Bryce Asberg and Bud Vear handing over the final mortgage payment.
Courtesy | Helping Hands

Helping Hands Preg­nancy Resource Center is debt-free for the first time in its history after com­munity members paid off the nonprofit’s mortgage, according to a press release.

The group raised $54,200 from more than 130 indi­vidual donors during the Hillsdale County Com­munity Foundation’s annual Great Give, an end-of-year fundraiser for local non­profits, which they held Dec. 3. The funds paid off the group’s remaining $54,000 mortgage on its building located on South Howell Street.

Helping Hands is a non­profit that helps fam­ilies nav­igate unplanned preg­nancies by offering preg­nancy tests, ultra­sounds, and con­sul­tation services.

“This is a huge encour­agement for our min­istry to be able to enter the New Year debt-free,” said Bryce Asberg ’21, Helping Hands exec­utive director. “It is encour­aging to see God give us just what we needed by paying off the mortgage, which is incredible.”

The idea for paying off the building’s mortgage came during the organization’s ribbon cutting cer­emony in October for its new 3D ultra­sound machine. Bud Vear, founding pres­ident of Helping Hands and current leader of Hillsdale Right to Life, men­tioned the dying wish of his wife, Gloria, was to see the mortgage paid off. 

Vear’s remarks inspired several attendees, including Amy Miller, to take up the cause of paying off the mortgage.

“When my husband and I went to the ribbon cutting and lis­tened to Mr. Vear’s story, I won­dered if we could join with friends and col­leagues to pay off the mortgage,” Miller said. “I started sur­veying the crowd and realized that there were several other people who had the same ability and will­ingness to undertake the cause.”

Miller and other attendees shared their idea to pay off the mortgage with Asberg and the Helping Hands Board, jump­starting the project. 

“We lis­tened to the hearts of those who attended and quickly got to work,” Asberg said. “We knew that we were six weeks out from when the Hillsdale Com­munity Foun­dation puts on the Great Give. We decided this was the perfect time to make the mortgage the head­piece of our fundraising efforts and pay off the last $54,000.”

As the Great Give approached, Miller said she reached out to her friends to join her in giving to Helping Hands.

“There was a lot of gen­erosity during the lead up to the Great Give,” Miller said. “A lot of people stepped up for this won­derful cause.”
During the Great Give, Helping Hands unex­pectedly raised more than $54,000 in one day. Asberg said he did not think they could raise the money in that event alone.

“We are grateful to God for his pro­vision and then the com­munity for their incredible support,” Asberg said. “We had over 140 gifts, several of which came from Hillsdale College dorms, clubs, and Greek houses.”

Miller said she always felt the com­munity could raise the funds.

“I had a good feeling all along,” Miller said. “Call this what you will but the entire time we all felt divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit. This was the right cause at the right time.”

Bud Vear said when Asberg called to say that they had raised enough money to pay off the mortgage, he could not believe it.

“The amount raised was so close to the amount needed, there had to be someone else in charge,” Vear said. “Gloria’s dream had been to pay off that mortgage before she died, and though it took a couple of years, the dream finally came true.”