As Many Hands has grown over the years, we have been blessed with a growing base of faithful volunteers, dedicated to being Love in Action wherever they are called. Emily Van Gent, Many Hands Event and Volunteer Coordinator, shares an overview of the impact our volunteers had in 2019, and how this is leading to life-transformation for so many.

2019 was a great year full of many exciting events and activities for Many Hands. We are thankful for the many people who serve as volunteers stateside for our organization and allow us to accomplish all that we do. In 2019, we have had 903 individuals collectively volunteer for 19,970 hours. Praise God that so many people are willing to give their time, energy and resources to help further our mission both in the U.S. and in Haiti!

One of Many Hands’ core values is that we are transforming together. It has been really fun to watch this core value manifest in our volunteers, specifically at our thrift stores. Each person who volunteers brings their unique giftings and skills to the table. One volunteer can’t quite sweep the floor with the same enthusiasm as Zach, have the eye for kids’ clothes like Myrna, and fix electronics like Jim. It takes the whole team, both staff and volunteers, to accomplish our goals.

"This is a family here – when one hurts – we all hurt..."

There are many reasons why people volunteer. Some have a genuine interest in thrift stores and find it enjoyable, others have a connection to Haiti, our staff and our mission. Many of our volunteers serve out of the overflow of all God has blessed them with and some volunteer because they are looking to get connected. No matter the reason why they choose to volunteer, the result is almost always the same: volunteers find community and connection.

This fall, Kim Seidman, started volunteering at the thrift store in Grimes out of a desire to meet new people and serve with her time. Kim moved to Adel this past year to be closer to her daughter after spending many years in Omaha. Since August, Kim has volunteered for almost 100 hours and has worked to transform and maintain our book section. Kim shares that she is “so grateful for this volunteer experience; I work with amazing people while supporting our local community, and overseas missions!” There is something special when a group comes together for a greater purpose. Through volunteering and serving Many Hands, Kim has been connected with a community of other volunteers and staff. 

Karmen Brown, store manager of our Spencer store, has similar feelings about volunteers. She says, “this is a family here – when one hurts – we all hurt – we walk alongside each other when there is a struggle and we celebrate together when there is something to cheer about. What is so cool  – we pray for each other. I love each one of our volunteers.” 

God has blessed us with volunteers who are generous, kind and loving. It is an honor to have people on our team, serving alongside us daily, who are passionate about what we do. Thank you, volunteers, for all the ways you have served this year!

If you are interested in finding out about our volunteering opportunities, please contact Emily Van Gent at


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