Caring Hands Outreach Center is a network of Christian churches and community partners that mobilizes eastern Polk County for compassionate service toward our neighbors.
What We Do
Caring Hands began in 2003 as a unique collaboration of church and community leaders seeking to respond to the needs of people in the Southeast Polk area. We provide people with the material and spiritual resources that give them the strength to keep trying.
"For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me."
Our core values reflect our heart for God’s people and allow us to put our faith in action.
Meet The Team
Ned Looney has been the Executive Director of Caring Hands since July 1, 2016. He is well known in the Southeast Polk community as a pharmacist and a naturopath. He maintains his practice in Pleasant Hill while also serving as our Executive director. Ned has a vibrant faith and a desire to utilize his extensive experience in business and non-profit leadership to guide Caring Hands toward continued growth in its ministry of compassion in our community.
Board Member - President
Mike Hartwig is currently a Financial Representative for Financial Architects, LLC in Clive Iowa. He has an earned Ph.D. from Trinity Divinity School in Education. He has served as a national trainer with Park University and Rockhurst University in Kansas City. He has also served as a multi-million dollar federal grant to support at-risk marriages and families. He and his wife have earned the Iowa Parents of the Year award for their work with at-risk couples. They have three children and five of the cutest grandchildren which he would be glad to show you pictures of if you just ask!
Board Member - Vice-President
Mary and her husband Bill have lived in Pleasant Hill since 1978! She is a member of Ss. John & Paul Catholic Church. She has two adult daughters and 4 grandsons.
Mary has been very active in volunteering for non-profits and joined Caring Hands Outreach in 2015.
Mary has served on the Board of Emmaus House in Des Moines since 2015 and is just completing her 3 year term as Chair of the Board
She is employed part-time at Bass Pro since 2011.
PASTOR KATIE RUSSELL HAINLINE
Board Member - Secretary
Katie Russell Hainline is the pastor of Runnells Christian Church and has served on the Caring Hands Board since April 2019. Katie is part of a Christian tradition that emphasizes unity, so she loves that Caring Hands brings Christians together to love and serve our neighbors.
PASTOR BARRON GEIGER
Barron Geiger currently serves as the President of the Board for Caring Hands. He lives in Altoona, Iowa and is the lead pastor at Southeast Polk Family Church in Pleasant Hill. Barron and his wife, Heidi, have lived in central Iowa since 1998, with the exception of a 4-year stint in Porto Alegre, Brazil where they helped start a new church between 2004 – 2008. Barron has two adult children and one new granddaughter. He and his wife enjoy cycling, sight-seeing, and spending time with family.
PASTOR NATHAN ANENSON
Nathan Anenson has served on the Caring Hands Board since 2012. He has a passion for helping Caring Hands dream and innovate so that people in our community can experience the love and power of Christ in their daily lives. Nathan serves as Sr. Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Cross in Altoona. He enjoys spending time with his family and playing golf.
Melissa Horton is the Executive Director of the Altoona Area Chamber of Commerce. She is a longtime Caring Hands volunteer and works at the intake desk the first Monday of each month. She and her husband Bill live on an acreage outside of Runnells and are Marriage Mentors at Lutheran Church of the Cross. She has a passion for helping others and loves the opportunities Caring Hands Outreach has provided. She is involved in the Caring Hands Communications and Dreamers Committees.
Craig Perry volunteers in the Rent & Utility Assistance Program, and is a Dream Team Member. Craig has a calling to be in a role of developing people and being a small part of God's plan to reconcile their relationship with Him and others around them with the goal of eventually reducing their need of the use of Caring Hands.
Cindy Blubaugh is a member of Adventure-Life Reformed Church and currently serves as Lead Deacon and a member of the Mission Team there. She has been volunteering at Caring Hands Food Pantry for several years. She truly has a heart for missions, whether local or global, which is why she is excited about being part of this team and the wonderful things it does for the community.
Jackie Boeding Tewes is a Director in Corporate IT at Principal Financial Group. She has volunteered at Caring Hands for the past year and a half and is excited to be on the Caring Hands board to further the Caring Hands mission and vision and serve our community. Jackie is a member of Altoona United Methodist Church, and has also been engaged with the Altoona Elementary PTA and United Way of Central Iowa for many years. Jackie and her husband Barry have three sons. They enjoy traveling, playing board and card games, and outside activities such as hiking, biking, and gardening.
David Harper, UpLift Resource Coordinator
Lisa Williams, Development Director
Pat Gilliatt, Administrative Assistant
Melanie Carlson, Retail Manager
Patty Borseth, Clothes Hanger Coordinator
Melinda VanderVelden, Food Pantry Coordinator
Larry Jensen, Duane Hunziker and Marvin VanderVelden Warehouse Co-Coordinators