February 12, 2021
Iowan of the Week
The Helping Hand of Warren County
Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Sue Wilson and The Helping Hand of Warren County in Indianola, Iowa for their aid to the underserved people of their community. Sue and The Helping Hand are the pinnacles of what it means to be an Iowan, and I wish to recognize them as my Iowan of the Week for their remarkable dedication to the betterment of their state.
The Helping Hand is a volunteer organization whose mission is to distribute food, clothing, and household items to residents in their community for no cost. While they have been serving the people of Warren County for years via their walk-in food pantry, they have begun outreach to expand their services to address underlying issues resulting in food insecurity such as substance misuse and mental health services.
The Helping Hand is expanding its network to multiple resources and services that its community members can utilize. Not only is it a support system for people who need food and clothing, it is also a resource for those who look to better their mental health as well, not just their physical.
Sue serves on Governor Reynolds’ Advisory Council for Brain Injuries and has started to administer a voluntary brain injury screening tool to the community members that utilize The Helping Hand. While people are waiting in the food pantry line, they are invited to participate in the screening and are then asked a series of questions. This new programming is in the early stages, but Sue and The Helping Hand are hoping that they will soon be able to provide data of the percentage of people who have suffered from a brain injury and have limited resources to assist them in their betterment. So far, The Helping Hand has screened approximately 100 people in their food pantry line.
Sue and The Helping Hand’s desire to better the lives of those in Warren County is inspiring. Whether it be facing food insecurity directly or distributing over one thousand boxes of food and supplies, they are setting the standards high on what it means to serve and be served within a community. Sue and The Helping Hand are constantly and consistently striving to better themselves and the people they serve, and they do this through complete devotion, an unwavering work ethic, and huge hearts. I am proud to recognize Sue Wilson and The Helping Hand of Warren County as my Iowan of the week.