LOOKING UP - From left

Potter’s Hands asks for help to continue helping others

Potter’s Hands Ministries Christian Church and Kitchen has been helping those less fortunate since 1998 and would like to continue doing so in a new location.

Recently, they received a donation of a larger space that allows them to seat upwards of 400 people for their Sunday services, an improvement over the previous 180.

The new building is located at 5202 – 53 Ave. in Red Deer.

Potter’s Hands also serves about 800 meals on eight separate occasions each week to Central Albertan’s who find themselves in unfortunate situations.

“Having a new and larger building means that other people living in Central Alberta who may wish to join us can do so,” said Len Nederlof, co-chair of the new building fundraising committee with Potter’s Hands.

Nederlof’s co-chair, Hilly Nederlof, said looking back on the transformed lives as a result of Potter’s Hands they can’t help but think that there is so much more that needs to be done.

The new building needs approximately $175,000 in renovations to upgrade it so that it meets current building codes and becomes a suitable location for congregational purposes. For this reason, Potter’s Hands is asking for the public’s help.

“Thanks to so many people and businesses in Central Alberta we have already raised $32,000 so an additional $118,000 is needed at this time,” said Hilly.

The Kitchen serves meals Mondays through Saturdays but Len and Hilly said it is not only a place that provides food for the hungry and homeless but also a place of safety, peace and friendship to all those who enter. The Kitchen is located at 5935 – 51 St.

Potter’s Hands Ministries is also regularly involved in the community through other assistance programs and organizations.

They offer financial support for people entering registered drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs and are also engaged with the Lazarus House which is a program for several men at a time providing housing and teaching them life skills. A Lazarus House for women is also planned for the future and Potter’s Hands will more than likely be involved with that too.

Located next door to the Kitchen is the Art Centre which Potter’s Hands remains involved with. The Art Centre encourages men and women to use their artistic skills and talents with the proceeds from the sales of their art going 100% to the artist.

“We have found some people who live on the street are artistically talented, but they need a place to develop their skills. The Art Centre provides a place and supplies for them to use their skills to produce art that is often offered for sale for their own profit to help them make their way in life,” said Len.

Located at 5017 – 49 St. is the Solid Ground Cafe which is used to daily teach employees work ethics and life skills with a goal to have them become valuable and productive members of society.

“What started out 12 years ago with a few families and young people who were interested in doing something about homelessness and hunger in downtown Red Deer has developed into a congregation of 200 or more dedicated to helping people battle their demons and addictions,” said Hilly.

Potter’s Hands is a registered charitable organization and Central Albertans can help by making monetary contributions to the Potter’s Hands Ministries New Building Fund. Donations can be dropped off at the Solid Ground Cafe, in the River Valley Building on 49th St., or by joining any Sunday morning at 10 a.m. in Potter’s Hand’s current location in the Old Buffalo Hotel at 5031 Ross St.

“We still have homelessness and hunger in Red Deer, so we must carry on and invite others to join us,” said Hilly.

kpalardy@reddeerexpress.com