A letter from the CHHC Board Chair

I am thrilled to announce that I have been elected as the Chairman of the Board at Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia, an organization affiliated with the esteemed Omega Network. It is with great honor and enthusiasm that I take on this new role, and I am excited to share with you the incredible work that we do at Caring Hearts and Hands.

We are an approved 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that operates as an end-of-life personal care home to provide a comfortable environment where people at the end-of-life can receive 24-hour care by qualified caregivers, be surrounded by the comfort of family, and be treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their socio-economic or cultural background.

Our model is called a “social model” for hospice and is distinct from the medical model provided by licensed hospice agencies. We work in coordination with these agencies for our guests to ensure their comfort and care are provided at the highest quality.

Care is provided at no cost to our guests or their families, as financial concerns should be the last thing anyone thinks about during this fragile time.

Our goal is to effectively serve residents of Boone County and surrounding counties in mid-Missouri by offering an alternative to “institutionalized” hospice care and one that meets the spiritual, emotional, and physical needs of those at the end of life and their families.

We work with the Omega Home Network, which is a national membership organization that promotes the development and expansion of nonprofit 501(c)3 community-based homes for dying people.

At Caring Hearts and Hands, our team of dedicated staff, volunteers, and community partners work tirelessly to provide a wide range of services. We strive to address the diverse needs of our community members. Our goal is to empower individuals and families to overcome obstacles and support their end-of-life needs.

I am incredibly proud of the impact that Caring Hearts and Hands has made in our community. Through our various initiatives, we have been able to provide essential services to underserved populations, offer support to individuals battling end of life, and create opportunities for personal growth and development. None of this would be possible without the unwavering support of our dedicated volunteers and generous donors.

As the newly elected Chairman of the Board, I am committed to building upon the strong foundation that has been laid by my predecessors. I will work closely with our board members, staff, and community partners to ensure that Caring Hearts and Hands continues to make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve. Together, we will strive to expand our reach, enhance our programs, and advocate for the healthcare needs of our community.

I invite you to visit our website at caringheartandhands.org to learn more about our organization and the services we provide. Whether you are interested in volunteering, donating, or simply want to stay informed about our upcoming events and initiatives, our website is a valuable resource.

Thank you for your continued support of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia. Together, we can make a difference and bring hope and healing to those in need.

Kat Lassiter, RN
Chairman of the Board

ForColumbia volunteers beautify Social Model Home

Thanks to the efforts of #ForColumbia, and incredible volunteers across the community, the exterior of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia saw an incredible transformation.

A group of nearly 20 volunteers from community organizations like The Crossing and Our Lady of Lourdes came together to trim back bushes and trees, weed overgrown garden beds, power-wash a privacy fence, construct a new section of privacy fence, replace screens on the screened-in porch, and create a walkway to a lovely playhouse.

“This has been incredible,” says Kasey Kronk, operations director of Caring Hearts and Hands. “The transformation in just a few hours is a testament to our entire model. We want to be a community home: a home for the community, supported by the community. And this shows that it’s possible!”

ForColumbia, founded in 2015, brings Christians together to serve the community together. This nondenominational effort brought people together, many who had never heard or or seen Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia. Volunteers spent three or six hours, enjoyed lunch, took tours of the home, and got some serious work done! 

To learn more about a social model home, and end-of-life care, check out the resources page.

Spring Flower Fundraiser

Your spring purchases can do more than beautiful your home. You’ll also make our house a home for those who need end-of-life care.

Snag some beautiful flowers and gorgeous vegetables for your 2023 garden in either April or May at Strawberry Hill Farms. Mention Caring Hearts and Hands at checkout, and they’ll donate 10% of your purchase to our social model home. In 2022, this fundraiser raised more than $1,000 for our home. We hope to match or exceed that in 2023!

Present this flyer or mention us when making your spring purchase.

Service above self is personal mission for Lee

Headshot: Patrick Lee.

For Patrick Lee, it’s important to focus on one phrase: Service above self.

Patrick’s healthcare experiences have spanned 40 years – and have given him a wealth of exposure to all facets of what it takes to lead a healthcare organization. Patrick now serves as the executive director for Services for Independent Living and leads an organization that endeavors empower people with disabilities, seniors, and veterans to maximize their independence and promote a barrier-free community

While his role as chair for the Caring Heart and Hands of Columbia board is a volunteer role, his experiences have been crucial as the organization moves from a “start-up nonprofit” (a term he often uses) toward an operating and functioning end-of-life care home serving mid-Missourians.

To get to know Patrick a little better, here’s a snippet from an interview with him about his experiences and his passion for Caring Heart and Hands.

