Helping Hands

Our Services

We serve local families through our food pantry and lunch program, provide for the distribution of used furniture and housewares, and offer assistance with fuel, rent, and utility payments in crisis situations. In this way we are able to help those who cannot afford to heat their homes, provide nutritious meals for their families, or who perhaps just need the spiritual support we can offer.

We serve Eastern St. Lawrence County: Including Brasher, Colton, Hopkinton, Lawrence, Madrid, Nicholville, Norfolk, Norwood, Parishville, Pierrepont, Potsdam, Stockholm and South Colton

Socialization & Emotional Support

While Helping Hands was founded as a Christian based program, it welcomes and serves people of all walks of life, faiths and beliefs. The mission of Helping Hands includes assisting people with tangible necessities of life, which includes crisis intervention, active listening and prayer. 

Food Pantry

The Helping Hands food pantry serves 18 communities in Eastern St. Lawrence County. Working and non-working individuals and families utilize the Pantry, especially important when kids are home for summer vacation or engaged in remote learning. 

Weekday Noon Meals

Helping Hands serves lunch four days a week, for people in search of good food and fellowship. The lunch program also addresses one of the biggest needs in St. Lawrence County: social isolation among senior citizens. Many so enjoy being at Helping Hands they become volunteers.

Dental Program

Thanks to the verbosity of Betty Vebber, our “Betty Vebber Smile Fund” each year provides a dental care kit to every first grader in the six school districts served by Helping Hands. This Fund also provides for emergency dental care for uninsured students of all ages. 

Car Share

Helping Hands continues to solicit vehicles that will be donated to income-qualified people with positive long-term work histories for whom lack of transportation makes getting to work cheapening. This benefit is for households where there are no others vehicles. 

Christian House Memorial Furniture Barn

Through the generosity of Barb and Mike Maresca, countless donors, volunteers and also those who donate items, the memory of Christian house lives on though the Christian House Memorial Furniture Barn. The barn makes available used furniture, applicants, linens, beds, housewares, and kitchenware for income-qualified St. Lawrence Count residents at no cost.

Financial Assistance

Helping Hands helps people in dire need to keep their homes warm, their cars running, and helps prevent evictions. These are folks who often live paycheck to paycheck, confronted with the unthinkable: electricity shut-offs, the lack of fuel oil, propane and firewood, and the funds to cover reliable transportation to work, mortgage payments, and so much more. 

Memorial Youth

The Memorial Youth Program at Potsdam Central Schools was established in 2002 to assist students of all ages participate in extracurricular activities (sports, music, and extra academic programs) when their families can’t afford to make that happen. This can include memberships, equipment, etc.

Holiday Meals & Food Baskets

Helping Hands distributes holiday food baskets at Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter to income-qualified local residents. Helping Hands also hosts holiday meals in conjunction with its lunch program.

helping others

Ways to Support Helping Hands

​Helping Hands of Potsdam, Inc. is dependent upon our friends, volunteers, and supporters for the help that is needed to keep our facility open and to care for its needs on a daily basis.

  • We are always in need of used furniture , appliances, and household goods that are in good condition including dishes, and pots and pans.  We also accept donations of sheets, blankets, and towels.
  • ​Your donations of non-perishable food items for our food pantry are critical to feeding hungry families.
  • We’re always grateful for the generous financial support that we receive from local churches, individuals, organizations, and businesses.  Your financial gifts allow us to continue to help many St. Lawrence County residents.
  • And, of course, none of this help would be possible without the many volunteers who donate their time at our facility.
  • We appreciate your continual prayer support too, because Helping Hands is an organization that seeks to share God’s love and care for each individual who walks through our doors. 
Serving Food


We serve the people of Eastern St. Lawrence County including Brasher, Colton, Hopkinton, Lawrence, Madrid, Nicholville, Norfolk, Norwood, Parishville, Pierrepont, Potsdam, Stockholm, and South Colton.
  • Food pantries: These organizations distribute free or low-cost food to people in need. Many are run by churches or other community groups, and some may have specific eligibility requirements.

  • Soup kitchens: These organizations provide free meals to people in need. Some are open on a regular schedule, while others may provide meals on a more limited basis.

  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program): This is a federal program that provides assistance to low-income individuals and families to help them purchase food. Eligibility for SNAP is based on income and other factors, and benefits are distributed on an EBT card that can be used to purchase food at participating retailers.

  • WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) Program: This is a federal program that provides food assistance to pregnant women, new mothers, and young children. Eligibility is based on income and other factors, and participants receive vouchers that can be used to purchase specific food items.

  • Meals on Wheels: This program delivers meals to seniors or people with disabilities who are unable to prepare their own meals.

It is important to note that this information is subject to change based on the government policies and funding, and availability of these resources may vary by location. It’s always a good idea to reach out to the organizations for more information about their availability and how to access them.

LOCAL food pantries and assistance programs
NC = Neighborhood Center


  • Canton Neighborhood Center 315-386-3541
  • Canton Church and Community Worker 315-386-3534


  • Potsdam NC 315-265-3920
  • Colton /Pierrepont/Parishville NC 315-244-0069
  • Helping Hands 315-268-0633
  • Norwood/Norfolk/Raymondville Food Pantry 315-353-2334


  • Community Development Program 315-386-1102
  • Massena Independent Living Center 315-764-9442
  • DSS 315-379-2111


  • Governeur NC 315-287-3370
  • St James Roman Catholic Church 315-287-0114


  • Ogdensburg NC 315-713-8036
    Catholic Charities 315-393-2255


View more resources in our county at Gardenshare

Check out Gardenshare to learn more about Farmers Markets in our area. Here is some information fro their website:

“The Farmers Market Customer Guide describes how to use a variety of programs that help make local food accessible and affordable to all, from free veggie coupons for nursing moms to shuttle buses that bring seniors to the farmers’ market.

For information about securing public transportation to the markets, check out the St. Lawrence County Public Transit website.

Client Testimonials

How Can We Help?

Let us know if you need assistance, know of someone you needs help or would like to join the mission of caring for others with Helping Hands.