Before I get started, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is James LaCombe and I have worked in Chattanooga off of Rossville Blvd for almost 21 years, so I am in Chattanooga quiet a bit. Over the years, I have even come to consider it “my city.“ In February of 2015, while on my way to work one morning, I heard a story on the news of a homeless man that froze to death just outside the Community Kitchen on 11th street. I’m not sure why this particular story stirred something in me, but it did, and from that stirring sprang “His Hands Outreach Ministries.”
Let me tell you who we are. We are a non-profit organization with it’s own bank account, debit card and EIN number. We feel like this is the most efficient and organized way to keep track of all donations and keep everything transparent. My wife, Kim, serves as our administrator; she has earned a degree in accounting and has been in banking for 12 years. Our son, Austin, along with Bob Koerber (our soon-to-be-son) address and oversee all of our media operations, while our daughter, Kelsey, assists in behind-the-scenes operations of assembling packages and lunches among other things. I humbly serve as the Director and main contact on the trips themselves. Our organization is called His Hands Outreach and although this name references a higher power, we don’t preach or witness, nor do we hand out Bibles or tracks. We feel it’s better to show love and kindness by our actions rather than our words.
We started on the streets of Chattanooga, aiding the homeless and/or underprivileged by taking care packages (containing basic hygiene products). Since then, we have grown and expanded exponentially, and have been called to be much more. We have evolved into being a ministry that intends on reaching out to people period. We now regularly do outreaches in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Cleveland, serving our care packages along with full lunches, and clothes. We have also gone international: We have gone to Kenya, Africa, to do work with an orphanage, and we have gone to Trinidad to serve some of their homeless population. We already have trips back to both of these countries planned.
Why do we do this? We feel like it is by God’s grace that we are as blessed and fortunate as we are. We feel like actions are louder than words. We feel like as human beings, it is our responsibility to help other human beings if we can. Some of the things we’ve witnessed, to be honest, I would have never been able to imagine. There is so much hunger, desperation, loneliness, and fear, reaching throughout the whole world.. We want to try and help people feel human, to let them know someone cares and loves them, to give them hope for a better tomorrow, to do something positive in our world. We want to be a conduit of God’s love. Our primary goal is to simply help people in their situation, without passing judgment and with no strings attached.
James P. LaCombe