Semester Recap: Fall 2018

With finals wrapping up last week, student volunteers headed home for winter break, and we are able to reflect on all of the successes of the past semester. It was Lori's Hands' busiest one yet!

During the Fall semester, 172 Lori's Hands volunteers provided nearly 2,000 hours of in home assistance to support 96 individuals living with chronic illness in our community. All the while, students learned valuable lessons from clients about the day to day realities of managing one's health while living independently.

At the beginning of October, Lori's Hands hosted its inaugural Parents' Weekend Brunch. At the brunch, volunteers, parents, and siblings met to socialize and learn more about Lori's Hands. Student leader Nadia Akhtar shared about her Lori's Hands experience, and client Diane Francis discussed the mutually beneficial relationship she has had with Lori's Hands volunteers over the past year. 
This semester we welcomed many new clients and student volunteers to Lori's Hands. With your support, we can continue to expand our services to provide essential assistance to community members and invaluable experience to students. Consider partnering with us by making a tax-deductible donation today.

Read on to learn more about the significant impact Lori's Hands has made on lives this semester.

Client Spotlight: Alice

Wanting to be a community activist, but prevented by her health and eye site, Alice joined Lori's Hands as a way to be involved in the community. She finds she is still able to give back, just in a different way than she originally imagined.
"Conversation is just as important as assistance with tasks" says Alice, of her Lori's Hands experience.
"Interaction is vital for me". 
A client of Lori's Hands for two semesters, Alice enjoys talking with students about anything and everything. With almost 90 years of life experience, Alice believes she is a confidant to students and wants them to know all of the opportunities that are available to them. Alice also tries to instill in students the belief that "though one choice may be right for one person, it isn't necessarily right for everyone." Alice also shares with students, "Older people get very lonely. Ask questions about their childhood and what it was like when they were a teen." 

Alice grew up during the Great Depression, and she has told her students what that experience was like. When they aren't sitting and talking about history, sometimes Alice and her students will go on walks outside with her dog Lola, which she really enjoys. Now that she's lost a significant amount of her vision, sidewalks can be tricky and so it's extremely helpful to have her student volunteers around to go on walks with her. Reflecting on her Lori's Hands visits, Alice can identify a lot of special moments; the one that stands out most is when one of her volunteers brought her a tray of spanakopita to eat while they did what she loves most: enjoy one another's company.

Student Spotlight: Shannon

A couple of years ago, Shannon was looking for a volunteer opportunity to keep herself busy, and she came across Lori’s Hands. She thought this would be a great way to gain experience, and she connected with the organization’s mission on a personal level. Shannon has immediate family members who had cancer, and she saw how helpful it was to have other people around to help out during the difficult times; for Shannon, the support from her family was especially vital.

Shannon has found inspiration in her clients’ positive energy and resilience. Shannon says, “my clients are always smiling and radiate positive energy even though they’ve faced many obstacles. They still hold their heads high even though they’ve been through a lot.” Shannon helps put smiles on her clients’ faces since they have such a strong bond. They know all about each other’s lives and really enjoy spending time together.

Shannon has found a purpose at the University of Delaware through volunteering with Lori’s Hands. She can make a positive impact on individuals’ lives while gaining a unique perspective. She is able to put herself in her clients’ shoes and, as a future health care provider, she is able to see what the day to day experiences of individuals living with a chronic illness. Prior to joining Lori’s Hands, Shannon was considering a career in health care. Volunteering with Lori’s Hands has solidified this interest, and she will be pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant.

Partnerships in the Community

This Thanksgiving, Lori's Hands was grateful to once again partner with the University of Delaware College of Health Sciences to provide holiday meals to Lori's Hands clients.  Thanks to the generosity and hard work of College of Health Sciences staff, 27 Thanksgiving meals were made and delivered to Lori's Hands clients. Rumor has it they were delicious, and they served as a special reminder of the value of community this holiday season.

A Lasting Impact

When you donate to Lori's Hands, you are ensuring community members like Alice have the companionship and assistance they treasure and students like Shannon gain real world experience that will prepare them for their future careers. Make a one time gift or become a Lori's Hands Sustainer today

We wish you a happy and healthy Holiday Season!

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