In my short time in this community, I have noticed a good number of organizations -- and less formal groups -- that are dedicated to helping others.
While many communities have a Goodwill store, I have seen few that are as nice as the one in Shelbyville. Where else can you get a TV for $10? With all the specials the store has every week, a person with little to spend can stretch a dollar a long way there. Just as important, Goodwill provides job training for a lot of people, and it seems the need for this type of service just keeps growing because of the economy.
Good Samaritan runs another really affordable thrift store. What they don't sell every month at really low prices, they just bag up and give away to other charities, helping people who cannot afford to buy anything. Good Sam also runs a food bank and helps people pay for utilities, a true blessing when you're down on your luck and juggling buying food with paying the rent and keeping your home either cooled off or warmed up.
For those with cancer, the Bedford County Cancer Foundation helps out with non-medical bills like rent and utilities.
Memphis Rudder is one kind-hearted person I've met in Shelbyville. Memphis is trying to open the Second Chances food bank in a former restaurant off Madison Street. We're not talking about simply handing someone some cheap, unhealthy food, but plans to provide food that is appropriate for diabetics and vegetarians, and other dietary needs. Rudder also wants to open a soup kitchen offering the same kind of food diversity. But she needs donations of food and money so she can get in business. I have high hopes for her once she opens the doors at Second Chance.
All of these charities, and so many others, depend on your donations of money, goods and time. But I've noticed that people in Bedford County are stepping up to extend a helping hand to others.