Working in Communities

The Hands of Hope Welch WV staff knows their communities and are very familiar with their daily needs for food, clothing and providing the spirit of hope and love.

How do mission teams and volunteers work in a community when they serve at Hands of Hope?
Mission trip volunteers daily work within Hands of Hope communities range from construction work to planning spiritual events, to just listening and praying with people.

When mission teams arrive in Welch to serve at Hands of Hope they usually have two goals in mind:

  • Firstly, what physical community projects will be assigned to them during their stay, for example, maybe a construction project. Volunteers may find themselves working at Hands of Hope Ministries facilities such as The Hope Chest or or the Mission Center, especially since both facilities are under renovation. The Hope Chest location is moving to a 7200 sq. ft. building down the block from the old location in 2022, and the store location will be turned into more living space for mission trip volunteers. Go to Volunteer page to see what volunteers do at Hands of Hope.
  • Secondly, a mission team incorporates the teachings of Jesus by sharing a program or event that reaches out into the community and gives them an opportunity to share a meal, listen to music, have an activity for children or present a program where as Christians we use our listening skill together with prayer and smiles. 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. Contact Executive Director Crystal Green for ideas at

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Matthew 22:37-39

Hands of Hope Ministries works daily in the community it serves: The city of Welch and McDowell County, West Virginia
Top photo: Hands of Hope brings clean water to people because many cannot afford to obtain tap water from public utilities or have no electricity to run their wells. Bottom photo: After the many mines closed in McDowell County so did many company-run services for employees.

Many returning volunteers also know the daily treks in Hands of Hope vans and trucks when food and water are taken up into the hollows, as well as local parks and highway rest stops where individuals congregate looking for food and the opportunity to find work. A warm meal can brighten a child’s day and clean water from a water bottle gives an individual solace away from drinking from a possible polluted nearby creek or river.

After two decades of serving in McDowell County, residents know Hands of Hope Welch WV is an intricate part of their community. With the city of Welch’s population dropping from 100,000 to more than 16,000 in the last 50 years, the ability to sustain nonprofit organizations in this county has been a great challenge. The majority of the coal mines closed. The coal mining companies shuttered their company-owned employee services like medical clinics, doctors and social services for their employees. Top American nonprofit organizations have little or no footprints in McDowell County.

This leaves an organization like Hands of Hope Ministries to step in and help, when possible. For instance, if a family loses a home to fire or flood, Hands of Hope tries to help with providing furniture, household goods and clothing. When a man is newly-released from prison or jail, it isn’t unusual for a man to be dropped off in the middle of downtown Welch with only his paper jumpsuit on. Hands of Hope offers these men a clean set of clothing including underwear and shoes to give back their dignity as they try to assimilate back into society.