FOR THE past several months, Karleen Lemiski of Aqua Plumbing and Heating has been collecting pennies in her son’s railroad crossing sign, which lights up when coins are put in, and recently gave them to Helping Hands.
Lemiski, who’s the Volunteer Terrace chair, wanted to raise awareness about Helping Hands and that there are a lot of people who need the non-profit’s assistance to pay for prescriptions they can’t afford or travel to medical treatment down south.
Helping Hands, started in January 2009 by Ron and Mavis Ramsey, collects bottles and cans and scrap metal for recycling and works with pharmacists to have the money go toward paying for prescriptions for seniors and others who can’t afford it and will help pay for medical travel too when needed.
“This is really important,” said Lemiski. “You don’t realize how much problems we have here.”
Ron Ramsey of Helping Hands said the last person helped was an 11-year-old child with cerebral palsy and before that was a 15-year-old with cancer.
“We’ve had people who died because they couldn’t afford their medications,” he said, adding that Helping Hands is making headway in helping people.
Ramsey wants to get a Helping Hands started in Kitimat and is willing to help those who will take it on.
Lemiski wasn’t sure how many coins were collected but will put out the crossing sign again at her business to collect more coins, not just pennies.
Lemiski added that her mother’s sister was trying to get a Helping Hands started in Houston.