Family Assistance Program
We understand that living with ALS makes daily tasks more challenging. In order to make life a little easier, we created the Family Assistance Program. Through this program, we match trained volunteers with families affected by ALS to assist with tasks or be a friendly visitor.
What can volunteers help with?
- Preparing Meals
- Pet Care
- Grocery Shopping
- Basic Technology Setup or Training
- Online Care Calendar Setup or Management
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 program guidelines before connecting you with a volunteer. If you are considering the program, please know that 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?
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 trained 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 an already-trained 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.
Most volunteers join the program due to a loved one with ALS. Some volunteers even used the program themselves and, knowing how helpful it was, want to help another family. We do have an 18-month waiting period for those who've experienced a close loss (spouse/partner, immediate family member, best friend, etc.) to allow people the time to process their own grief journeys. Family members of those currently being served by the Chapter are also not eligible for Family Assistance volunteer opportunities (though they are welcome to participate in events or administrative roles at any time).
There is a small group of volunteers without 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 receive an initial check-in two weeks after being connected with a family and on a monthly basis thereafter.
How can I volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer, please fill out the volunteer application.