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.
Hand UP for Women Gala to Reflect on 20 Years of Transformation from a Servant’s Heart
In preparing for this year’s gala, Executive Director Eva Piece reflects on the women whose lives have been transformed. There are at least 100 ladies whom she feels have “profoundly changed,” because of the Christian-based program. It’s these Christian principles that guide women in becoming self-sufficient and financially independent regardless of socioeconomic status. Pierce shared, “The most important thing we’ve accomplished is that showing what we do, works.” Program mentors have deep conversations with these ladies to talk about the hard realities and unexpected conflicts life throws at them, but this work only scratches the surface of their mission. It takes a year for a participant to complete classes in character, financial literacy, career readiness and life management. And the [...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]