These past few months have been an exciting time for us at Americans Helping Americans. As you may know, our founder, Col. Gene Krizek (Ret) passed the torch of leading our organization to his grandson, Cameron Krizek. Cameron, now our director, spent most of this summer traveling across Appalachia to meet with our current partners. During this time, he had the chance to help repair homes, enjoy the summer camp experience, ride on the Lunch Box Bus, and more.
We're also excited to announce that new partnerships were formed with grassroots initiatives in Virginia, West Virginia and Georgia. Working together, our new partners will help us have an even greater impact on the lives of people living in their communities.
New Partner Spotlight: Sprouting Hope – Marion, Virginia
Sprouting Hope is a growing nonprofit organization founded in 2012. Located in Smyth County in southwest Virginia, it is home to a population of less than 6,000 people. 55 percent of the children in Smyth County are eligible for free and reduced-price meals, and access to nutritious, affordable food can be hard to find.
With funding from Americans Helping Americans®, Sprouting Hope will be able to restart their Homegrown project, which allows applicants to be a part of a multi-year education course to teach them how to start a farm in their backyards.
Fresh food and self-sustainability will work wonders for the community, and we're hoping this project will be emulated across America.
New Partner Spotlight: Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank Inc. – Welch, West Virginia
Five Loaves and Two Fishes Food Bank Inc. in McDowell County, West Virginia provides approximately 12,000 individuals with non-perishable food items each year. However, because the county is located in a food dessert, fresh items like fruits and vegetables are hard to come by.
Five Loaves and Two Fishes Inc. is family-operated and completely staffed by volunteers. It is also supported by the family-owned small business, Roadside Farms, which uses hydroponically-grown food to sell vegetables and fruits to individuals. Lettuce grown through this process is also distributed to nearby schools and supplements fresh produce for the food bank, another self-sustaining and innovative solutions Americans Helping Americans® is proud to begin supporting.
New Partner Spotlight: Community Helping Hands Clinic – Cleveland, GA
Community Helping Hands Clinic (CHHC) is the only free health clinic in White County, Georgia operating with five volunteer doctors to provide medical assistance to 425 residents.
These physicians treat clients suffering with diabetes, hypertension, and nutritional advice, as well as providing appropriate care to individuals needing dental and vision support.
Americans Helping Americans® is happy to begin assisting CHHC with medical supplies so that more people will be able to get treatment for their preventable diseases and educated on the best ways to avoid illness.
More than a rebuilt home
The Martinez family made Cleveland, Tennessee their home several years ago. Marco Martinez and his wife are in their early 50s and live with their 20-year-old son, Andres. Marco suffers from blindness and their only source of income is from Silva’s job. The Martinez’s roof needed to be repaired and replaced as leaks were causing issues inside their home, but the family’s limited income left them unable to pay for it.
With the help of a grant from Americans Helping Americans® and labor provided by Ocoee Outreach volunteers, the old roof was removed, rotted roof decking boards were replaced, and a new roof was installed.
The entire family was extremely grateful for the help they received. Marco Martinez said,
“This is great help to my family... too big to really put it into words … but a great help to my family. Thank you, Americans Helping Americans® & Ocoee Outreach!"