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FAMILY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Living with ALS makes daily tasks more challenging.  The family assistance program matches trained volunteers with families affected by ALS.  Volunteers can help a person living with ALS or their family with anything they might need assistance with, outside of direct care and transportation.  By volunteering for a family affected by ALS, you will decrease stress, increase the quality of life for the person living with ALS, and make life a little easier for the whole family. 

What can volunteers help with?

  • Cleaning
  • Meal Preparation
  • Home Maintenance
  • Writing Letters
  • Household Chores
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Yard Work
  • Sending Emails
  • Laundry
  • Errands
  • Gardening
  • Hobbies
  • Organizing 
  • Pet Care
  • Snow Removal
  • Visiting
  • ALS National Registry Enrollment

This list is not all inclusive.  If there is something else you would like help with, please ask and we will see if we can accommodate your request.

Is there anything a volunteer can’t do? 
We will send you a list of the program guidelines before connecting you with a volunteer. If you are considering the program, please know volunteers cannot provide personal or medical care.  Also, if the person living with ALS cannot be home alone then a caregiver must be present while a volunteer is in the home.

How can I request assistance? 
You can request assistance by filling out the volunteer assistance request form or by contacting Sarah Brandt at 312-932-0000. You will also need to complete an Agreement to Receive a Volunteer prior to being matched with a volunteer. 

How do you fulfill a request?
Depending on the amount of help being requested, one or more volunteers are sought.  We check our pool of volunteers to see if someone is an appropriate match.  These volunteers are then contacted and told about the family and the request.  If we cannot find a volunteer, we advertise the request on volunteer recruitment websites and in our newsletter.

Once a volunteer is found, we contact the family and share information about the volunteer.  At that time, the family can accept or decline the volunteer’s offer of help.  Identifying information is only revealed when the family and the volunteer have both agreed to the match. 

Who volunteers?
Most of the volunteers joined the program because of a loved one with ALS, however some volunteers do not have a connection to ALS.  Regardless of what brought the volunteer to the program, everyone who volunteers is interested in making a direct difference in people’s lives.

How are volunteers screened, trained, and supervised?
The screening process includes an application, an interview, reference checks, and a background check.  Before being connected with a family, volunteers go through a thorough training about ALS, The ALS Association, and the family assistance program.  Volunteers are contacted two weeks after being connected with a family and then on a monthly basis.

How can I volunteer?
Please contact Sarah Brandt  at 312-932-0000 or sarah@alsachicago.org for information on how to apply to be a family assistance volunteer. 

Questions
If you have any questions about the family assistance program please contact Sarah Brandt  at 312-932-0000 or sarah@alsachicago.org