“Columbia needs more care like this.”

Daughter of guest shares experience with CHHC

Burdell Foreman passed away on January 7, 2024 at the age of 98. He and his family stayed with him at Caring Hearts and Hands for four days. After being in and out of the hospital for quite some time, being in a home setting gave a good, quiet change of pace.

“Dad was stubborn no matter what,” said Diane Inman, one of his daughters. “He overcame COVID in 2020 when it was bad, and he was in and out of the hospital after that. My sister and I took turns caring for him for six plus weeks, and it was definitely nice to have care in those last days.” 

“This gave us a chance to be family again instead of caregivers.”

-Diane Inman

Diane spoke about the quality care that CHHC offered, saying the entire family was well pleased and would love to see the organization grow. After their experience, the family wanted to give back. For example, Diane’s husband has been helping with electrical things around the house.

“Caring Hearts and Hands helped make a difficult situation a little bit better,” she said. “Everybody was so fantastic. Word needs to get out so more people know, because Columbia needs more care like this. It’s great that people can give back by volunteering.”

Come celebrate with us!

Caring Hearts and Hands is turning one! You’re invited to celebrate with us on April 28 from 2-5 p.m. at Waves Cider Company (604 Nebraska Avenue). Join us for finger foods, live music by Zamboni Funk, and a silent auction. Purchase your tickets today!

  • One ticket, including two drink tickets: $30
  • Two tickets, including four drink tickets: $50

Visit here for more details!

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

Meet the Operations Director

I am thrilled to be working with such compassionate and dedicated supporters who share in the mission to help others at the end of life.

I was a Hickman High Kewpie and then attended the University of Missouri, graduating with a degree in Business Administration. I have worked in multiple areas of the healthcare industry – nurse’s aide, pharmacy technician, and district sales manager for a hospital vendor. My most recent position as Family Services Coordinator allowed me to help families navigate the organ donation process.  Working with these families was very fulfilling for me because it allowed me to provide comfort to grieving families and hope to organ recipients.

I have two daughters. Kenzie is a 15-year-old going on 30, and Julia is 11.  They always keep me on my toes.  Both girls share my passion for helping others and are already begging to volunteer at Caring Hearts and Hands by baking cookies or helping with yard work. In my time away from work, I enjoy being involved in my daughter’s activities, walking on the MKT trail, and taking our puppy to the dog park. 

In my short time with Caring Hearts and Hands, I have witnessed the compassion and dedication shown by those in our community who generously offer gifts of their time, talents, and finances.  Each of you willingly and consistently shares these gifts of caring with our guests and their loved ones.  If you want to know about the impact of CHHC, here’s what a beautiful family we served recently told us:

“CHHC allowed us to be family and not caregivers and to feel like we were being taken care of too. You all were great, and the house was fantastic.” 

Thanks for all you do.

Courtney Keilholz Clemens

Director of Operations

A Look Back to the 2022 Lights for Love Event

These beautiful images show the sweetness of the 2022 Lights for Love Memorial Event. This year, Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia is honored to host the luminary event again on Saturday, Oct. 28 in Cosmo-Bethel Park at 6 p.m. Purchase a luminary in memory of someone you love now or on the day of the event. Musical Entertainment includes Harry Beckett, Ranan Reis Leme, Olivia Swanson & Bill Kollars, Giving Song Singers, and The Threshold Choir.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available at caringheartandhands.org/luminary/. All proceeds will be used to support CHHC for those who are under hospice care.

Isaacs carries on wife’s legacy by donating

Donor Spotlight: Steve Isaacs; picture of Steve with sunglasses in a red shirt.

Steve Isaacs lost his wife when she was 40, and they had no viable options outside of the hospital for her final days. But now, with the staff and volunteers at Caring Hearts and Hands, Isaacs does his part to give back to help others in the same situation, carrying on her legacy.

Can you tell us a bit about your life? Work? Family? 

I am from South Dakota, originally.  At least that is where I lived the longest (my father was in the Air Force). I graduated from SEMO and then from Mizzou Law School. I practiced law for about seven-and-a-half years before leaving to work with my best friend’s advertising company, where I’ve been working for the past 17 or so years.  I have a 15-year-old son named Vince.

How did you learn about Caring Hearts and Hands? 

I was previously married, and my wife Stephanie sadly passed away from breast cancer at the age of 40. We would have loved to have a place for her to spend her final days rather than a hospital, but there were no viable options.  

After her passing, I met and began dating Theresa Rardin, who coincidentally was involved with CHHC. That is what introduced me to the organization. I wanted to be able to honor Stephanie, but also help others who are in her unfortunate situation. I feel like I am carrying on her legacy when I am able to help at CHHC.

What draws you to the organization’s mission? 

Mainly the fact that I have been in the exact same situation as the families they serve today. I know how unbelievably difficult it is. To have an organization that helps take care of one of the most anxiety-producing parts of that journey—the end-of-life stage—is very important.

What is the most rewarding part about CHHC?

Knowing that they are taking some of the burden off of the families, while also often times fulfilling the patient’s desire not to die in a hospital.  

Lights for Love

Join us for our third Lights for Love Memorial Event on Oct. 28, 2023 at Cosmo-Bethel Park. This beautiful evening is an opportunity to honor and remember someone you love while giving back to those in hospice care in our community.

Luminaries will be available for purchase now and at check-in the day of the event. All proceeds will be used to support our home in Columbia for those who are under hospice care, in the last 30 days of life, and in need of caregiver support.

