Poverty in the Appalachian Mountains: The Heart of Hands of Hope

Hands of Hope Ministries, Inc. is on a mission to make a difference in the lives of those living in southern West Virginia. The vision is clear: to carry the message of the Gospel while addressing the urgent needs of this troubled area. These needs encompass everything from basic necessities like clothing, food, and supplies to heartfelt emotional support. 

Mt. Bethel and Hands of Hope have cultivated a strong relationship over the last 15 years. What began as a simple project in a Sunday school class has blossomed into a beautiful, long-lasting partnership. Now, volunteers from Mt. Bethel regularly visit our partners in West Virginia three times a year, creating a bridge between communities and enriching the lives of all involved. In this blog, we have the privilege of sharing insights from Brooke Pierce, Mt. Bethel’s Associate Director of Missions, and a long-time Hands of Hope volunteer. Discover how this incredible partnership has touched lives, and transformed communities, and why you should consider joining this journey of service and love.

The Hope Chest Thrift Store: A Hub of Compassion

Imagine living in a place where resources are scarce, and hope is often in short supply. The Hope Chest thrift store, run by Hands of Hope, serves as a lifeline to the community of McDowell County. As the single department store available to residents, it offers essential items at affordable prices. This store has become a symbol of hope for those facing financial hardships. Thanks to the generosity of Mt. Bethel, the store was newly renovated and expanded, honoring Beth Armstrong’s deep love for the ministry. This expansion allows Hands of Hope to serve more people, hold more donations, and have a greater impact on the community. Volunteers eagerly contribute their time by engaging in special projects around the Hope Chest and packing food boxes, all of which are integral to the ministry’s mission.

The Power of Service: Community Outreach

The heart of Hands of Hope Ministries beats through acts of service. Each trip to West Virginia provides a unique opportunity for spiritual growth and the use of God’s gifts. During these visits, volunteers engage in a day of service projects, identified by Crystal, the ministry leader. These projects often include home repairs, spending time with families, and offering heartfelt prayers. It’s a beautiful way to connect with the community and create lasting bonds.

Ladies Night Out: A Gesture of Love

The volunteers of Hands of Hope Ministries go beyond just addressing physical needs; they understand the importance of nurturing hearts and fostering a sense of community. One beautiful way they achieve this is through their “Ladies Night Out” event.

The Ladies’ Night Out is a night of worship, fellowship, devotion, and heartfelt prayers. It’s a night where the women of the community can unwind, connect with others, and find solace in their faith.

Thanks to the support of organizations like the Knitting Angels, and members from our church community who donate gifts, each lady who attends the event leaves with a special gift bag. These gift bags are more than just tokens; they are tangible expressions of love and a reminder that they are valued and cared for. The simple act of receiving a gift bag carries a profound message: “We love you, and we are here for you.” 

Join the Journey:

As Brooke Pierce passionately shared her experiences with Hands of Hope Ministries, we hope that her words will resonate with you. She encourages you to consider using your unique gifts and talents to join their mission. By becoming a volunteer, you not only give but also receive the blessing of a transformed heart and a deeper connection with this community.

Hands of Hope Ministries, Inc. is more than just an organization; it’s a testament to the transformative power of love and faith. Through their dedicated service, they are not only changing the lives of those they serve but also inspiring others to be part of this incredible journey. We hope that Brooke Pierce’s testimony has ignited a spark in your heart, prompting you to consider how you can spread love and hope alongside this remarkable team in West Virginia. Together, we can make a world of difference for the Kingdom.


From October 22-29, 2023, we invite you to be “On Mission” and make a lasting impact in the lives of others while deepening your discipleship. Discover the incredible power of giving, praying, sending, and going as we explore the profound effects these actions have on our community and beyond. At On Mission 2023, we’ll bring our ministry partners from around the world and our community to Mt. Bethel, offering insights into the life God wants us to pursue. Learn more at mtbethel.org/mw23.