Internships inspire careers in geriatrics

Yasmin came to A Helping Hand as an intern in the fall of 2016. At the time, she wanted to go to medical school, but didn’t know what specialty she wanted to pursue. She didn’t have much experience working with older adults, but was interested in learning more about geriatrics and elder care. “[The internship] helped me realized the health disparities that exist among older populations, and how this is a growing problem as the baby boomer generation ages that not many people are talking about,” she said. The firsthand experience she gained working with AHH clients pushed her to consider a new career path. Instead of medical school, she is now pursuing a master’s in public health, in a program specializing in health of an aging society.

After finishing her internship with AHH, Yasmin continued to be involved with older adults in the community. She continued to work at Charles House, one of the sites where she volunteered as an intern. She also got involved with the Orange County Department on Aging’s Caregiver Respite program. She’s continued to volunteer her time with A Helping Hand, serving on our holiday committee that organizes and distributes gifts to charitable program clients. She’s worked with Amanda Borer, the associate director of Charles House, on starting an NC branch of the Eldercare Workforce Alliance, a national organization committed to addressing the current and future workforce crisis in caring for an aging population. As part of the Gillings Student Interest Group on Aging, she is helping plan their annual aging conference.

Yasmin clearly has a passion for helping older adults and bringing awareness to the public health issues, and it all started with the AHH internship program! Typically our interns come to us with limited experience working with older adults and adults with disabilities. However, their experience with us often ignites an interest in continuing to work with this group. One of the aspects of the program that we’re proudest of is being able to inspire young people to pursue geriatrics-related fields.

Yasmin, we appreciate your continued advocacy and work on behalf of older adults in the community!



Back in action

As a new school semester dawned this past January, three of our former summer interns returned to A Helping Hand as volunteers. These three students had enjoyed their time as interns, but their schedules hadn’t allowed them to continue volunteering after their internships came to an end. Now that it’s a new semester and their schedules have opened up, they were inspired to get back involved with the volunteer program! Read more



Interns make an impact

Our interns are the lifeblood of our charitable program at A Helping Hand. We rely on them to provide assistance to 40 of our volunteer clients every semester. These clients depend on their companions each week in order to go grocery shopping, get to doctor’s appointments, and pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy. Without the help of our tireless interns, we would need to recruit 30 or 40 new volunteers to serve all of our clients!

The most recent class of interns, from the summer 2017 internship, provided nearly 1,310 hours of assistance to 62 local seniors and adults with disabilities. This made a huge impact in our community and in the lives of each of our clients. In all, the interns double our capacity to serve our community. Read more



3-Degree impact

In May, A Helping Hand was chosen as the nonprofit of the month for WNCN’s 3-Degree Guarantee. Every day that WNCN’s meteorology team correctly predicted the temperature within three degrees, they donated $50 to A Helping Hand. Every donation was matched by Allen Kelly & Co. WNCN correctly predicted the temperature 26 days in May, and A Helping Hand was awarded $2,600!

This money has been set aside as a special fund for the clients in our volunteer program. If a client has an urgent need and none of our volunteers is available, Rebecca will use the 3-Degree fund to provide them with a paid companion at no cost. Without the 3-Degree fund, there would be no way for us to provide assistance to these clients who are in need at a time when all of our volunteers are busy.

So far, the 3-Degree fund has provided:

Transportation to 12 doctor’s appointments,

Transportation to 1 cataract surgery,

3 trips to the grocery store,

And 8 hours of respite care.

Without the help of our paid companions, these clients would have had no way to accomplish these crucial errands. For these clients, AHH’s services are truly their only option. Public transportation is not accessible to someone who can’t walk to the bus stop and stand until a bus arrives; a taxi or even an Uber is simply unaffordable. All of these doctor’s appointments would have to be rescheduled or canceled and the cataract surgery pushed back until transportation could be arranged. Some with no food in the house would have had no other way to go out and do their weekly shopping. And family members who stay at home while caring for a loved one would not have been able to get out and run errands or attend to their own needs.

Thank you so much to chief meteorologist Wes Hohenstein and the entire team at WNCN, and their partners at Allen Kelly & Co. They have helped, and will continue to help, many local seniors through their donation from the 3-Degree Guarantee program.

If you would like to help us continue providing this indispensable service to seniors in our community, please contribute to the 3-Degree fund using the donate link below!

Donate now!