Today, Join Hands Ministry is supported by and partnered jointly with over 80+ Perry County church entities, 30+ businesses, 20+ civic groups, 10+ foundations, thousands of hours of volunteers, and 200+ individuals/ families.
Originally, many persons in Perry County sought help from the religious community with a myriad of needs. The faith community was being confronted by:
During a bible study at New Bloomfield UMC a question was asked, "What do you think God is calling you to do no matter limitations of resources?" Harry Overholtzer responded with what Join Hands Ministry is today.
Therefore, the Perry County United Methodist Cluster accepted the challenge of responding to the needs in this rural community. Join Hands Ministry was formed by the Cluster to be a central point of contact and services with the purpose of making these needs known among the area churches, filling in the “gaps” for persons in need, and creating a standardization of qualifying true poverty needs while establishing lines of accountability for responsible management of funds and goods donated to the cause.
The Perry County Food Bank: The Perry County Food Bank was started in 1992 by a local church in Duncannon to respond to hunger in rural Perry County. In 1996, the local Community Action Commission operated the Perry County Food Bank for three years. In 1999, the County of Perry assumed the operations and maintenance of the food bank. The Perry County Food Bank thrived under the management of the local government and sustained services. The Perry County Commissioners maintained their ongoing commitment to ensure this program continued, but actively researched local non-profits to eventually assume the management of the Perry County Food Bank. Join Hands was approached by the County of Perry to operate the food bank, which began on September 1, 2008.
With the success of Join Hands Ministry and the Perry County Food Bank, they separated to multiple. In January 2021, the separation was complete. Today, the Perry County Food Bank is known as Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Bank.
"Dear Join Hands,
With a grateful heart i want to thank you for paying my July rent and some extra for August. I am so proud of you people reaching out to people in need, especially trying times you have helped me and my belated husband over the years and you helped us make molehills out of mountains. God Bless all of you, God Bless Our America and God Bless our Country. My appreciation + Thanks, N"