By Alicia Brown
Latasha Townes, founder, director and owner of 501(c)3 non-profit Hartford Lending Hands, is on a mission to help families during the holidays and beyond—especially those who cannot afford to purchase toys, groceries or clothing.
In 2013, Townes experienced a low during the Christmas season. She had signed up for a program to receive items for her son but was surprised at the lack of care for the items children and families received. While she appreciated the program, she was disappointed.
“I knew there were other people who felt the way I did. I wanted to do something for them,” she shared. From there, Townes and her husband started to create, cultivate and grow Hartford Lending Hands in order to give back to their community in ways other charities can’t provide.
“Christmas Help for Needy Families” is one of the biggest programs Hartford Lending Hands now runs, but the organization provides assistance year-round for people who are going through hard times. Townes also hosts an “Autism & Me” group for parents who need or want information and support on working with their children, and a youth group for teens age 13 and up called “Kick the Truth” where they can come relax and enjoy being teenagers.
“Feeding Connecticut” is a new project in the works for Hartford Lending Hands. The program will provide healthy meals for those who need it most.
It’s important to Townes that the people who come to her organization for help experience respect and that their dignity is preserved. She has an immensely warm heart and many wonderful ideas for how to make a difference. Whether people are donating or asking for help, Townes is passionate about creating personal relationships with them. She doesn’t sacrifice quality when it comes to helping and taking care of others.
“We still have so much work to do for our community. But with the help of our amazing volunteers I know we can make it happen."
Hartford Lending Hands has been operating out of Townes’ parents’ home but she’s looking to find new, expanded space in Hartford. Wherever she lands, she’s sure to keep the personal connections that have been established through her organization alive and thriving.
With all Townes has created through Hartford Lending Hands, it’s clear to see that her heart is bigger than Connecticut. And she’s got her eyes set on even more.
“We still have so much work to do for our community. But with the help of our amazing volunteers I know we can make it happen. I would love to expand in the future,” said Townes. “I have so many big dreams for this!”
Hartford Lending Hands is self-funded and relies on financial support from generous donors. Click here to donate. Find Hartford Lending Hands on Facebook, Instagram, or visit their website by clicking here.
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Photos provided by Hartford Lending Hands.