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Christ’s Hands open nightly

Christ’s Hands is seeking donations to help with the costs of keeping the facility open as an Emergency Winter Shelter during this year’s winter months.

Christ’s Hands Director Bryan Toll explained Christ’s Hands is working with Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, the Harlan Fiscal Court and Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill to operate the shelter.

Toll explained Christ’s Hands is completely community and church supported.

“We take no government funds whatsoever,” Toll said. “We’ve committed to the shelter being open, but it is a draining thing for us to do because we have to keep it staffed every night, and we pay for that staff. It’s something we do need the community’s support on.”

There are efforts currently being made around Harlan to help pay the costs of keeping the shelter open.

“The money that’s being raised in the community right now is not for things we do such as the soup kitchen, our food pantry or furniture ministry,” Toll said. “It’s just for the Winter Emergency Shelter.”

Toll said the Christ’s Hands pays for the facility to be staffed all night long every night while the emergency winter shelter is in operation.

“That’s where we need financial help right now, to keep those people here each night with the doors open,” Toll said. “We served 71 beds in December alone, and we’re looking at the same right now for January, so it’s a much needed thing. Without the communities help we wouldn’t be able to do it.”

Toll said Christ’s Hands opened as an emergency winter shelter on Dec. 1 and will remain open at least until Feb. 28.

“We will stay open longer if needed, that will be based on the weather,” Toll said. “We’re open every night…the doors are really open 24 hours a day. There’s a warm place for people, the bathrooms are accessible. There are a few hours in the afternoon after meal time when people are in our foyer. Otherwise, the shelter opens at 9 p.m. each night and we pass out cotton blankets and pillows and they are given a safe, warm place to stay.”

A gospel music benefit is being planned by members of the community to help fund the emergency winter shelter. The event is slated for Jan. 26 and will feature gospel music acts such as Chiseled in Stone, Tammy Chapman, Peggy Green and Paige Lunsford. The event will be held at Southeast Community College /Harlan Campus Vocational School Theatre. All proceeds will benefit Christ’s Hands.

“We’re looking forward to that,” Toll said. “That’s the community taking ownership for the ministry here – that’s a great thing – making sure we’ve got what we need to do the work that God’s called us to do.”

The organization Withlovefromharlan has helped by donating funds for the winter shelter raised through road blocks and bake sales.

Donations can be made out to Christ’s Hands and mailed to 112 Railroad Street, Harlan, Kentucky, 40831 or go to http://www.christshandsky.org/about_us and donate via PayPal. Donations can also be made in person at the Christ’s Hands facility on Railroad Street.

“If you want to make a donation specifically for a particular ministry, whether it be the soup kitchen, the food pantry or the shelter, you can note that on your check. All donations go to the ministry of Christ’s Hands,” Toll said.

According to Toll, the community has always come through for Christ’s Hands.

“We appreciate the community and all the ways we’ve been assisted over the last 19 years,” Toll said.