You spent years in healthcare administration. How does CHHC fit into the mold when you consider your professional passions?  

Healthcare is a people-caring-for-people business and it takes tremendous heart and passion to be successful.  End-of-life care is just a more passionate form of this, and the social model, end-of-life, personal care home brings marvelous innovation to that passionate caring.

How did you get involved with the CHHC board? 

I am actively involved in the Rotary Club. My club sponsor from 20 years ago was approached by Jackie and Dorreen, CHHC co-founders, to serve on the Board. While he didn’t have time, he said “I know just the guy” and recommended me.

They reached out to me. I had dinner with them. And I was sold!

You now serve as Executive Director of Services for Independent Living. Do you see a connection between the work there and with CHHC?

There is a connection because everyone will reach an end-of-life stage, and most would prefer to pass in a home versus an institutional setting.  That applies equally to SIL consumers who are individuals with disabilities, the elderly, and veterans.

Both organizations are charitable in nature with major operations components, which I find most interesting.

What short-term vision do you have for CHHC as the Board president? Where do you want to see the org in 1-3 years?  

The short-term goal is to get our home open and operating effectively and efficiently early next year, providing high-quality care and service that is second to none!

The longer team goal is to expand our capacity beyond two guests. If the Missouri regulations do not evolve for us to serve more than two in one home, then we will develop a modular approach to operating multiple homes in a way that harnesses scale economies. The more central Missourians we can serve them better! 

So … work, work, work! What do you do for fun? How do you enjoy yourself? What brings you joy?  

Activities with my granddaughters and just being with my granddaughters!  When those girls aren’t melting my heart, I enjoy woodworking and just spending time with my family. I continue to spend time with Rotary and other service projects because I find tremendous satisfaction in “service above self.”

Nonprofit housing shuffle serves Columbia better

In early 2023, Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia will open its doors ready to fulfill its mission to provide a comfortable home where the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our guests and families are met with compassion, love, and respect.

Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia will occupy 1307 W. Broadway, in Columbia, Missouri.  

Jackie Reed (left) and Dorreen Rardin (right) pose for a portrait outside the future home of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia.

Nonprofits helping each other

In a chain reaction of moves, Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia plans to take over the home that is currently being used by the St. Raymond’s Society after they move into the home now occupied by the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Mid-Missouri. RMH has plans to relocate closer to the University Hospital.

This is a story of three nonprofit organizations in Columbia that are all working together to serve the community.

“For every one of us, our end goal is to help the people we serve,” Mike Hentges, executive director of St. Raymond’s Society, said. “What you have here is three nonprofit organizations in one city that are collaborating to serve our community better.”

“The story of this house is incredible, really,” says Jackie Reed, co-founder for Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia. “There’s a symmetry to this move. St. Raymond’s cares for pregnant women and new mothers. And we will care for community members and their families at the end of their lives. We are bookends. So, this house is a house filled with love. And that’s special.”

Future plans

Floor plan for main level of new house

While an exact date of operation isn’t set, the home will transition from SRS to CHHC in early 2023.

There are currently two rooms that can be used almost immediately once the Caring Hearts and Hands home opens.

Eventually, the basement level could be renovated to offer two additional guest rooms.

A dream realized

This is a crucial step toward fulfilling the CHHC mission.

“It has always been our goal to create a community-based home,” Dorreen Rardin, co-founder for CHHC, said. “A home is a special place. It is a place where people come together and create a community – whether it’s college roommates or more traditional nuclear families. We, very intentionally, want to provide a home and give comfort to those who are in their final days.”

Daugherty dives into the CHHC mission as volunteer

The work of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia isn’t possible without the help of volunteers. Cindy Daugherty is just one such volunteer. She current serves on the Board of Directors and works passionately to draw attention to the mission of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia.

How did you first hear about CHHC? 

“I met Jackie [Reed] at Boone Health when my mother broke her hip. She was a palliative care nurse at Boone. Jackie told me about her idea for Caring Hearts and Hands, and I was immediately interested.”

How long have you been involved with CHHC? 

“I have been helping with the mission for about nine months.”

What draws you to the organization’s mission? 

“When my father insisted on dying at home, it was incredibly hard. No one is prepared for the issues that come with caring for someone in final days. I wish that this home had been open then.”

When you talk to others about CHHC, what resonates with others?

“I think anyone who has been a caregiver for someone can relate to the mission of Caring Hearts and Hands. My own children now relate after watching what I went through caring for my father. All generations will benefit from the CHHC home. While discussing death is hard, and no one wants to think about it, knowing that this resource will soon be available is an incredible comfort.”

