Redford food charity needs help raising money to buy forklift

A Metro Detroit charity is issuing a desperate call for a forklift. The nonprofit Eagles Helping Hands could use a helping hand itself.

School may be out for summer, but at Redford Thurston High School you can learn a valuable lesson in giving back to the community.

"We’ve laughed together. we’ve cried together. we’ve been in pain and soreness from lifting so many different boxes. we’ve become a family that serves that community," said Carmen Gerardo, a volunteer.

Eagles Helping Hands provides up to $200 worth of groceries to nearly 3,000 families a week.

The non-profit rescues food from being wasted and serves it to people who need it most. The food handed out Friday came from an overturned semi-truck hours earlier.

"There’s nothing wrong with the food," said volunteer April Agosta. "It was just the (truck) tipped over. We just had to go rescue the food. That’s all we do all day long is rescue the food."

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves, climbed into the truck, and salvaged all the produce, which was still in good shape.

"We hope that they enjoy what we’re able to give for them; especially with the prices at the grocery store or the empty shelves," Gerardo said.

"For me during Covid, was really hard being at home by myself all the time. this was a safe space and to help the community and feel like I was still doing something,"said Jillian Papow, an EHH administrator.

After fulfilling needs for three years, Eagles helping hands is now in need. They’re raising funds to buy a forklift. Currently, they’re renting one for $1,100 a month.

"If we don’t have a forklift, it’s hours and hours of work. and my volunteers are like, call channel 2," said Agosto.

Without a forklift, EHH spends unloading food and less time serving families. Families — like Florica Rascol, who is a mother of six.

"She’s been a great help for me and my family. not only for me and my family, but I pick up extra things when it’s available, and I deliver to family, friends, neighbors," Rascol said.

Another way the non-profit is doing to raise money, is having a spaghetti dinner on Friday, August 12. Cantoro's is sponsoring the event. It will be at Thurston, 26255 Schoolcraft, at 6 p.m.