Who We Are
Helping Hands-Harboring Hope, Inc. (dba HH-HH) is a small non-profit organization, purposefully simple in scope. HH-HH is recognized as a tax-exempt public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to HH-HH are deductible under Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Internal Revenue Code. HH-HH is also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.
HH-HH also operates fiscally as a donor-advised fund of National Christian Foundation (NCF). NCF is also recognized as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and donations to HH-HH that are acknowledged by NCF are also deductible under Section 170(b)(1)(A) of Internal Revenue Code.
We have no paid administrative employees, and no buildings or equipment, meaning the donations we receive are used directly for program related expenses. HH-HH does not accept project proposals and does not award grants. We work with our established partners to provide HELP and HOPE: health, education and literacy programs to help others prosper through education.
What We Do
HH-HH provides financial assistance to help meet basic needs of poverty-stricken people in India and the United States.
HH-HH also mobilizes volunteer teams for various community service projects in the Kansas City area and assists local partner non-profit organizations with fund-raising and community service projects.
We dedicate ourselves to supporting a select few causes to ensure our energies and your resources are focused to yielding the best possible outcome.
Why We Do It
Helping Hands-Harboring Hope is the result of a long personal journey for founder Darlene Terry. After years of searching for clarity and purpose, an opportunity arose for a short-term mission trip to India.
During that visit she spent time with people afflicted with leprosy and visiting an orphanage that was home to about 500 children. It was there that she discovered her calling.
[read a personal message from Darlene to learn more]
Years before I realized what it was exactly that God was calling me to do, I knew He had a purpose for me. But that knowledge was for a long time very frustrating. You see, while I knew God must have something in mind for me I had absolutely no idea what that might be, and God seemed to be satisfied to be silent on the matter. My prayer actually became "God, I know You're keeping me around for something; I sure wish You'd let me know what."
You see, God has spared my life on more than a few occasions. I'm not talking about a few near misses. I'm talking about the kind of things that a person doesn't often walk away from... especially repeatedly.
Watching Over Me
The first time it happened I really didn't give it much thought. I was 16 years old with what I thought was a hot sports car and a lead foot. Driving faster than I care to admit, I veered off a country rode and tried to whip it back on. The shoulder was low enough and I was going fast enough that this intended correction somehow rolled the car. It landed so hard that all of the tires blew. Another car came from behind within moments and helped me get out through the passenger's door; the driver's door was too damaged. I stepped out quickly, realizing that amazingly I wasn't injured; well I did apparently bite my tongue during the roll-over, which is amazing given that I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I didn't even go to the hospital; I never even had whiplash. The only real damage was that my car was a total loss.
The guardian Angel who was appointed to be with me during that accident, or perhaps God Himself, would protect me through repeated "accidents."
First at a yield sign; I yielded, the drunk driver behind me did not even slow down.
And again several years later. My Chevy Nova had been replaced with a Gremlin (I don't remember the model, but I loved that ugly little Gremlin). By then I was driving much more responsibly but my guardian angel had more work to do. The country road to my fiancé's home included a pretty steep hill. While driving to meet him one day I crested that hill to meet head-on another driver who was attempting to pass another car as they approached the hill. Again not wearing a seatbelt, my head slammed into the windshield and in fact cracked the windshield. My knees slammed so hard into the car that they left permanent indentions in the hard plastic. A passer-by stopped and took me to the hospital. (Those were the days before cell phones.) He was concerned that I was seriously injured because my head after all had just gone through a windshield. As it turns out the windshield sustained the only real injury. The extent of treatment I received was having glass shards plucked from my hair. I was sore beyond description for a couple of days afterwards, but within a week I was good as new. I knew with certainty that God's protection had covered me yet again. The car didn't recover; it was totaled.
But still there's more. Several years later, I was sitting at a red light with my daughter in the passenger's seat when my car was slammed from behind with such force that it pushed me completely through the intersection. The commercial truck driver said his brakes failed. When my car came to a stop, my trunk was mostly in my back seat and my car was totaled. I did have a minor case of whiplash but in only a couple of weeks I was as good as new. And thank God, my young daughter was completely unscathed. I surely knew by then that God was protecting me.
Searching For Purpose
The next couple of decades were frankly very frustrating for me. I begged God to show me His purpose for my life but He was silent except for the continued protections He provided.
