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By Metcalfe, for Metcalfe – Metcalfe County Helping Hands

By Jennifer Moonsong/with content provided by the Edmonton-Metcalfe Chamber of Commerce


From time to time, everyone needs a helping hand and thanks to the efforts of Metcalfe County Helping Hands, residents of Metcalfe County have a valuable resource to turn to in hard times.


That’s not to say the non-profit is the first effort.


In 2002, the Metcalfe County Service Unit of the Salvation Army was organized to assist needy Metcalfe County residents. It was for those who needed financial assistance due to job loss, fire, weather-related events, or sickness. At that time, the group was assured that all monies received would stay in Metcalfe County. Many thousands of dollars were given to Metcalfe County families.


In the beginning, a letter requesting “seed money” was mailed to all Metcalfe County Churches and many were very generous.


Funds were also raised with the well-known Salvation Army Kettle Drive from Thanksgiving until Christmas.


Sadly, a few years ago the Metcalfe Unit was told that several thousand dollars were owed to the state Salvation Army Office for years of nonpayment of the required share. The group relayed to the state what was promised in the beginning but were simply told, “that information was wrong”.


As a result, the Metcalfe Service Unit of the Salvation dissolved, but the need remained.


Fortunately, Metcalfe County native Marymae Phelps-Hensley stepped up and formed Metcalfe County Helping Hands.


“When I became a social worker I had my eyes opened more to the needs in the community. I saw first-hand how our neighbors were struggling and how families just needed a helping hand at times,” Marymae said.


One might also say that helping others is in Marymae’s blood. “I watched my Daddy help people my whole life, so when I saw the need in our community I wanted to make a change.”


The organization, now chartered by the state of Kentucky as a nonprofit organization, has already assisted many families in the county.


Under Marymae’s (President) tutelage the organization has local leadership and no connection to any other group; Lisa Gibson Upchurch serves as the vice president. The treasurer is Chris Pippenger, and Brittany Parnell is the secretary. Bendy Zurmehly acts as the Community Liaison.


A hundred percent of all funds given to Metcalfe County Helping Hands stay in Metcalfe County.


Trying to figure out how to reach people, Marymae turn to ever-popular social media.


“I first started a Facebook page and things started to take off,” she said.


The group now has over nine hundred followers. The page states the purpose of the group is to provide resources and mercantile to residents of Metcalfe County.


They hope to provide clothing (new or like-new), diapers, wipes, formula, baby food, cleaning supplies, and other sundries as they become available.


They are reaching out to the people and organizations to help them get started.


“People can help by making donations; financial and other items,” said Marymae.


“They can contact us and inquire about volunteer opportunities. We are growing fast and the needs are ever-evolving.”


Already having had some success, the group is eager to help more people.


“I have fulfilled a lifelong dream by getting this organization up and running with the help of the board members.


I can’t thank the community enough for their continued support,” she said.


One may mail a contribution to Metcalfe Helping Hands, 5797 Subtle Road, Edmonton, KY 42129, or make a deposit to Metcalfe Helping Hands at Edmonton State Bank.

The first donation made to the organization. Pictured left to right, Colton Bartley, Marymae Hensley, and Teresa Pruitt Bartley.

The board members: Christ Pippenger, Marymae Hensley, Brittany Parnell, Lisa Gibson Upchurch.


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