CANHelp to make Ace Hardware building permanent home

From Staff Reports

July 20, 2008 - The local CANHelp organization announced Friday that it has a new permanent home that will also house other critical community social service organizations.

Dawn Sheffield, who founded CANHelp, made the announcement that the former Ace Hardware building on Gilmer Street will be the future home of the organization.

She started the community resource center, known as the Hopkins County Community Action Network when it opened in 2000, with a mission of "helping people find the help they need."

"The staff and board of directors of CANHelp have worked tirelessly over the past seven years to realize one of our primary long-term strategic goals," Sheffield stated in a release announcing the move. "The new CANHelp community resource center will house not only CANHelp but several other critical community social service organizations. The excellent location will provide individuals and families seeking help easy access to a resource center that can work to meet their needs on so many different levels."

CANHelp, which has operated out of a converted home on Church Street, has grown to encompass a number of programs to help people in need.

The organization serves as the 2-1-1 Texas Area Information Center, which is a clearinghouse of sorts that puts people seeking social services in contact with the proper helping agencies. ("2-1-1, the number to call when you don't know who to call" is the motto.)

CANHelp also handles Faith In Action, a program designed to coordinate volunteers from the faith-based and business communities who can assist individuals who need non-medical assistance.

Thanks to a generous donation of dental equipment from retired Dr. Robert Parker, CANHelp is now working with Drs. Parker and Matt Johnson, DDS, as well as other local dental health professionals to develop a charitable dental health system.

CANHelp also coordinates an annual winter coat and blanket drive, a durable medical equipment and supplies donation program, intake services for several local church benevolence programs, and assists with community donations and volunteer coordination during community emergencies.

CANHelp officials say the move to the new space will allow them to expand some programs, and offer far more space to store donated supplies and equipment, and to hold volunteer training and collaborative meetings with community partner.

For more information on volunteering to help or on donating items to CANHelp, call 903-885-9797 or e-mail info@canhelponline.org.

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