The Giles County Help Center opened June 28, 1991 and is located at 314 North First Street in Pulaski, TN. During the late 1980’s, people within the Giles County community, who needed food and utility assistance, would go from church to church seeking help. Pastors from several local churches met to assess how they could assist these individuals better. After several meetings and much discussion, it was decided to purchase a building that would be the central location to meet the needs in the community. All local churches, who were willing to participate in this program, would direct monthly contributions, as well as any families with emergency needs, to the Help Center.
On a monthly average, the Help Center serves 55 families, 113 people, and 23 children under the age of 12. They also provide 3 meals per day. The Help Center depends solely on monetary and food donations from individuals, churches, schools and businesses. Sheila Garret, Center Director shares, “Second Harvest Food Bank has truly been a blessing. Through Second Harvest, we have obtained knowledge on how to improve the operations of our facility, and also been aided in purchasing food items at a low cost, to better provide nutritious meals to our clients.”
“We have also been blessed to have an individual in our community who provides the center with fresh produce. At any given time [the Second Harvest delivery truck] may arrive with fresh tomatoes, squash, melons, and green beans just to name a few. One of our local grocery stores also provides bread. Without the generosity of the people in our community, we would not be able to provide the much needed assistance that has been made available for individuals in need.”
Last year, with the help of the community, The Help Center was able to provide each client with a Thanksgiving and Christmas meal for the holidays. This year, as the holidays are fast approaching, they are hoping to do the same. Many times, The Center struggles with finding volunteers to help with the daily operations. Although, they may not have as many as they would like to have, those that do volunteer always go the extra mile. Their local board consists of 6 clergy and 6 lay persons who are always available to help when needed, too.
The Help Center works closely with other agencies in the community to make sure that every resource is made available to clients. Also shared are listings of GED and budgeting classes, as well as job opportunities offered through their local career center.
The purpose of the Giles County Help Center is to help with emergency needs and to give them future guidance for the immediate and distance future. Operation hours are Monday-Thursday, 10 A.M. -2 P.M. As their slogan states: “Help for Today, Hope for Tomorrow.”