Ashley Benton: Green Team Helping Hands
Ashley Benton is the founder of The Green Team Helping Hands nonprofit. Since founding the nonprofit to help the homeless in Greensboro, Benton has had many blessings.
Giving back to the community has given Benton the chance to meet Oprah, go the White House, the Steven Harvey Show, the Ellen Degeneres show and even play as a contestant on the Price is Right. This year she has been chosen by the NAACP to be the honorary Grand Marshal for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade on Jan. 16th.
Benton was inspired to help the homeless when her dying father received a liver transplant from NFL football player Chris Henry.
“We were actually able to meet the family and…I knew from that moment that when I shook the mother’s hand, that I needed to do something to pay that blessing forward because that gave me 17 more months with my father,” Benton said.
Though Benton helped people before, she got really serious in 2012.
“I started going public with it on Facebook with things that I was doing,” said Benton. “I wasn’t doing anything for fame or to be glorified. I was just putting it out there to show people that there are a lot of people out here in our community that need help.”
In 2015, a woman in New York saw Benton’s story. The stranger got on a plane and flew to Greensboro, hired Benton an attorney and helped her get her Green Team nonprofit.
“That was another blessing and another light shining down on me from somewhere from a higher power saying, ‘This is what you need to be doing. You are doing exactly what you were called for.’”
The Green Team goes out to Center City Park every 1st, 2nd and 4th Sunday at 12:30 to feed and help the homeless. Benton went from feeding and helping 18 people to hundreds of people.
“The more I go out there every Sunday, the more I want to go out there every Sunday.”
One of the many success stories of her nonprofit was about a woman who slept at a bus stop for two weeks.
“I happened to stop and just started talking to her and eventually I got her into a motel and now she’s doing great,” Benton said. “She has her own apartment, she’s got her own job and she has got her own car. She just needed someone to stop. That divine intervention to stop and say hello.”
Benton hopes for The Green Team Helping Hands organization to get its own building in the future.