Service Center (MSC). The MSC is home to more than 20 agencies that work with city case managers to provide respite services to the homeless population. We consider other nonprofits and agencies as partners. Together we can holistically services the needs of our clients.
How is Help Me Help You involved with the community?
Our weekly food pantry provides nutritious food to clients every Wednesday. Other programs service these clients, like our holiday program and scholarship program for the youth of our clients. Additionally we network with others in the community like performing outreach services to students at Charter College, providing financial literacy courses to clients at the MSC and local housing developments.
What are some of the biggest successes Help Me Help You has had?
Our food pantry has successfully fed more than 20,000 individuals annually since 2007 (The program began in 2006. We have helped more than 20 individuals establish bank accounts, and we have housed 5 individuals.
What is the most rewarding part of running Help Me Help You?
We consider it a blessing to be of service. Each year that we are able to continue to be of service is a great accomplishment. We find the biggest reward in a simple thank you. When a client actually takes time to stop and say thank you, it makes you feel like you have done something good.
What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?
Consistent funding is our biggest challenge.
What are the future plans for Help Me Help You?
To continue to be of service to those in our community. Also, we are seeking a truck for our food pantry program. Right now we drive two pick-ups to Los Angeles and a second location each Weds morning. One truck would be more efficient.
Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?
Our Thanksgiving and Holiday Program are approaching. We are seeking donations and funds to purchase turkeys for thanksgiving and to secure toys, gifts, gift cards, etc., for our food pantry clients for the holidays. The Turkey giveaway will be held November 23, 2011 at the food pantry and the Christmas (toy, gifts, hams, etc.) giveaway will be held December 21, 2011. To become a sponsor, contribute, or participate, contact the office!
How can people get involved with Help Me Help You? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?
We seek all of the above. We are always in need of dedicated volunteers, and we seek donations and sponsorships from the general public and local businesses and corporations.
What is the most inspiring advice that you received and who did it come from?
My mother told me that I have what it takes!
One Last Thing:
God is good! Thank you
Help Me Help You Details:
Address: One World Trade Center Ste 800
Phone Number: 562-733-1147 x160