Elevate the Quality of Life




Providing A Helping Hand 


The COVID19 Pandemic has turned our world upside down, impacting all of humanity in the process. 

    Here at  A Helping Hand, our efforts to revise programming, add support and protect vulnerable seniors     has come at a significant cost. 

As with nonprofits nationally, we have seen a decrease in funding opportunities and overall donations. 

If our mission services has touched your life or resonated with you, please consider donating to our GoFundMe 

We are so grateful for your support and for the support of our community.

Here are some examples of how the generosity of donors has an impact on people’s lives.

$10 a month

Rides for Medical Transport

Door-to-door medical transportation is the most requested service in our Charitable Companion Care Program. Our companions meet participants at their home, stay with them at the facility and take notes, then bring them home and get them settled. Many of these appointments are outpatient surgeries, and sometimes there are not enough volunteers for the demand.

A recurring donation of $10 a month — the same cost as a cup of coffee — would provide an older adult with three, life-sustaining trips to a medical appointment.  Consider a one-time donation of $75 for one ride.

$30 a month

Join Our Givers Circle

There are many instances for giving during the winter holidays — but our participants need your support in all seasons. Considering joining our Givers Circle. Members establish a recurring donation of $30 a month — $1 a day — that comes directly out of your bank account. For the cost of a sandwich, you could provide an older adult with a lunch out with their companion and the invaluable joy of social connection.

$50 a month

Sponsor a Pre-Health Intern

Our Pre-Health Service Learning Internship Program actively prepares Pre-Health students for their careers in a more ethical medical industry – you could be investing in one of your future doctors!

A recurring donation of $50 a month — around the cost of a nice meal at a restaurant — would provide a student with a semester of service in our unique program. A gift to our internship program expands the number of students we can teach and also provides more service to our participants.

“I am so thankful to the Carol Woods and A Helping Hand team for their compassionate, professional care.”


Two Smiles

Throughout her life by word and deed, Margaret “Peggy” Pickard Sirvis sought to make the world a better place. A Carol Woods resident for nearly nine years, she believed strongly in the mission and sense of community that are the heart of Carol Woods.  To honor her mother’s wish to give back to Carol Woods, her daughter, Barbara Pickard Sirvis, has made donations from her parents’ estate to support Carol Woods’ expansion of home care and establish the alliance with A Helping Hand.

Margaret was born and raised in Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate at UNC, she was an advocate for social justice, and after graduation in 1944, opposed to segregation, she left Chapel Hill and did not return until after the death of her husband in 2005.

She met her husband, Genrik, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and eventually they established a permanent home in Southern California.  Both children of the Depression, they each had a dream—he to be an entrepreneur and she to make the world a better place.

A Girl Scout professional and then a community volunteer, Margaret became company treasurer when her husband started his own manufacturing business that focused on the computer industry.

“They worked hard and lived modestly. Today the dreams of my father the entrepreneur and my mother the community advocate have come together to support Carol Woods and A Helping Hand,” says Barbara Sirvis.

While living in California, Margaret returned to visit family often in Chapel Hill.  It was on one of those visits that she met Ida Parrish, then the overnight caregiver for Margaret’s aunts.  They became close friends, and when Margaret returned permanently to Chapel Hill after her husband passed away in 2005, she became part of Ida’s family and “Aunt Margaret” to Ida’s children and grandchildren. As Margaret stopped driving and needed more assistance, Ida became her companion and caregiver.

“Ida started coming to help my mom twice a week, and soon it was five times a week,” Barbara recalls. “Ida would take her to the doctor and go to the grocery store. They would read the paper, they would talk and they would go for walks. Many at Carol Woods knew Ida as well as my mom. They both had the same smile, and that smile was infectious. People at Carol Woods would see them together and smile.”

In her later years, Margaret maintained a quiet, but still very strong commitment to support giving back to community agencies and human services.  She so enjoyed living at Carol Woods with friends she had known since kindergarten and making new friends who shared her interests. She was always clear their remaining income should be used to fund programs that enhance the lives of people who will benefit from a little extra help and support.

“Throughout her life, my mom modeled the importance of giving back. Sometimes that meant giving time.  Sometimes that meant offering a listening ear to someone in need.  When able, it sometimes meant charitable giving.  Sometimes it meant all of those things.  The gift to support the partnership of Carol Woods and A Helping Hand recognizes her commitment to Carol Woods and the importance of home care as well as her passion for and deep belief in the importance of helping others,” says Barbara.