We are also looking for businesses and community members to sponsor the event. Visit caringheartandhands.org/luminary/ to give today, or reach out to info@caringheartandhands.org with questions.

Aldens understand need for compassion

For husband and wife Mike and Rockie Alden, a common value brings them to Caring Hearts and Hands: compassion. These two volunteers help keep the house and yard clean and welcoming, bringing their experience from other non-profit work as well as their hearts to serve others.

How did you get involved with Caring Hearts and Hands?

Rockie: I ran into Cindy Daugherty a few years back and she shared the vision with me. My mother was in a hospice house in Arizona, and I saw and felt how important it was. I told her I wanted to be a volunteer.

Mike: I was aware of Caring Hearts and Hands through Rockie’s interest, involvement and training.

What work do you do with them? 

R: I went through the training for caregiver, but I do not have a medical background so I am training with someone right now. I usually sign up as the house volunteer and take care of laundry and light cleaning, as well as make food as needed, and I can usually shadow the caregiver at the same time.

M: I am a part of the outdoor maintenance team. We are a group of volunteers that maintain the yard work, do snow removal and support outdoor efforts of the house and property.

What draws you to the organization’s mission?

R: It offers amazing compassion not only to the guests but also the families and loved ones. And it provides a much-needed service for those that are at the end of life, allowing them dignity, peace and the best setting possible.

M: Understanding we have a need for compassionate, dignified and respectful care and support in our community is what impresses me about the mission of CHHC. Knowing that we have an organization with support people that are compassionate, competent, committed and provide servant leadership is a blessing for the guests of CHHC, the families, the friends and our community.

What experience do you have outside of CHHC and how does that help your work there?

R: I have been fortunate to do a lot of volunteer work and have interfaced with a lot of people in a lot of settings. I can use those skills to help others that are experiencing a different phase of life’s journey.

M: Rockie and I have been fortunate to be involved with and learn from so many incredible people and organizations in Columbia and mid-Missouri. Those experiences with non-profit, civic, community and city/county organizations, combined with working at the University of Missouri has provided me with an informed perspective that assists me with CHHC.

What do you do for fun/to destress? 

R: I like to exercise, read, travel, spend time on our family property and do crafty things.

M: I work out, work at and enjoy our farm in Callaway County, travel with Rockie, and live vicariously through our kid in Boston. And read… I really enjoy learning.

What is the most rewarding thing about CHHC? 

R: I think two things: Making people feel comfortable when they need it the most and allowing family members to be there for their family emotionally. Since they don’t need to worry about the care, they can enjoy this last time together without stress. I love the home and the new people I’m meeting and working alongside. I am really enjoying this work! It is super rewarding!

M: Providing a welcoming and comfortable home for the guests and families/friends at CHHC is really special. Knowing there is a place of peace, comfort and support combined with a welcoming and loving culture is amazing. CHHC is a gift to so many!

Antal brings experience, creativity, empathy to CHHC

Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia (CHHC) is only possible through the help of dedicated volunteers. It takes a special, passionate team to keep everything running and provide the best care for their guests. One such volunteer, Linda Antal, brings helpful experience from her work at Boone Hospital and empathy learned from her parents to both write policies and serve as a Caretaker Volunteer.

How did you get involved with Caring Hearts and Hands? 

I got involved with CHHC through my association with Jackie Reed and Dorreen Rardin. I worked with both of them at Boone Hospital, and Dorreen recruited me to help. 

What work do you do with them? 

My first project was volunteering at Lights for Love several years ago. After becoming a member of the Operations Committee, I volunteered to write the policies and procedures for CHHC. In a weird way, I like writing policies and developing forms that support the processes that need to be followed. I used samples from other hospice houses as a starting point, made them our own and then presented them to the Board for approval. Since orientation involves education about the policies and forms to be used at CHHC, I also wrote the orientation manuals used for the caregiver and house volunteer classes. I continue to tweak the policies and forms to make them work better for us, but now I am also a caretaker volunteer. 

What draws you to the organization’s mission? 

I have had several family members who were on hospice before they passed away—most specially, my husband and mother. I experienced first-hand the comfort and caring hospice can provide. After retiring, I wanted to give back and thought I’d like to be involved volunteering for one of the local hospice agencies. CHHC came along instead!

What experience do you have outside of CHHC and how does that help your work there? 

I am a registered nurse and retired from Boone Hospital after working there for 39 years. I spent the last 25 years of my career working in leadership positions where one of my responsibilities was maintaining the policies and procedures for nursing. This prepared me well for my work at CHHC!

What do you do for fun/to destress?

Doing something creative is my best way to destress. I like all forms of needle arts (knitting, crocheting, embroidery, etc.), making junk journals and working in our flower beds. I also became a Master Naturalist last year and am enjoying volunteering in parks and outdoor spaces to spread native plants and knowledge about our ecosystem and the importance of preserving it! 

Can you tell us more about your family / where you’re from? 

I grew up in Hermann, MO with seven brothers. My mom and dad handed down a strong work ethic and taught all of us kindness, the importance of taking care of our earth, and empathy and compassion for others. I now live in Ashland with my daughter, her husband and two grandchildren – Emma (14) and Lucy (10). I am so lucky to be able to see my grandchildren every day and be part of their lives.  

What is the most rewarding thing about CHHC? 

I find the care of our guests the most rewarding aspect of my involvement with CHHC. I was not at the bedside for the last several years of my nursing career and feel so fortunate to be able to provide hands-on care again. Dying is a sacred time in the lives of our guests, and I am privileged to be a part of it.