Welcome to Bessie's Hope

Please register now for our virtual gala!

About Bessie's Hope

Bessie’s Hope is a legacy to the grandmother of one of the founders.  Her nursing home experience created a passion in her granddaughter and Bessie’s Hope co-founder to shine a light on nursing home elders and to bring community involvement into that shunned corner of our society.  For 27 years, Bessie’s Hope has been the only organization in the country focusing on providing education and training to volunteers of all ages, preschool to adult, so our volunteers can have comfortable, meaningful interaction with and cultivate mutually rewarding relationships with nursing home elders of all cognitive functioning levels, including advanced Alzheimer’s Disease.  

During COVID-19, there has been sudden focus on the plight of nursing home elders, and there has risen compassion for the elders not able to see their families.  It is tragic what has happened to the elders in nursing homes at this time.  The national statistic before COVID was that sixty percent of nursing home elders, received NO personal visitors.  The families and individuals who "adopt" elders through Bessie's Hope fill a significant void in the lives of these elders.  Our culture teaches us at a very early age that the older a person becomes, the less they become.  Ageism doesn’t exist within Bessie’s Hope volunteers, because they see the elders in a new perspective, as resources of vast wisdom, knowledge and life experiences.   We honor, respect and empower the elders through our volunteer programs that provide listening ears and loving touch.

Each year, we work with approximately 2,000 youth and hundreds of adults through our volunteer programs for youth groups, families, individuals and adult groups who join us in enhancing the lives of the wonderful elders.  It is also life-transforming for the participating youth, especially those labeled at-risk.  Compassion and empathy are ignited within the hearts and minds of the youth, and they feel valued and needed by the elders.  This is work that has a ripple effect infinite in its reach, strengthening the very fabric of our society.  

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, Bessie’s Hope launched the "Staying Connected Initiative", delivering thousands of cards, letters and gifts to the elders and arranging Zoom visits between the volunteers and elders.  We also created "Spirit Lifters", which matches a youth and an elder via zoom.  The youth are given questions for each visit and an assignment after each visit.  The youth research and find photos and video clips that represent information learned from the visit. At the next visit, the youth shares his/her screen and shares with the elder the wonderful photos and clips, which bring such joy. 

Now, we are once again able to facilitate in-person youth and adult group visits with groups of elders, and we are "placing" the individuals and families who "adopt" elders. Thank you for supporting this vital work that transforms the lives of all involved.