Maze Rhodus has worked dutifully at God’s Helping Hands for the last 40 years, but her journey to doing God’s work in the local area was a rocky road.
Maze Rhodus had a hard life. Born to an abusive father, Rhodus’ mother died when she was only 8 years old. She bounced from home to home until the age of 13 when she was finally adopted. She was “sold off” for $200 to a man who sexually abused her and forced her to father a son at only 15.
“That makes a bitter child,” said Rhodus.
She managed to escape her abuser by marrying her high school boyfriend and taking her child with her. However, drugs and alcohol overtook her.
“They become your soulmate,” said Rhodus. “You got to have it. It makes you feel good.”
Rhodus survived several intentional overdoses and felt as if she was worthless, but finally, Rhodus was able to get clean and attributed this to Christianity.
“God is the greatest thing anybody should ever learn, said Rhodus. “Until you meet the lord, I don’t think you [can straighten yourself out].”
“Until you do a soul-search and get out. You have to get the stuff out,” she said as she motioned towards her chest.
Rhodus went to a 90-day program in Louisville where she was finally able to release what she had bottled up inside. Said Rhodus, “I first realized that I was a somebody, and that my life mattered, and I asked God when I come out. I said, ‘What do you want me to do?’”
She was able to secure a sponsor who kept her clean and pushed her to succeed. “She was tough,” said Rhodus and laughed. A staunch catholic, Rhodus’ sponsor sent her to live in McCreary county.
“She sent me to live with a bunch of nun ladies,” said Rhodus. “I’ve been all over in a clown suit, a Santa Claus suit, and bunny rabbit suit. It’s all about the kids coming up and loving on you and teaching you about love.”
Rhodus volunteered to work with homeless children in Appalachia. They lived in horrible conditions. “You wouldn’t believe how they live back in there,” Rhodus continued. “But me, it taught me how to love.”
Over time Rhodus and many others worked to build “God’s Helping Hands” as a way to reach families in need in Kentucky.
The Outreach takes donations from churches and other local organizations. Needy people can come in and take clothes, toys, books, and other items.
“This is what God led me into. He worked all that time on me to do this,” Rhodus said. “Killing myself wasn’t an option.”
Rhodus and the other workers of God’s Helping Hands have worked tirelessly to ensure items of all kinds went to Clay County and other areas of Eastern Kentucky that are most affected by the flooding.
“I do this six days a week whether I feel like it or not,” said Rhodus. “There’s so much need out there, and there’s only 365 days. It don’t stop.”
Rhodus felt a personal calling to help the flooding victims.
“They have nothing. They’re starting over. It’s like me and you if we woke up in the morning and our house was gone and our food was gone and everything. What do you do? You give up or you start over,” Rhodus said of the flooding victims. “I’ve started over so many times.”
God’s Helping Hands receives donations from all across the Commonwealth.
“I even had a lady from Georgetown here the other day,” said Rhodus. “We help from everywhere. We help with the home health, with walkers, diapers, wheelchairs.”
The facility offered hundreds of different items, including beds, washers and driers, hangers, lighting fixtures, and more.
“Somebody’s got to do this. I left everything. I don’t own nothing,” said Rhodus. “I just want to give it all away.”
God’s Helping Hands is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. They hope for more donations so they can continue to provide for Eastern Kentucky and those in need locally.