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.”