Someone You Should Know: Giving a hand up, not a hand out

Someone You Should Know: Giving a hand up, not a hand out
Published: Oct. 12, 2023 at 8:50 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - For 10 years, Jim Coburn has been giving back to his community in a big way.

“I’ve basically been in charge of running a soap drive for the homeless. This is our 10th year,” said Coburn.

The Knights of Columbus Soap for the Homeless, led by Jim, provides laundry soap to homeless individuals in the community and has grown exponentially since its start.

“It started out as a small mission. A couple thousand dollars, and now we’re up to $20,000 to $25,000 every six months. It has been absolutely unbelievable. The need is just absolutely awesome. There’s nothing better for your self-esteem than clean clothes, especially with the pandemic and everything. It just has escalated. And that’s brought us to where we are today.”

A project like this requires a lot of dedication, and those who work with him say Jim takes this dedication to the next level.

“You’ve got to have somebody who gets to this and just unselfish, you know, just wanting to do things to keep up with activities in the community. The need is so great. And it’s just a matter of realizing it, keeping up with it,” said volunteer Joseph Holkup.

Jim believes in one thing above all else — the power of a hand up.

“It’s just for what you can do for others. It’s just awesome to turn around and help volley to the things that I really appreciate about our organization. The Francis House — you have to have a job to get it. So consequently, their work to get people back in society is basically a hand up, not a hand out, and I think that’s awesome. Anybody that wants to improve their own position in life, I would bend over backwards,” he said.

Anyone who knows Jim can agree on one thing —

“Oh, yes. Jim is someone you should know.”