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Bessie’s Hope – The Facts

Article submitted by Seniors resource Guide Staff. Learn more about Bessie’s Hope by visiting their website.

Fact - Bessie’s Hope is the only organization in the country focusing on enhancing the lives of nursing home elders, especially the 60% who never have personal visitors.

And, the volunteers of all ages benefit just as much as the elders through the cultivation of mutually rewarding relationships. The at-risk youth who participate from residential treatment centers and other programs for troubled teens often choose to leave their ruts of hopelessness and violence and turn toward a brighter future as compassion, responsible adults. These youth and the elders have the opportunity to feel needed and valued and to have a sense of purpose. It is life-transforming for both age groups. A few thousand youth and elders benefit each year through the work of Bessie’s Hope. Families, individuals and adult groups also find the volunteer programs to be life-enriching.

The Key to our Success

The key to the success of the programs and to the life-changing impact is the education we provide. All volunteers receive our training and are equipped with communication tools with which to have meaningful interaction with elders of all levels of cognitive functioning. Coordination, facilitation and structure of regular visits create the fertile ground for the ongoing relationships between the elders and the volunteers.

  • Mission Statement: Bessie’s Hope enhances the quality of life for nursing home/assisted living and brings generations together in mutually rewarding relationships through honoring the human spirit and providing life-enriching volunteer opportunities for youth, families, individuals, corporations, and organizations.
  • Age groups for youth are preschool through college groups.
  • 86% of Bessie’s Hope revenue is allocated to programs; while only 14% is to administrative expenses.
  • Bessie’s Hope received the nonprofit 501c3 status in 1994. The organization was created as a living legacy to a co-founder’s grandmother. The original name of the organization was Rainbow Bridge, and in 2009, the name was changed to wear the name of Bessie “Granny” Stephens.
  • Some of the financial corporate and foundation supporters are:
    – Amazing Care Home Health
    – Amgen Foundation
    – Anschutz Foundation
    – American Furniture Warehouse
    – Bank of the West
    – Phyllis Coors Foundation
    – Denver Post
    – FirstBank of Colorado
    – Fox-Smith Wealth Management
    – Kenneth King Foundation
    – Life Care Centers of America
    – Lockton Companies
    – MDC/Richmond American Homes
    – MorningStar Senior Living
    – Personal Benefit Services
    – Vivage Quality Health Partners

About the Organization Bessie’s Hope:

Bessie’s Hope enhances the quality of life for nursing home and assisted living elders and brings generations together in mutually rewarding relationships by honoring the human spirit and creating life-enriching volunteer opportunities for youth, families, individuals, community organizations and businesses. The work of Bessie’s Hope transforms the lives of the too-often forgotten elders, the misdirected “at-risk” youth and all who participate in the volunteer programs. Because of the training, activities, and structure provided by Bessie’s hope, a fertile space is created for relationships to be cultivated across generations.

About the Author:

Linda Holloway - Co-Founder/Development Director Bessie's Hope
As one of the co-founders of Bessie's Hope, Linda Holloway has much passion and drive! She holds a Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Colorado State University, a Bachelor's in Music Education from Midwestern State University and a Master's in Humanities from the University of Colorado. Linda is a Board Certified Music Therapist and a Clinical Chaplain. Presenting at workshops and speaking nationally, Linda strives to educate people everywhere on the importance of intergenerational relationships and community involvement with our assisted living and nursing home elders. She is a key player in the success of Bessie's Hope and spearheads many of the fundraising and awareness events and plays a vital role in volunteer recruitment. Bessie's Hope is a living legacy to Linda's grandmother, "Bessie Stephens".

Posted August 2013 on