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The COVID Crunch – Your Neighbors Need Your Help!

Posted on October 18, 2020 in General Ministry | 0 comments

The COVID Crunch – Your Neighbors Need Your Help!

Everyone is dealing with COVID 19 in their own way.  We are all just trying to survive.  Hand Up Network is in a unique situation in that our work was already demanding, but the pandemic has increased our work substantially while putting a damper on our ability to get resources to keep up with the demand.  East Texas is full of wonderful people with a heart to help others, but the fear brought on by this virus has caused many to stay in their own cocoons.  The month of October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and unfortunately the number of cases is growing due to impact of the pandemic and we are on the front line trying to help those in need.

In 2019, we were blessed to be able to impact over 20,000 people across East Texas with our programs, teams, etc.  During this time, we also became all too familiar with a major need that was not being addressed currently and began to fill that void.  The number of Victims of Crime that would come through our door seeking help, mentoring, etc. was staggering.  Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Stalking, Elderly Abuse, Homicide, Suicide, etc. are major issues being faced across East Texas and the victims of these crimes lacked a source for long term sustainable support.  Thus the birth of our Victim Services Team.  The journey required to deal with, and then overcome these crimes against people is a long one.  The Victim needs an immediate partner to help understand the situation they find themselves in, and a reliable sounding board that gives them the information and tools to determine how to begin to manage one of the worst moments of their life.  It’s a very difficult time and one that no one should have to endure by themselves.

The journey to recovery consists of immediate comfort at the scene of the victimization, then on to receive medical care and evaluation.  Once the warm handoff from the medical team occurs it’s time to seek a stable shelter to decompress and get through the initial shock.  This is all in the first 48 – 72 hours!  The majority of crime victims will spend the first 5-7 days just going through the shock of the victimization that has occurred.  As difficult as this first week after victimization is, the road ahead can be even more of a challenge.  The average sexual assault case takes up to three years just to go to trial.  A victim certainly cannot just sit around and stop living during this time and this is where we were seeing many coming to us seeking help.

We are humbled to have become an island of support to these people that are Victims of serious crime.  Our Victim Services Team responds alongside law enforcement when they call and are by the victim’s side from that moment on.  We continue to advocate for the victim and provide the information, details, and support necessary to help them make decisions as to the journey ahead.  Our Mentoring and Response teams stand at the ready to help begin the long journey to restore the lives they deserve.  No longer are we going to allow Victims to drop through the cracks!  We are the Hub of the Smith County Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Team in Smith County and we are working with our partners from Law Enforcement, Medical, and Judicial to ensure that these people have a chance to overcome their situations.

Covid 19 has made a significant dent in our ability to secure resources and yet the number of people we serve continues to grow at a large rate.  If you are in position to help us with a monetary donation or can free up time to volunteer at some point, we really need your help

VICTIM SERVICES HOTLINE:  903-533-9721

You can DONATE Here or Text “HANDUP” to 76959

HAND UP NETWORK™ is a 501c3 non-profit based in Tyler, TX that has assembled an international team of leaders with decades of experience with a desire to come back home and bring focus to those in need in local communities.  The Network offers long-term programs to people seeking a new season in life and response teams designed to address community issues and emergency response. The Network provides intentional volunteer opportunities for people wanting to provide support within their programs and opportunities to engage via Response Teams.  The Hand Up Network was awarded the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency and a National Top-Rated Nonprofit for 2020!  This is the highest level of achievement possible.

ETX City Reach Partners with Hand Up Network

Posted on July 10, 2020 in General Ministry | 0 comments

ETX City Reach Partners with Hand Up Network

The Student Missions Team at Flint (TX) Baptist Church completes an impressive week of service to their own Community through a partnership with Hand Up Network.  The group of almost 120 students and leaders from the growing community just South of Tyler, Texas overcame the challenges of COVID19, Texas Heat Advisories, and a lot of very challenging work to bless their fellow East Texans.  Projects consisted of 10 Hand Up Network Response Teams focused on a variety of Community needs working alongside the City of Tyler’s “Keep Tyler Beautiful” Team, the Kingdom Life Academy, and the Training Center at Hand Up Network.

