Walterboro, SC – Jesse Pringle is lending a helping hand in Colleton County. HANS- Helping all Neighborhoods, began in 2009 when Pringle says God gave him a vision.
“I felt that I had lost touch with my community and the Lord told me to give back, to touch and reach all neighborhoods in the county with food, clothes and in any way I could.”
Pringle says he started collecting canned goods and fed 10 families the first year.
A 26 year veteran of the Colleton County Sheriff’s Department, Pringle enlisted his colleagues to single out people going through hard times.
“I challenge the deputies to do more than just wear the badge. Get to know and help the people you see every day. As a result HANS is identifying people and families that we can give some assistance to.”
HANS is gearing up for this year’s big Christmas giveaway. Selected families can expect turkeys, hams and all the fixings enough for a family of 5 along with some cleaning supplies.
“A lot of organizations give toys to kids at Christmas but nothing for them to eat. HANS wants their parents to provide a good meal for them,” Pringle says.
HANS fed 70 families in 2015 and expects to exceed that number this year. Major retailers (Walmart and Save-A-Lot), small businesses and area schools all donate items to HANS.
“We recently received a thousand cans from one school that had a Clemson verses Carolina contest. The students for Carolina brought in the most cans. I just picked up 223 bags of groceries from Save-A Lot. I also pass out flyers to businesses that tell them about HANS and they make it happen,” according to Pringle.
HANS gets bigger every year as more and more groups join the giving. Pringle says they all ‘bend over backwards’ to help the effort. He says an anonymous group will give away coats this year.
Pringle says it’s personally gratifying to help people.
“It’s gratifying to me because you never know what a person is going through like hard times, money wise or problems with the kids. Giving them the gift of joy sends chills down my spine.”
Pringle says the recipients of HANS are often overwhelmed. “When someone brings you food and supplies, most of them are in tears.”
The big distribution begins early December 19th.
HANS has a committee that meets to toss ideas around. But Pringle says HANS actually operates by itself. “Once the word gets out more and more people want to participate. This year is going to be really big.”