Through the years I became somewhat of an adrenaline junkie (swam with humpback whales, sky-dived, the usual thrill-seeking stuff) and was blessed to travel internationally quite a bit on vacation.
I decided during that time that even in God's silence as to His purpose for my life I should do something to further God's Kingdom. I started taking a week to ten days each year for international and local mission work. I never felt a calling really, just the sense that I needed to do something.
And Then It Happened
During that period a good friend asked if I'd be interested in a short-term mission trip to India. By then I was hooked on international travel and wanted my tombstone to one day announce that I'd visited every country on earth. India was a country I hadn't yet visited, so I immediately said yes.
I learned that the India trip would consist of visits to poor communities to dedicate bore wells, spending time with people afflicted with leprosy and visiting an orphanage that was home to about 500 children.
I have always been somewhat fascinated with the story in the Bible about the leper and am a sucker for the underdog and the unwanted, so I was eager to meet and interact first-hand with the lepers.
But the orphanage...that was just too many kids for my liking. I started plotting, certain I could come up with a plan that would allow me to spend extended time with the lepers and skip the orphanage visits...anything to avoid interacting with that many young kids.
Well, my plotting failed me and I found myself at the entrance of the orphanage with girls lined up on one side of the walk-way and boys on the other. They were singing and clapping and welcoming us. Their joy was so overwhelming and consuming that I couldn't help but cry, which was quite foreign to me because I am not, or at least I was not, a crier.
That day, God spoke to me as clearly as if He had been physically present. He said to me, "You've been asking me what I wanted you to do; this is it." Even thinking about it now, I am shedding tears. After years and years of silence, God's leading in my life then and His continued reinforcement now is so powerful that I can not help but hear the call.
I realized during that first trip that the orphans I quickly grew to love didn't have beds or even mats to sleep on and didn't have so much as a box for their belongings. I left India that September knowing that God was calling me to provide both for Christmas.
I'd never done any fund-raising; yet I committed to Dr. Premdas, founder of Light of Love Children's Home, that I'd figure out how to raise $13,000 for the kids by Christmas. Actually, it was easy...all I had to do was show up. God provided and touched hearts of givers—in abundance. And a Christmas tradition had begun.
Friend Mike Viser, founder of Wells for Life® agreed to sponsor my little "projects." One of the most recent was that of raising funds for what I called "Let's Build a Village."
The result of that campaign is New Life Colony, where 21 families now reside; families who never had a permanent location to call home and had never in fact even had a roof over their heads. With no education and no means to buy or rent a permanent home, their children were not able to attend school. The adults were mostly beggars, with no occupational skills. And no education for their children would guarantee the cycle of poverty would continue. But God had other plans. And today, the New Life children are thriving. Through a micro-finance program, the parents have begun successful business ventures, the families are becoming self-sufficient.
While God used people in the U.S. to make a financial and physical impact on these people's lives, he used Dr. Christopher Premdas in India to touch their hearts. Many of the New Life villagers are now Christ followers. God's love was shown to them and now they are showing God's love. And WOW, I was blessed beyond measure to be a small part of that.
Well, I was satisfied for a few years that I had finally heard God's call and had responded, but God began to whisper that there was more. My work until just recently has been primarily in southern India with the orphans, lepers and poverty-stricken.
I've tried for a year or more to discern God's additional instruction to me. Numerous opportunities to become involved with several non-profit organizations in the Kansas City area provided the clarity I needed.
So What's Next?
Helping Hands-Harboring Hope is, at least for now, my response to God's additional calling. HH-HH will continue to partner with Wells for Life to work with Dr. Premdas and the Indian people I love. We are also beginning to work with local non-profit organizations (see our "Partner" page).
I didn't realize when God provided the name "Helping Hands" (again very audibly) that it would perfectly describe how we'll be helping some of our local partners. God is beginning now to reveal that our local partnerships will likely consist of mobilizing and coordinating local volunteers to help our local partner organizations with their projects and events.
I am incredibly excited about what the future will hold and what God has in store. God named this effort in the plural for a reason. We need helping hands...we need your hands.
It is my prayer that God will use this website to touch other hearts and recruit helping hands with loving hearts. Together we can reach out to others in need. The helping hands we extend can serve as a harbor of hope.
Thank you for reading,