Life Management | Career Readiness | Spiritual Development



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Our volunteer instructors are the backbone of our program. They teach a variety of subjects from professional development to how to change a tire.


Every woman in our program is matched with a trained mentor to serve as her personal support and encouragement source.


We love celebrating! Throughout the year, we’ll celebrate holidays, birthdays and graduation, but mostly the achievement of our ladies.


Mel’s Story

When Mel came to interview as a prospective participant for HUFW, she said, “I know ya’ll are scared of me.” Apparently, she had grown accustomed to people being intimidated by her partially-shaved head, numerous facial and ear piercings, and abundant tattoos. She was dressed in clothing that reflected her long history as part of a motorcycle gang, with some patches on her jacket containing profanity. But what was most obvious was that Mel was a woman in immense pain. She had seen way too much violence and death, and she was longing for people to receive her with love, not fear. That’s what she found at HUFW. The true irony was how Mel came to know about the program. Her [...]

Crystal’s Story

Crystal can’t remember a day growing up in Johnson City that didn’t include drugs. Drug abuse, drug sales, drug crime…that was what her parents’ lives revolved around. Both her parents were addicts, so Crystal and her siblings followed suit. By the time she was 12, her parents had divorced. Crystal had wrecked a car while driving drunk, and was selling drugs herself, so she ended up in the custody of the juvenile justice system. At the age of 17, she was involved in a serious car accident and her mother told her to apply for disability. She’d never have to work, she said.At the age of 20, she moved to North Carolina “for a new start,” but selling drugs just [...]

Bea’s Story

As a little girl, Bea remembers her mother taking her and her three sisters to church. But her dad didn’t believe in God and wanted nothing to do with Him. But, her mom had a lot of friends there. When Bea was 9 years old, her mother died, and Bea’s strongest memory was feeling so sorry for her dad. It was the first time she ever saw him cry. Being the single father of four girls wasn’t easy, so just a year later, Bea’s dad remarried. Her stepmom came with 4 daughters and a son of her own, so Bea began to feel lost. The new family members also introduced a lot of bad things into the household. Church became [...]

Mary Frances’s Story

I am 51 years old and became addicted when I was 29 while working as a pharmaceutical sales representative. It was during this time that I met my future husband, who was in medical school at the time. The agreement was that I would go to treatment, get clean and we would live happily ever after. Unfortunately, that’s not the way it turned out. I stayed clean for a while, but then relapsed. I found out I was pregnant and stayed clean during my pregnancy. However, I went full force into my addiction after I gave birth to my son, Jack. After 2 1/2 years of struggling, my husband divorced me, and I only saw my son every other [...]

Marilyn’s Story

This wonderful ministry has brought me to the best part of my life! After my mother’s passing in 2010, my second divorce in 2013, and poor financial choices I had made throughout my adult life, I found myself very depressed, over 50, and going nowhere. I was living paycheck to paycheck with little to show for it. My wonderful family was very supportive of me, for which I am forever grateful. But each time they had to help me, I felt more like a loser. In short, I was a mess. I cried all the time, moped around, and did no more than was absolutely necessary. Then, in the fall of 2015, my brother guided me to Hand UP [...]

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Volunteer Opportunities

Every woman in our program is matched with a trained mentor to serve as her personal support, accountability and encouragement source. Mentors attend a one-day training on a Saturday then, once matched, they meet with their participant once a week. Written covenants are used to outline the boundaries of these relationships.    To get started please complete the online mentoring application or contact us.  We will be hosting a Mentor Training on April 30 from 10:00 to 3:00.  If you are interesting in participating, please email for more information.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, before class, groups and/or individuals provide a meal for the ladies. This is invaluable for the ladies and instructors that come straight from work. This is also a wonderful time of getting to know each other and just decompressing after a busy day. Some meal providers sign up for the entire year’s classes and are scheduled for the same night each month. Others prefer to just provide one or two meals a year.

For the 2022-2023 class year, these dates are open:  Aug. 2,  Sept. 6, Oct. 4, Nov. 1, 2022, Jan. 3, Feb. 7, & 23, 2023.  Contact Karen Mills at for openings in our meal schedule.

Several times throughout the year, we will have celebrations for our ladies when they graduate, meet a goal, or for a holiday. Special treats and prizes are always needed for those celebrations. We also have a yearly fundraising gala that utilizes sponsors and table hosts to make it a success.

We need a team of people who would commit to pray for our ministry and its participants daily as well as someone to coordinate that effort through email.

Our volunteer instructors are the backbone of our program. We are constantly looking for new and additional instructors in all subject areas. The night classes are on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. We need instructors that are available during morning hours on Monday and Wednesday as well as new topics that would be helpful..