Local non-profit Hands of Grace is 1 of 5 grant recipients of the 2013 Ohio’s Lifespan Respite Initiative – Volunteer Expanded Respite Services. The purpose of the grant is to expand volunteer respite programs in Ohio. The Ohio Department on Aging, the Ohio Respite Coalition, the Ohio Family and Children First Council and others are partnering to better coordinate existing state respite services and develop additional services to support the growing number of family caregivers.
Hands of Grace is a ministry serving the elderly and disabled of Fulton County to provide respite services, transportation and various services such as yard work and friendly visits. “It is our goal to use grant funding to increase the number of capable volunteers, raise awareness to the benefits of respite and assure families that these services improve the quality of life” said Laura Kern, Board Member for Hands of Grace. Plans to utilize the $12,000 of grant money include volunteer drives, increased presence at community events and regular support group meetings. “What an honor it is for a small non-profit in a rural county to receive such recognition,” adds Ms. Kern. “It speaks not only to the quality of our volunteers, staff, and board members, but the overwhelming support from community members and local businesses.”
“About 80 percent of long-term care for older Ohioans, children and those with special needs is provided by informal caregivers such as family members and friends,” said Bonnie K. Burman, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “We are proud to support the work of Hands of Grace to recruit, train and utilize volunteers to help family caregivers – a vital part of Ohio’s long-term care system – take care of themselves so that they can best care for their loved ones.”
To learn more about Hands of Grace visit www.handsofgrace.org, like the organization on Facebook or call 419-822-3556. The central office is located at 104 Monroe St., Suite 2 in Delta.