With face painting, pony rides, inflatable fun and a silent auction the annual BB&T Lighthouse Project, once again, aimed to better the community by working with Helping Hands.
"Each year we choose a local community organization that gives back and helps out throughout the community," says BB&T City Executive, Shawn Taylor. "We chose 'Helping Hands" because what better way to help the community than helping abused and battered children find a better home."
Helping Hands is currently working to raise money to build an interim shelter for children removed for abusive or neglectful homes. President of Helping Hands, Tim Gore, says the need in the area is great.
"There's a really big need in our area. West Virginia, at one time, led the nation in abuse and neglect," Gore explains. "Wood County, of all the counties in the state, has the most abuse and neglect. And from that, and meeting these children, and seeing the need that we have here in our community... we just started. This is our 6th year and we have almost 700 children right here in the Mid-Ohio Valley alone."
Gore, who runs helping hands after he works his full time job everyday, says community support will determine how quickly the shelter can be built.
"It all depends upon our community. If we have the community support than this can be done in about a year or so," Gore says. "It's all up to the community. We do all that we can but we rely on the community and all the people in the community to help us."
Donations to Helping Hands can be made at any BB&T branch, as well as to Helping Hands c/o the Fairlawn Baptist Church.