Lori's Hands college student volunteers provide in-home support to people with chronic illnesses like cancer, MS, Parkinson's Disease, and heart failure. While our students assist with grocery shopping, yard work and other tasks made difficult by disease, clients provide valuable insights into the human experience of chronic illness. Students serve through the student club and through service learning classes. In both cases, their volunteer experiences are life-changing parts of their academic careers, preparing them to be compassionate, informed professionals. Older adults with chronic illnesses who are enrolled in Lori's Hands report increased confidence in their independence, stronger connections to the community, and fewer symptoms of loneliness.
Lori's Hands was founded in 2009 by Sarah LaFave, an undergraduate nursing student whose mom, Lori, had passed away from breast cancer. Having witnessed firsthand the effects of chronic disease on one's daily life, Sarah knew her peers had great potential to positively impact the lives of community members. Today, Lori LaFave's legacy lives on through the consistent, meaningful visits Lori's Hands volunteers make to support the independence of older adults and individuals with chronic diseases.
Lori's Hands consistently receives accolades from clients, student volunteers, and community members. Read on to learn about the impact of Lori's Hands, directly from those who participate.
From a client: "Eliza is always, always so so pleasant. She has a sunshine personality and an unbelievable smile that picks up anyone's spirits. She did whatever I asked without ever complaining, which was a big help because I don't have many people to rely on any more. She was such a pleasure to work with and truly so much help. I am so fortunate to be enrolled in Lori's Hands."
From the sister of a client: "Thank you for Lori's Hands. The students are such a delight. My sister always looks forward to their visits, and it makes her feel good knowing she's contributing to their education while they are there helping her."
Lori's Hands transforms students' understanding of community health by matching them with individuals living with chronic illness in meaningful, helping relationships. Community members receive in-home support and, in turn, educate next-generation health leaders about the experience of living with chronic illness.