About Us

A Helping Hand is a non-profit companion care provider committed to assisting seniors and individuals with disabilities maintain self-sufficiency, quality of life, and the highest level of independence.

We are bonded, insured and licensed through NC Department of Health Service Regulation.  

History of A Helping Hand

For nearly 20 years, A Helping Hand has been providing superior care for older adults. Cathy Ahrendsen founded a Helping Hand in 1995 in response to an unmet community need for high caliber senior support services. Today, the agency remains committed to her vision of helping senior citizens and individuals with disabilities safely “age in place” while maintaining the highest level of independence.

A Helping Hand was launched from our founding director’s home in Chapel Hill and moved to its first commercial office in Chapel Hill in 1998. The office headquarters remained in Chapel Hill until 2008 when the need for additional space prompted a move to our current office located in Durham. A Helping Hand’s service area continues to include Orange, Durham, Chatham and western Wake counties.

We are honored to have grown from serving 21 individuals in 1995 to now providing support to nearly 350 individuals annually. A Helping Hand’s success remains rooted in our founder’s vision of excellence. Today, as in 1995, A Helping Hand is fully committed to providing the best experience for our clients and their families.


Jennifer Ashley, Executive Director
Bonnie Cady, Finance Director
Frederica Daniels, Intake Coordinator
Steffi Tornow, Volunteer Coordinator
Rebecca Moseley, Program Coordinator
Sarah Priest, Fellow

Awards and Recognition

Beverly Foundation STAR Award recipient
A Helping Hand is recognized as one of the outstanding senior transportation providers
in the country.

Distinguished Service Award
North Carolina Employment Network

Our State magazine, featured article

Ned Brooks Award
(presented by APPLES Service Learning program at UNC-CH)
for improving the quality of life for North Carolina communities.

Special Service Recognition Award
Orange County Disability Awareness Council

Durham Cares Partner and Success Grant recipient

WCHL Village Pride Award (Chapel Hill)

Mayor’s Proclamation (Chapel Hill)

UNC-CH Leadership Institute
Recognized A Helping Hand as an outstanding non-profit organization in the Triangle.