“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.

Sincerely,
Kat Lassiter, RN
Chairman of the Board

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.

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.

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.

Potts family finds comfort at CHHC

Caring Hearts and Hands of Columbia was privileged to be part of the life of one of its first guests, David Potts. Volunteers were able to provide the care he and his family needed in his final days. David stayed at the home for 11 days and passed away on his 12th. His wife, Janet, and his two sons, Mike and Greg, were all able to be with him in that time.

“We just felt like he got wonderful care,” Janet shared, “We were just so thrilled to be able to get the services offered.”

After David fell and went to the hospital, the social worker started talking about nursing homes, but he was adamant that he did not want to go to one. So the social worker told the family about Caring Hearts and Hands.

“We’d never heard of it. And my husband said, ‘That’s where I’d like to go,'” Janet explained. “The timing was just perfect. It was just absolutely the most wonderful thing that could have happened.”

Mike and Greg both came in from out of state and were able to stay with their parents.

The Help of Volunteer Caregivers

The family felt that the volunteers at the home went above and beyond. When David wanted a certain meal, whether that be shrimp, ribs or a McDonald’s sausage biscuit, they would go right out and get it. David developed a good relationship with one of his evening caretakers and had several deep conversations. Another caretaker brought Janet flowers, candies and a card for Mother’s Day, and helped David sign the card and make her a video.

“She really didn’t have to do that, but it was nice of her,” Janet said. “She gave the card to him and he signed it. And then he did a video of saying that I know you’re not my mother, but Happy Mother’s Day and that you’ve done a good job being a mother to our two sons. It’s very touching.”

Paying It Forward

After their experience in our home, Janet, Mike and Greg all made donations to Caring Hearts and Hands so that the home could serve our next guest with the same level of attention and care.

“My husband just thought that it was the perfect place for him. He needed to be there, and he was happy to to be there.”

Janet Potts

Our home seeks to do more than just provide a comfortable place and provide for guests and their families physically, because emotional and spiritual needs must be met with the same compassion and love. We are happy that we could offer a safe, warm and loving environment to David, Janet, Mike and Greg.

“I got a lot of hugs,” Janet said. “Those volunteers give good hugs.”

Making a positive difference in a difficult time

Caring Hearts and Hands operates fully through the help of volunteers like Jan Asbury, who serves on the Operations Committee and works passionately to bring as much peace as she can to end-of-life guests.

How did you first hear about Caring Hearts and Hands?

I heard about CHHC from Dorreen Rardin, who told me about the plans for the house and asked if I was interested in volunteering. 

How long have you been involved with CHHC? 

I’ve been on CHHC’s Operations Committee for about a year.

What draws you to the organization’s mission?

I have said for years I felt this area needed a hospice house. After learning about CHHC, I loved the idea of opening a social model end-of-life home instead. A home where one can spend their last days in a loving, respectful, caring environment that can meet their physical, spiritual and emotional needs with their loved ones at their side. The fact that this care will be free of charge is just icing on the cake!

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

When I speak with others about CHHC, I get very positive responses. I get the feeling that they see the need for such a home in Columbia and are pleased that one will be opening soon.

Where are you from?

I was born in Ohio and lived in Indiana and Alabama before moving to Hallsville when I was eight. I currently live in Fayette.

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

I have been married to my husband, Doug, for 35 years. I have two children and their spouses and two grandchildren, who I absolutely adore and love. 

What do you hope to accomplish as a volunteer?

My goal is to provide a peaceful caring environment for the guests and their families. I hope to be a blessing to those I encounter and make a positive difference during a difficult time. I look forward to the blessings I will take away, too.

We Need YOU

Volunteers make our house a home

Starting and operating a home like Caring Hearts and Hands is not possible without volunteers. Both the guests and the home need help, so a volunteer’s responsibilities may include:

  • Personal caregiving
  • Cooking
  • Housekeeping
  • Maintaining the yard and home
  • Running errands
  • Grocery shopping
  • Working in the office
  • Fundraising
  • Communicating, and more.

Regardless of your previous experience or training, we need YOU. To learn more about how to volunteer today, you can:

Call for volunteers: Personal caregiving, Cooking, Housekeeping, Running errands, 
Maintaining the yard & home, Grocery shopping, Working in the office, Fundraising, Communicating & more