Amidst stunning mountains and deep, shaded hollows, Appalachia is home to generations of proud families, many wrestling with the despair of extreme poverty. We help ease their burdens by providing home repairs and food support. We operate a retreat center in Auxier, Kentucky. Our service area includes Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin and Martin counties.
With an unemployment rate of over 30% (before Covid-19), the challenges facing Floyd County, Kentucky are staggering. We focus our efforts on home repairs, wheelchair ramps, and food security.
Each year we repair dozens of homes in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin and Martin Counties. We replace bathrooms, floors, ceilings, underpinning, and sometimes, the kitchen sink. We build wheelchair ramps for the elderly or an individual with mobility issues. We basically do whatever we can to create a safe place to call home for dozens of families each year.
Volunteers, guided by local contractors, fuel our home repair program. Groups come from neighboring cities and states to stay at the Auxier Center to enjoy the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains, and offer a helping hand to the region. Their financial support and willingness to lend a hand is critical to the success of our program.
The Auxier Center also serves as an emergency food pantry for families living the area. Each month we provide emergency food supplies for fifty families. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have served twice as many families each month.
Individual or Family
Are you an individual or a family looking to participate in an immersion trip experience in Appalachia? We can help! Open trips are available throughout the year and open to anyone. Give us a call and we’d be happy to find a trip that works with your schedule.
Do you have an existing church or school group looking for a service opportunity? We have multiple dates available for group travel. Reserve your spot today!
If you think a trip to Appalachia with Hand in Hand is in your future, please contact Director of Trips, Allison Ridenour. She will help you find a trip to suit your individual or group needs.
Each year we host nearly 50 groups of volunteers, made up of individuals, families, church groups, and schools, who join us for a three-night stay at our retreat center in Auxier, KY. Volunteers enjoy experiencing the hospitality and beauty of the region while assisting with a variety of home repair projects. We’ve been hosting groups in Appalachia for almost 20 years.
Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation, bedding, towels, and toiletries. We handle the rest. We can comfortably house groups of up to 25 in semi-private or bunk-style air-conditioned rooms, with nine shared bathrooms.
Volunteers enjoy delicious home-cooked meals that are prepared and served daily by our staff. A variety of fruits and vegetables are available with every meal. However, we cannot accommodate specific dietary restrictions. Many groups choose to enjoy supporting a local restaurant for one evening meal.
We provide all building materials and tools. No skills are necessary to participate. We can always find meaningful work for any skill level. The charitable contribution of your 3-night, 2-day stay is $275/person.
After you depart the center, you’re on your own. You can visit Jenny Wiley State Park, Stone Crest Overlook or enjoy the views Natural Bridge State Park and grab lunch at Miguel’s Pizza.
2021 Summer Intern Jess’ insight
“Hand in Hand has become a part of our group’s fabric.” – C. Sparks, a volunteer who attends with her church family every year.
“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.
“After 50 years I’m able to remain in my home. I just couldn’t do it without you and this ramp helps me to live independently and not to give my home up. I just feel very thankful for what you’ve come to do for me.” – Homeowner in eastern Kentucky
“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.