Bessie’s Hope is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit. all donations are tax deductible

Community and Elder Program Feature November/December 2020

Regis University Women’s Soccer Team

 Personalized Holiday Card

for Nursing Home Elders

The women’s soccer team from Regis University came together to write holiday cards for residents in nursing homes during this holiday season!  Each player included a personalized note with their jersey number as well as a team picture to feature each team member.  We are incredibly thankful for community partners like the women’s soccer team for the love and thoughtfulness they share with our elder care communities!

Regis Student Creates
Rainbow Catcher Kits
 for Elders’ Rooms 

Ann Edelman, Family Nurse Practitioner student at Regis University, created Rainbow Catcher kits and instructions for elders to create in their rooms during this time in isolation.  A rainbow catcher is a hanging decoration, usually displayed in windows, which is used to catch the sunlight and form rainbows or pretty reflections to appear in your room.  They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles but almost always use beads in their designs. 

Ann said, “I absolutely loved putting this project together. How nice it was to feel like my contribution would be adding joy to someone else’s life.”

We appreciate Ann’s creativity and service to our elders during this time. 

Puzzle Drive to Benefit Elders

Dylan Brown, who is a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner student at Regis University held a puzzle drive in his local neighborhood to benefit residents’ boredom and well-being during this pandemic. Dylan was blown away by the generosity of his neighbors and received more than 50 puzzles to donate to nursing homes in need!   While our hearts are heavy for the current state of the world and the reality in nursing homes, we feel blessed to have volunteers like Dylan and those in his community who come together to provide for our elder care communities. 

Staying Connected Initiative



When elder care partners locked down, we launched our “Staying Connected Initiative” in April.  There have been thousands of cards, letters and gifts delivered throughout metro Denver and surrounding areas by Bessie’s Hope.  Zoom and outside visits helped reach out to the elders.

The P.E.O. Denver Chapter EH was previously featured for their “Inspiration Garden” of colorful posters planted outside for the elders to see.  Below is the article in their international magazine and photos from their outside visit.  This organization of women helping women was founded on principles including charity, faith, hope, justice, truth, community and love.  For more information about P.E.O. visit:

We want to make it easier and more accessible for more elders to communicate through technology.  So, through a platform called “House Party” and the Facebook video chat through messaging, we can begin to set up the visits between individual elders and individual volunteers, families and extended techno groups.  With the donation from American Furniture Warehouse, we can begin purchasing tablets for the individual elders who are not able to pay for this type of communication device and who have no family to purchase it for them.   Will you consider making a donation toward this?  Go to our website and click on “Donate”.  A tablet costs between $80 and $100, and we will keep a record of who purchases a device for which elder.  You can also send a check to Bessie’s Hope, PO Box 12675, Denver 80212.

Because of COVID, we have had to provide Zoom training.  This has introduced Bessie’s Hope to method of expansion that we hadn’t begun before.  An online training and online intergenerational communication platforms will soon be launched through Bessie’s Hope.  Like signing up for continued education classes, individual youth and adult volunteers will have a participation code.  This will be accessible for families and groups, too.  The Bessie’s Hope “Social/Emotional Intelligence Ninja” project will be especially of interest to parents who want to provide opportunities for youth to be more aware of the most valuable character traits, empathy, respect and compassion.  There aren’t many opportunities for youth to have to “put yourself into their shoes”.  Through the years, involvement in the Bessie’s Hope nursing home visits, youth have been changed at depth, and their core characters have been illumined.  This was due to our education and training, and in large part, to the interactions and relationships with the elders. 

Parents, if you are interested in receiving more information regarding the “Ninja” project, please email  Teachers and other youth group leaders, if you’d like to provide a deeply meaningful volunteer opportunity during COVID, we can provide zoom trainings, and the youth can become involved in sending cards and letters.  The elders are from the era of mail, and they treasure the pieces of mail they receive.  They read them over and over again, save them, display them, etc.  Please go online and fill out an application for the Youth and Elders Program.

Since we must be optimistic and plan for life after COVID,  we are reaching out to schedule outside youth visits for late spring.  Already on board is  Mandy Bakulski  with her youth from the McCulloch Scottish Dance Academy!  We are ready to give the elders these youth group visits to look forward to!  Will you join us?

Please email

Stay safe!   The elders need us—-all of us.

Family and Elder Program Feature November/December 2020

6 Places to Volunteer With Your Family By Kara Thompson Assistant Editor for Colorado Parent Magazine and Bessie’s Hope Family and Elders Volunteer.

Teach your kids the importance of giving back.

The holidays can get hectic, but it’s important to slow down and remind yourself (and your family) what truly matters. The winter season can be hard for many people, especially those who are sick, struggling financially, and feeling isolated and lonely due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Take this opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of giving back. Research and explain what a few local organizations do to help others in community, then ask your child which charity they would most like to help. Here’s a list of organizations in search of volunteers to help get started.

