Helping hands assisting Helping Hands

A helping hand is an appreciated hand. Our first-responders — be they deputies, police officers, firefighters, dispatchers or emergency service crews — provide that hand every day to citizens of Sampson County.

And now the selfless acts of those men and women will be returned through another kind of helping hand — one that will applaud our first responders even as it feeds those who have done so much to help so many during times of crisis.

It’s a project called Helping Hands of Sampson County, a massive community-driven endeavor spearheaded by Chris Sessoms. It’s one whose aim is to provide a meal and entertainment as a thank-you to the county’s over 500 first-responders and their families. The event is slated for March 5 at the Agri-Exposition Center.

The undertaking will involve elementary students from the city and county schools as well as Sampson’s two major Christian school, area churches, Tarheel ChalleNGe and the Boy and Girl Scouts, not to mention community members from all walks of life.

And, if you are willing, the event will give you, as a citizen of Sampon, an opportunity to help too — by making a donation to the cause, helping this group of people make the March celebration a true offering of gratitude and thanks to a group of individuals who rarely get the real thanks they deserve for jobs over and above the call of duty.

Helping Hands of Sampson County is a means of giving back, one of many such opportunities afforded to us as residents in any given year.

In true Sampson fashion, we are certain this endeavor will get the support it needs to be a bona fide success, doing exactly what Sessoms and her volunteer group of 58 hope — touting the efforts of the men and women, as Sessoms says, “who risk their lives on a daily basis for our health and safety.”

It’s true that our first responders deserve the public pat-on-the-back. While they would tell you what they do is their job, we all know it’s far more than a job. Helping the sick and injured in often crisis situations is more a calling than merely a profession. And the all-in attitude these men and women take with them into every situation is often far more than the job, itself, demands.

Showing that they are appreciated in such a public way is a good morale booster and a way for the entire community, through their volunteer efforts, donations, or both, to be a part of something that will make so many feel special, singled out for the jobs they do.

While the task seems a daunting one — some $45,000 needs to be raised in the next few weeks — we don’t see it as an insurmountable one, particularly when you consider the tenacity of Sessoms and her team in ensuring that this project becomes one for the record books.

We urge your support of this endeavor in whatever form that support may can be derived. If it is volunteer, then please offer that helping hand; if it is through a donation, then please do so.

Those interested in donating can do so by making checks payable to: Sampson County Substance Abuse Coalition (the non -profit umbrella Helping Hands is using. Write “Helping Hands” in the check’s memo line, and send the check to PO Box 475, Clinton, NC 28329.

As an alternative method of making a donation, a Go Fund Me account has been set up. Find it on Facebook by liking “Helping Hands of Sampson County” and searching for the Go Fund Me hyperlink.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer, contact the group at

Providing a helping hand is important and appreciated.