Where are you from? 

“I am born and raised in Columbia.”

Tell us about your family and/or those closest in your life. 

“I have a son Scott, and daughter, Erin. I’m blessed with four grandchildren who I love spending as much time with as possible. I also have a sister, two brothers and lots of nieces and nephews. We get together often and always have. I’m also blessed with fantastic friends. Family and friends are central to my life.”

What do you hope to accomplish as a volunteer?

“While on the board, I would like to accomplish one thing: to open Columbia’s first alternative care home for those in their final days.”

Waggoner finds many ways to give back

Donor Spotlight: Debbie Waggoner

The mission of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia rests in the hands of its donors, who fund the work of our volunteers and board members. Debbie Waggoner, who chose to a recurring monthly contribution, is just one such donor.

How did you first hear about Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia? 

“Erin Burri mentioned her mom, Cindy Daugherty was involved in a new nonprofit.  I got together with Cindy, and she told me all about it.”

What draws you to the organization’s mission?

“I lived too far away from my parents and traveled for work all the time, so I wasn’t able to be there for them much in their last years. To know there will soon be a place for people like them – people who don’t have family or whose family cannot care for them – is so very important.”

Tell us a bit about yourself.

“I grew up in the small town of Elsberry, MO, and have lived in Columbia (for the second time) since 1997. I worked for State Farm Insurance for more than 40 years before retiring in 2016. After retirement, I decided to stay in Columbia.

“A lot of my time is spent volunteering with Be the Change Volunteers, an education-focused nonprofit that travels to developing and third world countries — building and rehabbing schools, school libraries, teacher housing and playgrounds. 

“I love to travel and do that as much as possible. In August I will finally make it to my 50th state (Alaska) and this past December made it to my seventh continent (Antarctica).”  

Tell us about your family and/or those closest in your life. 

“I have one brother who lives in Jefferson City with his wife. My nephew is married with two daughters and is a Lt. Colonel in the Army.  My niece married last August.  She and her husband are traveling around the states in a motorhome, and we’ll see where they land long term. 

“Outside of biological family, my Be the Change Volunteer family and a small group of ladies called Knittin’ Kittens are incredibly important to me and I love spending time with them. 

“The best part of getting together is the laughter.” 

Plant a garden filled with love

Buy from Strawberry Hill Farms and help CHHC grow

It’s Spring – time to plant your flower and vegetable gardens.

When you purchase from Strawberry Hill Farms April – May 2022, 10% of that sale will go to Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia.

Spring is the time people get excited about beautifying their homes. This year, your purchase can help Caring Hearts and Hands create a beautiful home for others.

“Your purchase will help us provide loving care for those in their final days,” says Patrick Lee, CHHC Board chair. “Every gift we receive will get us closer to opening our home in 2023.

Print the flyer below to redeem.

Fundraiser for CHHC flyer. 10% of sales at Strawberry Hill Farms goes to CHHC.

Committed to the cause

How did you first hear about Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia? 

I first heard about CHHC through my work at New Chapter Coaching. I met with co-founder Doreen Rardin to see how we could be of service. After better understanding their needs and learning about the organization, mission, and their Board of Directors, I was hooked!

What draws you to the organization’s mission? 

I am a board-certified music therapist and have a history of working with adults in hospice, senior living facilities, and hospitals. I’ve also had multiple experiences with loved ones at the end of their lives. With these experiences, I have a huge passion for helping those at end-of-life and making it as pleasant of an experience as possible.  

When you talk to others about CHHC, what resonates with others?

We all experience this and most likely experience it with a family member or close friend. It is something everyone has in common. I believe we all can understand how important it is and how necessary it is to have an organization that is intentionally working to improve the end-of-life experience for all people despite income and ability. 

What do you do? You’re a coach — but what kinds of things do you do? 

I am a nonprofit consultant. I work with nonprofit organizations to develop a plan for their future that will leverage their strengths and result in maximum impact for the people they serve. I also work closely with teams and individuals to strengthen their culture, cultivate trust, improve employee engagement, integrate a strengths-based approach, and more.

Where are you from? 

I am originally from Minnesota and have a slight northern accent to prove it if you listen closely.  I was raised in Independence, MO, and received my undergraduate degree at Drury University. We currently live in Columbia, MO, and I am pursuing an MBA.

Tell me about your family. 

After seven years together, I married my high school sweetheart, Eric Swanson, in June of 2019. We met in music and theatre, both of which remain important parts of our lives. We live with our very spoiled dogs: Bagel the Beagle and Stella our seven-pound guard dog. We are close with our families who mostly all live in Independence, MO.