Volunteering for a mission trip is about construction work, power tools and heavy lifting. Well, Not necessarily!

Volunteering on a mission trip for Hands of Hope may include assigned construction projects like painting, building ramps for disabled individuals or a repair in a home, but there are other volunteer skills just as critical to volunteering at Hands of Hope.


Working at The Hope Chest thrift store

Working at The Hope Chest gives volunteers an opportunity to sort donations for the Hands of Hope thrift store. Here volunteers are filling Food Boxes that are sold for $5.00. Ability to have fun required.

At its Hope Chest store, located in Welch, West Virginia, daily donations of goods are delivered, and in the back rooms of the Hope Chest, boxes and bags of donations need to be sorted and processed to eventually be merchandised and sold in this much needed department store-like thrift store. Whether its clothes, household goods, furniture, rugs, or even books or DVDs, everything coming through the loading dock has to be initially sorted by volunteers or staff.

While working at The Hope Chest volunteers may have the opportunity to mingle with customers and regulars who come in every day for fellowship sometimes request prayer with volunteers/staff members. An ongoing prayer list is kept at the checkout counter.

The Hope Chest does sell food but only non-perishable food items in food boxes gathered together to provide several meals for a family. Hands of Hope Food Boxes are for $5.00 and are available at The Hope Chest. The mission team members have opportunities to fill these Food Boxes when food donations arrive and boxes need to be replenished. See what is in the Food Boxes by go visiting the Donations/Contributions Page.

Hands of Hope Food Box contain non-perishable foods that can make several meals for a family. The are sold for $5.00 at The Hope Chest.

Working as volunteers at The Hope Chest is an essential part of helping Hands of Hope’s ability to serve its community and provide critical services to individuals or families who may need assistance.


  • Organizational skills
  • Sorting skills, merchandising skills
  • Ability to fill food boxes according to designated list of food items
  • Can work alone and be self-motivated; work well with groups
  • Can easily assimilate to work environment based on the need of of thrift store and staff
  • Willingness to interact as a Christian volunteer with customers with ease and provide friendly atmosphere for shoppers.

Volunteers organizing community-based activity

Part of volunteering at Hands of Hope Ministries is having fun in the community by planning a special event that might include a cookout, a small concert or a children’s carnival, or a day of Vacation Bible School.

While an community-based activity is expected by mission teams during their visit to Hands of Hope, many times a team will plan a special event to gather the community for a cookout, a concert with local artists, or maybe children’s carnival event where a bouncy house is inflated and snacks are provided. Hands of Hope encourages each mission team to use their own creative spiritual gifts to conceive an activity for the community, and also ask for ideas from the staff, if needed.


  • Individuals who are not afraid to look outside the box for a creative new idea for a community program during their mission trip
  • A volunteer group who enjoys event planning for children for a possible Sunday School class, a Vacation Bible School event, or just a carnival playground event for an afternoon.
  • A volunteer group who seeks to identify what is promptly need during their stay as volunteers in the area of social service; for example, providing a Mothers’ Day out, providing manicures to women in domestic violence shelters, or giving out winter coats or boots to door-to-door to elderly residents.

And yes, there is construction to be done

Many times Hands of Hope enlists its mission team members to take on various construction and improvement tasks to help the residents of McDowell County, including the city of Welch. The team members have also be critical in helping in the construction and renovation of the old Murphy’s store in downtown Welch, which will be the new location of new location of The Hope Chest in 2022.

Mission team members work on the renovation of the old Murphy store in downtown Welch, WV, which will become the new Hands of Hope’s new Hope Chest thrift store in 2022.

While Hands of Hope does have some power tools available, yet mission teams are asked to bring tools needed for a particular project and also supplies if they are not available in the area for purchase. Hands of Hope prefers for the mission teams to buy local to help subsidize the local McDowell County economy. Coordination between local merchants and mission teams is done by the Hands of Hope executive director.

Using Power Tools: Hands of Hope prefers individuals who use power tools to be very familiar with those tools to avoid injury and waste of valuable materials if mistakes are made in measurement and fitting. It encourages team members to mentor other team members in the use of power tools to learn more about working with them for future mission trips.

Hands of Hope prefers that anyone under the age of 18, or youth on mission trips, do not use power tools or work in construction zones for their mission tasks. Exception: If the executive director approves, an exception can be made with a fully-qualified adult who mentors, monitors and accompanies an older youth (like 17-18 year old) at all times.

Construction doesn’t always mean using power tools. Painting, nailing wood to the walls or floors, construction clean up and disposal is all part of the teamwork in working in construction task. Sometimes it might just mean moving merchandise, unloading goods from the loading dock, or taking instructions on small tasks needing to be done that day.

If you are DYI-type person, then Hands of Hope has work for you to do either in their own facilities like its new store in Welch, or in helping residents with construction needs.


  • Individuals with experience in construction and carpentry,
  • Experience in use of power tools for carpentry and painting.
  • Electrical and plumbing experience limited to individuals with experience only.
  • Individuals with ability to paint walls, ceilings, floors and outdoor facilities.
  • All volunteers must be proficient in construction clean up and waste removal.
  • Heavy lifting may be involved, but not always needed.
  • Volunteers will obtain materials from local merchants for construction projects to help support the economy in the city of Welch and McDowell County.
  • It is preferred that youth do not work in construction zones, unless it has been approved by the Hands of Hope executive director.

For more information about volunteering and specific tasks that may be needed for a mission trip, contact Executive Director Crystal Green at hohm_crystal@yahoo.com for more information.