Hope for the Holidays is a year-end donation drive that allows contributors to show unpaid family caregivers how much they are valued. The donations support programs that provide caregivers valuable services.
The Hope for the Holidays donation drive is coordinated by Hope Grows, a non-profit organization that creates programs that offer respite and support to caregivers. For example, Hope Grows offers restorative programs such as gardening and outreach programs that provide caregivers with a sympathetic ear and guidance on finding resources they need.
As noted by Hope Grows leaders, most people either have their own caregiving experience or know someone who cares for a loved one who is aging, ailing or has special needs. They add, “Though caring for that loved one may be an honor and even a joy at times, the many physical, emotional, psychological and financial challenges of caregiving are well documented and impact a growing number of Americans.”
Why There Is a Need For Hope Grows
Hope Grows provides support and respite to family caregivers. Caregivers are defined as anyone who provides unpaid care for dependent children, spouses, siblings, parents, relatives, friends or neighbors.
There are an estimated 65 million people working as unpaid caregivers in the United States. While what they do is extremely important, it also can lead to issues for the caregivers. These include social withdrawal, financial difficulties, health and spiritual distress, careers getting sidetracked and physical and mental stress.
In 2019, Hope Grows helped 418 family caregivers and provided 670 hours of counseling and support, 654 hours of Therapeutic Respite and 556 hours of Education and Training. Hope Grow keeps costs low because volunteers do so much work, clocking 3,277 hours in 2019 with an in-kind value of $83,334.
Hope Is Important For Caregivers
Money donated through the Hope for the Holidays program goes directly to paying for Hope Grows programs. These include services that offer caregivers support and counseling, therapeutic respite activities, and education and training.
The Hope for the Holidays donation drive lasts until Dec. 31.
Hope is extremely important for caregivers. The donation drive offers a direct way for people to give caregivers hope during the holiday season. And a little donation can go a long way. It costs Hope Grows about $237 per year to help one caregiver – a little less than $20 per month.
The Think Caregiver Program
One of the most popular programs funded through Hope Grows is the Think Caregiver program.
With Think Caregiver, monthly “check-in” calls are made to caregivers, if they opt-in for the calls. If the caregiver is not available, a Hope Grows representative leaves a message asking how they are doing. Many caregivers have said they feel better just knowing that Hope Grows is checking in on them and knowing that support is there.
Through the Think Caregiver program, caregivers also receive regular emails with simple “self-care” suggestions. The Think Caregiver program offers support to caregivers for resources and referrals, as needed.
Currently, 191 caregivers are contacted through the Think Caregivers program.
Hope Grows also is working on a new way to support caregivers: the Hope Grows Iris Respite House. An existing home is being converted into a bed and breakfast that features healing and restorative powers for family caregivers. Other programs include “Celebrating You! A Day of Fun and Relaxation, Short Breaks™, Turkey Meals at Thanksgiving and emotional and mental health support. The Hope for the Holidays donation drive gives you the opportunity to ensure these programs remain in place for 2020.