The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Family Outreach Community Center

Offers Help For The Asking

by Debbie Gillam, Special For The Quill

The Family Outreach Community Center, located at the Farm Bureau building in Stronghurst, is a recognized non-profit corporation in the state of Illinois.

It exists to improve the quality of life for residents of Henderson County by providing assistance for low-income families, implementing programs targeted towards strengthening the community, and assisting other existing outreach programs in the county.

There is no other assistance program like this in Henderson County and was established due to the lack of resources for struggling families.

"We want to be a part of the solution to these problems," explains Alicia Pence, VISITA worker who is coordinator of the center.

Some of the services that are offered include:

Operation Backpack, which is a program for youth, in partnership with West Central CUSD #235,

A Community Garden, where originally it was planned that different individuals would have their own plot to plant what they wanted for themselves.

"Well, that did not happen, but through the generous donations of Peter's Greenhouse in Lomax, we were able to plant the entire plot ourselves," Alicia said.

Through the work of volunteers such as Justin, Rachael, Hannah, and Katie Allaman and Ethan Lafary, the produce has been picked and can be found at the center inside the Farm Bureau building.

The Center also has clothing and shoes for infant through high school ages along with maternity wear, and career clothing.

The center is always looking for someone they can help as well as looking for volunteers to help at the new center.

It is located in the basement of the Farm Bureau building in Stronghurst at the corner of the intersection of Highway 94 and Main Street.

The entrance to the center is in the rear of the building.

At the present time, the center is not officially open full-time due to Alicia recently having given birth to her first child (6 lb. 8 oz. Lucan Aaron). However, Debbie Gillam is running the center part time and is busy sorting and washing clothes, and sorting through donations and weeding the garden and picking produce every other day.

For those needing services, please call 309-924-1872 or 309-337-8859.

If you would like some fresh produce, stop in during hours and help yourself to some.

The hours of service are posted on the entrance door to the building.

If you would like to help, they are asking for prayers, monetary donations, and volunteer help at the center and/or in the garden.

The center is also in need of a refrigerator.