PORTSMOUTH, Va (WAVY) — A Portsmouth woman who’s been helping her community over the last four years, is now asking for the community to her help.
With so many people in need, she wants to expand the Blessed Hands organization to get people the resources they need.
For years, Shirley Janney has been handing out free donated items to people in her community, helping hundreds of people each month.
“It used to be maybe 50 people were showing up when I was opening. Now it’s anywhere from 150 to 200 people on any given Saturday,” she said.
And in the past four years, Janney has been able to store all of her donations in her garage.
“I … started getting more and more and it got to the point where I couldn’t carry it down [to another location] no more. So I started doing it here on the property. Well, as you can see, I’ve outgrown the property now,” she explained.
So, she’s moving up — or at least out into a new space. She says especially now providing for families is her priority.
“We have to learn how to live in this virus. Instead of trying to beat it and get around it, we’re going to have to live in it,” she said.
“We are telling them to choose between feeding diapering and watering your children versus paying your bills,” she added, referring to the strain the pandemic has put on families.
In her new space clothing and diapers goes pretty quickly, so she is asking for donations, but also if anyone can help her keep up with the maintenance.
“My hope is that the can start opening not just on Saturdays but on one day a week as well,” she said.
Janney believes has faith no matter, what she will continue to serve her community.
“Blessed Hands will always remain free and this program will continue even upon my death. It will keep going. This program is here to stay,” Janney explained.
Blessed Hands Community Program will be hosting a grand donation day and ribbon cutting on Friday, Oct. 30 at 4 p.m. at their new location 2830 Airline Blvd in Portsmouth.
Volunteers and supporters are encouraged to bring donations, as Blessed Hands will officially open its doors and arms to the community the very next day, Saturday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.
For more information on how to donate click here.