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North Platte foster mom's home gets spruced up (with video) Tell North Platte what you think
Courtesy Photo­Image
The volunteers
Courtesy Photo­Image
New flower garden
Courtesy Photo­Image
Wilma Hackney
Courtesy Photo­Image
Ryan and Sarah Alexander

In a double-charitable enterprise, money was raised to help pay for the adoption of an African child at the same time that volunteers helped a widow fix up her place.

The "Both Hands" project to place on Aug. 24 at a home on the northwest side of the city.

Ryan and Sarah Alexander coordinated work on the home of Wilma Hackney. The way Both Hands works is that the widow gets much needed help and the adoptive family gets financial support to help bring their child home, organizers say.

Hackney was widowed in 1998. She has spent her life serving orphans through the Nebraska Foster Care system. Her efforts earned her a “Woman of Achievement” honor in 2011 from the North Platte Business and Professional Women's club.

Volunteers and sponsors of this project not only helped Hackney, they raised funds to offset the costs of the Alexander’s adoption of a little girl from Ghana, West Africa.

The volunteers trimmed a tree, painted, cleaned, landscaped, planted flowers and removed an old, above-ground swimming pool from Hackney’s backyard.

Hackney helped, but said there comes a time when she can no longer do everything that needs to be done. In a video interview, she said that “it is an outpouring of God’s love.”

The volunteers were sponsored for the day of labor much the same way a 5K marathon runner or golfer earns funds for a charity.

A video of their work is posted on the lower right side of the front page of the Bulletin's website.

“We couldn’t raise the money on our own (for the adoption,)” an emotional Ryan Alexander says on the video.

Hackney is a member of Calvary Baptist church where Alexander is the pastor.

The video cites the book of James, Chapter 1, verse 27 of the Bible: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.”

A song plays through the video that says in part, “There’s one less broken heart in the world tonight.”

The see the video on a bigger screen, click HERE.

According to the Both Hands Foundation website, it is 501(c)3 non-profit organization “serving widows, orphans and adoptive families.” Founded in 2008 and based in Nashville, its purpose is to help people raise funds for orphans while serving widows through home improvement projects.

One hundred percent of the money donated goes to the designated recipients, Alexander told the Bulletin. Private donors pay the administrative costs at Both Hands.

Each project starts with an adoptive family. The family recruits a team of friends to work on a widow’s house. Before doing light repairs, painting, de-cluttering, cleaning and landscaping, team members ask family members and friends to sponsor them for the day while they do the work.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 9/2/2013
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