City of Tyler facilities that received support were the Glass Recreation Center, Fun Forest Water Park, Hillside Park, and the Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum that is a Texas Historical site in Downtown Tyler.

Kingdom Life Academy is a North Tyler ministry that provides education for youth. The Mission of Kingdom Life Academy is to educate, equip, and empower students through Christ-centered, problem-based, real-world learning experiences so that students will –

  • humbly influence and serve others through Christ;
  • possess valuable life knowledge and skills that enable them to break destructive cycles;
  • concurrently graduate Kingdom Life Academy and complete a vocational certificate program of Tyler Junior College.

Hand Up Network’s training facility houses its Victim Services, Mentoring, Retail Training & Resale Store, as well as the organizations Offices.

  • The Victim Services Team provides immediate support to Victims at the point of victimization and continues to work alongside the victims through the medical, legal, and stabilization process.  Hand Up Network is a founding member of the Smith County Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Team alongside our local law enforcement agencies, medical providers, and higher learning institutions.
  • Once stabilized, the Hand Up Mentoring Team joins in the effort to ensure that the victims and those in need of a fresh start in life have a support system and access to quality resources to begin to restore their lives and get back to making a positive impact in their community.
  • Hand Up Network’s Retail Training Center provides a hands on opportunity to learn all aspects of working in retail from Inventory Control Management, Merchandising, etc. as well as provides resources to support the overall work of the ministry.
  • Hand Up Network Response Teams are engaged in Community Outreach, Community Services like their effort here with ETX City Reach, Emergency Response for natural disasters or their current ongoing work supporting multiple counties of East Texas with COVID19 services, and their Prayer and Support Teams.

HAND UP NETWORK™ is a 501c3 non-profit based in Tyler, TX that has assembled an international team of leaders with decades of experience with a desire to come back home and bring focus to those in need in local communities.  The Network offers long-term programs to people seeking a new season in life and response teams designed to address community issues and emergency response. The Network provides intentional volunteer opportunities for people wanting to provide support within their programs and opportunities to engage via Response Teams.  The Hand Up Network was awarded the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2020!  This is the highest level of achievement possible.

Sam Smith is the CEO of the Hand Up Network and a respected Branding/Marketing Executive.  He has spent decades leading International Ministries and Non-Profits to record results for operations and service.   Sam shares his thoughts and passions at OptimizingMinistry.com

Overcome Evil with Good

Posted on May 31, 2020 in General Ministry | 0 comments

Overcome Evil with Good

I hope you all have taken care of yourselves, family, friends, and neighbors during such difficult situations.  This has been a brutal time and chaos is infiltrating our society.


Debate is a good thing. Division through discussion is never a good thing. The success of any society is based on the ability of all sides to be able to have their voice heard, but also be able to listen, understand, and respect each other. Respect is not winning your point, but being able to accept one you don’t agree with. You don’t have to agree, but know that the point comes from a place of sincere thought. Put down the “win at no cost” concept. Listen, consider, and at the least respect each other.


The Apostle Paul summed it up well in Romans 12:21…


The wrong end of someone threatening you harm is not something you want anyone to experience. (I’ve had a few AK’s pointed at me over the years…don’t wish that for anyone!) Poverty, tragedy, stupidity, illness, and disease have zero regard for race, class, or religious affiliation. Evil exists to drive a wedge between us and Good. I would encourage all to stop the discord with each other and seek to overcome evil with good!

Sam Smith is the CEO of the Hand Up Network and a respected Branding/Marketing Executive.  He has spent decades leading International Ministries and Non-Profits to record results for operations and service.   Sam shares his thoughts and passions at OptimizingMinistry.com

Texas Titans Podcast with Jason Wright – Sam Smith

Posted on April 8, 2020 in General Ministry | 0 comments

Texas Titans Podcast with Jason Wright – Sam Smith

Jason Wright interviews Hand Up Network’s CEO, Sam Smith about his career and the work that the Hand Up Network is doing to help the people of East Texas.

 

Sam Smith is the CEO of the Hand Up Network and a respected Branding/Marketing Executive.  He has spent decades leading International Ministries and Non-Profits to record results for operations and service.   Sam shares his thoughts and passions at OptimizingMinistry.com