Helping Hands Foundation helps those in need in Rector

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – A concert coming up next week in Rector will offer more than just a good time, it is a way for a community-based charity to raise money to continue their good work.

"It's going to be an amazing night of musical entertainment that you won't see anywhere in this type of setting in this part of the world," said Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation Board Member Mark Manchester.

Next Thursday the high school gym will be filled with people who are here to have a good time and lend a helping hand.

"We don't want anyone to be left out of anything here at our school because they can't afford it," said Manchester.

The Rector High School Helping Hands Foundation has been around for about five years helping students in need.

"I had no clue where I was going to go or how we were going to pay for it.  Both of my parents had lost their jobs the previous year that I graduated high school and my mom was the only one working at the time," said RHS Helping Hands scholarship winner Racheal Gipson.

ASU Junior Racheal Gipson said she was prepared to take out student loans but now she doesn't have to.  Hannah Scott just graduated from Rector High School.  She too was unclear about what path she would take.

"It was going to be hard with money but we had it kind of planned.  I was going to go to a technical college for two years and then transfer to Williams Baptist, but with the scholarship, it's helping and I don't have to worry about it," said Scott.

Scott will enter Williams Baptist College this fall with a full tuition scholarship.  Foundation board member Mark Manchester said they're already seeing success stories.

"We've had kids who we've helped who have come to us with drug problems or no home life whatsoever.  We've got them through school and now they've graduated," said Manchester.

While the scholarships are a big part of what they do, the foundation does so much more..

"It's the kids who are cold in January that get a coat," said Manchester.

"If they want to go on a trip and they can't afford it, it helps them.  I think it's great," said Scott.

"We're trying to help kids overcome the cycle of poverty that so many live in here in rural northeast Arkansas," said Manchester.

A lot of the kids who are awarded scholarships or other financial help come back to Rector to be a part of the concert and let people know what the foundation has done for them.

"It's taught me to give back more to come up here and help out  at the concert and just give back to the community," said Gipson.

"It's changing people's lives and families lives to help them look for a brighter future," said Scott.

The annual Rector High School Helping Hands concert is coming up next Thursday at the Rector High School gym.  There are tickets still available for the biggest fundraiser for the foundation. For more information you can call Greg Sain at 870-240-6338.

©2010 KAIT.  All rights reserved.