“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!

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.

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.”

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.