Appalachia

Appalachia

Amidst stunning mountains and deep, shaded hollows, Appalachia is home to generations of proud families, many wrestling with the despair of extreme poverty. Our tripsters travel to eastern Kentucky repairing homes for those most in need. Will you travel with us to make a difference?

Hand in Hand’s Eastern Kentucky Video • Brochure

Learn more about our programs
LouisvilleBelize | Nicaragua 

Appalachia • Home Repair • Join us on an immersion trip!
App-Sidebar2

Below are some frequently asked questions about our Appalachia trips.

Our Trip Director will frequently communicate with you to plan your trip experience.

  • Not in Kentuckiana? No problem! Groups travel from all across the region to join us for this experience. Our roads are in good shape, but there may be little space for parking at a site. We ask that your team brings enough vehicles to transport the team.
  • Enjoy delicious home-cooked meals that are prepared and served daily by a staff member. A variety of fruits and vegetables are available. We provide water for the site. Note: We cannot accommodate specific dietary restrictions.
  • Stay in a renovated school building that’s been converted to simple, comfortable living quarters for groups. HVAC and full bathrooms included. A park across the street offers a good way to burn off extra energy.
  • All materials and tools are included in your charitable contribution. Each group will have a safety training on site provided by our construction site leaders. Challenge yourself to learn something new!
  • Choose a colorful t-shirt in pink, navy blue or gray. *Selection may vary.
  • We want to immerse you in the culture of eastern Kentucky. From Jenny Wiley State Park, a hike at StoneCrest Overlook or Red River Gorge, listening and dancing to homegrown bluegrass music at the Country Music Highway Museum weekly event, Front Porch Pickin’. There are a variety of ways to learn about the area.
Our Work in Appalachia
Our work in Appalachia began in 2002 when we sent our groups to volunteer at the Auxier Lifetime Learning Center. Charlie and Sue Schaffer began operating the center when Father Biding of the Christian Appalachia Project (CAP) relinquished control of the center to Charlie and Sue. In 2007, the Schaffers retired and handed over the operation to Hand in Hand. Since acquiring the property, Hand in Hand has continued to grow the home repair program which is our primary focus in Auxier. Volunteers stay at the Auxier Center, a renovated school building that also serves as an emergency food pantry for Auxier. Our center is near Prestonsburg, KY and exists to serve people in Floyd, Magoffin, Johnson and Martin counties.

The Auxier Center Programs include:

Home Repair Program
App-repairprogramHundreds of immersion trip volunteers travel with Hand in Hand to eastern Kentucky each year repairing homes. The repairs range from building wheelchair ramps for the disabled to replacing floors, roofs and plumbing in family homes. Over 600 volunteers go to Appalachia each year volunteering more than 12,500 hours.
Emergency Food Assistance for Auxier Residents

Provides emergency food assistance to approximately 75 families living in the Auxier community.

Lend a Hand Wall
App-LendaHandWallThe Lend A Hand Wall is where donors from every walk of life leave their handprints not only on the wall in Auxier, Kentucky, but also on the lives of those we serve. The wall, as shown on the right, represents more than $15,458 in donations by our 2019 immersion trip volunteers who have spent time working in Appalachia. This generosity enables our Auxier Center programs to continue to make a difference. Donate now.

Where is Appalachia?
App-Map

Serving Floyd, Martin, Magoffin and Johnson counties in Kentucky.

For more information on how to join this trip, contact Allison Ridenour at allison@myhandinhand.org or (502) 459.9930.

Testimonials
App-Test1“On my way in to work this morning, I couldn’t help but think about the folks in Auxier.  It’s a big world out there – with oceans full of starfish – but it was inspiring to take one step with all of you in making the world a little better place to live.” – Denis R.

“This immersion trip experience was one of the best experiences of my life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I feel so lucky to be a part of it. I will remember the relationships I built and the differences I made for the rest of my life!”    – Rachel B.

“Working with the family was a great privilege – their gratitude was humbling.” – David Z.

“I had never used power tools, so it was empowering to be able to learn that new skill. It was so wonderful to feel like we made a difference…[We were invited] into their home and I loved to learn about them and their family. I made new friends and cannot wait to go back!”    – Clare B.

“The experience was everything and more that I hoped it would be. I look forward to participating in another trip in the future.”   – Susan L.

“Thankful for the laughs, the love, and the time I got to spend with these individuals. Thank you, Auxier, for reminding me what it means to serve and what it means to live.” – R. Hughes

“Feeling very thankful for everyone who accompanied me on such an incredible journey. From the creeks to the hollers and back, Auxier, KY you have all our hearts.” – D. Bradley