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.

Oncologist, fiction-writer and friend

Donor Spotlight: Tungesvik

Dr. Mark Tungesvik, an oncologist with Missouri Cancer Associates, is no stranger to end-of-life care.

According to Tungesvik, oncology is one of the biggest referrers to palliative care where founders, Dorreen Rardin and Jackie Reed worked. He sees the need for Caring Hearts and Hands in our community.

“We will be treating people who are older and living alone. It’s not optimal, and as they get sicker, you’re in a pickle. For some, there’s not a lot of social support, and hospice can’t assist if the patient is alone. There are nursing homes, but that isn’t optimal. It could be a warm, loving place, but many patients don’t see it that way. I do think this is an unmet need.”

“There isn’t much small talk in the office,” Tungesvik says. “Once cancer patients have a diagnosis, their life changes. If it’s terminal, their perspective on life changes. And we form a real relationship. Working with the patients is the best part. That’s what I like, and that’s why I do it.”

But Tungesvik doesn’t stop at medical cancer treatments. He’s also nearing the end of a seven-year project, writing a trilogy of therapeutic fiction. This three-book series is meant to help those struggling more than just physically.

“Some people will have developed a dark worldview, and it’s hard to work out of that. So, I put together this series. It’s not just about providing for a person’s physical needs. They have to turn the corner emotionally and intellectually so they can have some hope. These books are about doing that.”

“I’ve been writing the Song of the Bear trilogy for nearly seven years, but I’m coming to the end of it. I’m going over what may be the final draft. I’ll be sending to a self-publisher soon.”

Song of the Bear Book Cover
A Ship called Eros Book Cover

Lights for Love Recap

Inaugural event raises more than $8,000

More than five hundred lights brightened the night on November 6. More than a hundred donors purchased luminaries to memorialize their loved ones.

A giant leap forward

Caring Hearts and Hands is another step closer to opening a home for those in need of end-of-life care. The employees of Veterans United Home Loans, through their charitable non-profit Veterans United Foundation, have contributed $10,000 toward our goal.

“This donation will most certainly get us closer to opening our doors,” said Jackie Reed, Cofounder of Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia. “I can’t wait to serve the people in Columbia who will be in need of our services.”

Caring Hearts and Hands was founded as a 501c3 nonprofit by Jackie Reed and Doreen Rardin, who worked together as palliative care nurses. They worked with people as they were at the end of their lives, and knew there were some who had no family or friends to care for them. And many were unable to pay for nursing care. They needed a safe and comforting place to spend their last days, without financial worries.

This gift is exciting for every board member and volunteer who has worked toward this goal, including Patrick Lee, board chair, who knows this gift puts them that much closer to their ultimate goal.

“When we open our first home in Columbia, we will be able to provide a place where the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of our guests and their families are met with compassion, love and respect,” said Lee.

Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia is accepting donations toward its goal to open a home to care for those at the end of their lives. Any contribution is greatly appreciated.