Mission and History

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A Helping Hand Service Project

Our mission

Our mission is to promote self-sufficiency, quality of life, and the highest level of independence for older adults and adults with disabilities.

Our History

Our founding director, Cathy Ahrendsen, was our original non-profit companion. Ahrendensen's neighbor, an older adult living alone in her home, needed a little help with household chores and grocery shopping.


Over time Ahrendensen realized that many individuals, just like her neighbor, had a similar need in our community and that high-quality senior support services were needed for all. Ahrendensen founded A Helping Hand in response to this need and today, the agency remains committed to her vision of helping older adults and individuals with disabilities safely “age in place” while maintaining the highest level of independence.


A Helping Hand was launched from Ahrendensen’s home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and moved to its first commercial office in Chapel Hill in 1998. The office headquarters remained in Chapel Hill until 2008 when we outgrew the space and moved to our current office in Durham, North Carolina. A Helping Hand’s service area continues to include Orange, Durham, Chatham and northern Chatham counties.

Our Services

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