What began as a small group of close supporters responding to the COVID-19 crisis has evolved into a cadre of over 50 people. Our Helping Hands range in age from 50-year-old mothers to 20-something college students. They work tirelessly across all four of 2Life’s campuses to ensure that residents can stay in their homes by delivering mail, packages, medication, and groceries, along with picking up laundry, and taking out the trash. But most importantly, they provide much-needed companionship to our residents.
“Sometimes they are the only people who our residents see in a day,” says Volunteer Program Manager Maggie Schneider, who oversees the program. “The Helping Hands are the sunshine in their day.” Maggie stresses the incredible dedication, grace, and enthusiasm of the Helping Hands, who often stay after their shifts to finish a delivery or chat with a resident. “This is an incredible team of people who are caring, compassionate—and who are taking safety seriously.”
If you ask the Helping Hands what they like most about their work, you’ll hear an almost unanimous reply: “Chatting with the residents,” “interacting with the residents,” “saying hello to the residents.” They highlight how appreciative residents have been of their efforts, and how much they have enjoyed building new relationships with residents on their delivery routes. “A lot of the residents are excited to see people,” said one Helping Hand. He likes talking with our Chinese residents, even though he any Chinese languages well.
As 2Life moves towards an early phase of reopening, guided by state health experts, the Helping Hands will step up again. This time to ensure that residents can slowly (and safely) start to resume a limited number of the activities they enjoy while following rigorous safety protocols. They will help residents stay socially distant on walks and at lunches, sanitize common areas after each use, and make sure every resident has a mask. “They are always asking me, ‘How can I do this better?’ ” says Maggie. “I know they will continue to go above and beyond in the spirit of all of us at 2Life.”