October 15, 2020 by Cathy Stack
"It was devastating for the service industry community. People were scrounging, trying to file for unemployment, trying to figure out how they were going to make their rent payment," said Hendley. He noted that most of the workers live paycheck to paycheck, some are students trying to pay their way through school and others are single moms struggling to support their children.
Hendley and his team of volunteers went straight to work putting together care packages to distribute in his hometown of Boone, North Carolina. The group distributes packages filled with 40 meals and other household necessities, to laid off restaurant workers. The boxes include fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee, fresh baked bread, among other food and essential household items. He said their hope is to not only help people survive, but also to thrive during this uncertain time.
Hendley believes that it is still crucial that the program continue even as restaurants start to reopen. "The problem is that revenue will still struggle for a lot of these places and many workers will still be out of the job since businesses will be trying to run extra lean," he observed.
His organization has given out thousands of meals since the onset of the pandemic. "These boxes have become really something that our community is really looking forward to each week," Hendley said. "I saw a single mama come and pick up a box for her and her kids. And literally when she opened it up, she just started crying."
Hendley is no stranger to helping others. As a Bartender he became skilled in not only mixing drinks but also in building relationships. He combined these skills and used them for creative fundraising. He poured wine, played music and raised money. After much success, he started a nonprofit called Wine to Water which is focused on providing clean water to developing nations such as; Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Wine to Water has shifted their focus to hygiene related education programs to help reduce the spread of coronavirus. The organization's water filter factories began mass producing portable hand washing stations, which are placed in heavily trafficked areas.
"It's been so inspiring to see how many people have gotten behind and supported our programs around the world," Hendley said. "When the sun does come out after the storm's over, I think that we as a people are going to come through this stronger and more together than we've ever been," predicted Hendley.
Hendley is a self-described rough and tumble, regular guy who loves music, tattoos and his Harley. His message is simple, that anyone can do good, there is no certain type of person.
PassItOn would like to thank Doc Hendley for his dedicated service in helping those in crisis. His charitable and humanitarian work exemplifies the value of service. Help us honor this hero by sharing this inspiring story of how one ordinary person’s great passion to help can make a difference and change the world for the better.
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photo credit: Facebook