Bessie’s Hope

Bessie’s Hope launched a “Staying Connected” initiative at the beginning of lockdown on elder care facilities. Initially, thousands of letters, cards, kid’s drawings, and gifts were delivered, but now things have slowed down. “The isolation and depression has grown within the elder care facilities. This is heartbreaking for those of us at Bessie’s Hope who were already trying to make communities aware that 60% of nursing home elders have no personal visitors” says Linda Holloway, co-founder and development director at Bessie’s Hope.

Now more than ever, Bessie’s Hope is in need of more letters, cards and drawings. The cards should be written to one person (Dear Special Person) and can be mailed to Bessie’s Hope, PO Box 12675, Denver, CO 80212.

The cards should let the elders know the following:
They are very valuable and important to the community.
Their wisdom and life experiences are needed.
They are appreciated for who they are.
We are looking forward to spending time with them once it’s safe.
We are thinking of them and sending them our love…

To read more on this article please follow the link below.

Youth and Elder Program Feature November/December 2020

St. Mary’s Academy students, Morgan and Peyton Ankrum create handmade soaps for elders.

St. Mary’s students, Peyton, and Morgan Ankrum lifted the spirits of residents by creating “soaps and notes” for elders to enjoy.  They handmade over 100 soaps with lovely scents and personalized them with handwritten notes for residents to hold and read.  Last year, Peyton and Morgan created a gift wrapping and note writing project to help elders give gifts to their loved ones.  While Bessie’s Hope programs look different this year, we are grateful for continued support from volunteers like Peyton and Morgan.

Community and Elder Program Feature Page September/October 2020

P.E.O Chapter EH partnered with Bessie’s Hope and paid an incredibly special visit to residents at TenderCare of University Hills. We were connected through one of our Board Members and long time supports, Ann O’Neill, who is a member of the P.E.O. Chapter.  Chapter members painted yard signs with simple inspirational messages hoping to provide colorful, uplifting messages of cheer that created a “Garden of Yard Sign Inspiration”. 

While placing signs, we also participated in a sing along.  Each round, we would personalize the song by singing specifically to each individual resident by name. We would clap along while singing and kept the tune simple so that participants could naturally sing along!  

The visit took place in the driveway of TenderCare. All wore masks and kept distance while joy and happiness were shared through music and clap along songs. Even though everyone was six feet apart, connection and love were felt by all

Family and Elder Program Feature Page September/October 2020

Family and Elder Volunteer April May began volunteering in the Fall of 2019 visiting with Sister Mary, Jack and Larry at Bethany Nursing and Rehab.  Unfortunately due to limited staff and technology, connecting has been extremely difficult during the pandemic. However, April May really stepped up and showed her support during our Bessie’s Hope virtual “E-Race Loneliness.”  Not only was she an absolute rock star, but also our grand prize winner!

April and her team members were able to raise six hundred and twenty dollars and she personally completed over 486,855 steps! 

We are so thankful to have such dedicated volunteers during this time.  Thank you, April for all of your steppin’!


Youth and Elder Program Feature Page September/October 2020

High School Senior, Jake Sheykhet is a talented artist and student who decided to share his artistic abilities with Bessie’s Hope! Jake became connected to us through his mother, Iryna Lukova, a Family and Elders Program member.

Jake has been conducting painting lessons via Zoom to one of our elder care communities, Garden Care Homes Jewell Estates. The painting lessons offer relaxation for the elders and the opportunity to tap into their creative sides. It is always a joyful occasion!

Staying Connected Initiative Volunteer Christina Manweller

One of our new volunteers, Christina Manweller,  came to help Bessie’s Hope through our  “Staying Connected Initiative.” Christina provided multiple recordings of herself reciting poetry that she had written to engage with elders and offer a creative and peaceful reflection during this difficult and stressful time.  Below you can read one of her poems!

“Aiming Toward Evening”, by Christina Manweller

Yesterday I cut back the unruly trumpet vine,

cut it back to a stubby flame of stick.

Like me: a shadow of itself,

but soon to bloom out of so dry a wick.

A bird busies himself,

knitting a distinct lulling song

around the late afternoon Sabbath.

The sun, sweet on my back,

won’t settle for long I know—

the earth inevitable in its movement.

Another bird starts a song

from across the yard,

knitting his own Sabbath coat.

It is possible to swaddle oneself,

to let go,

to bathe in song and in sun

and close your eyes, let go

of, and let go of . . .

A squirrel starts yammering

in the tall blue spruce,

a tree planted by Grandpa

when his son, my uncle, died.

I must remember

to water tomorrow if there’s no rain;

there will be no rain.

A crow calls from the yard next door.

Somewhere nearby, an electric saw cuts

the afternoon in two. Stops.

A finch flashes past

to land on the tall plank fence.

The sun warms my back still

though shadows crawl forward,

forward, and in a new wind I feel the start

of a certain coolening

as the Rocky Mountains reach reach for that sun,

so that I know the afternoon will bottom out

before long in a quick-fallen dusk.

From here I can see Pike’s Peak

rising deep blue, rising to the south

straight out of nothing,

the sky light and lightening up above.

Clouds, burrowing into one another,

form, re-form, then stagnate, and calm.

The crow yells, a primitive sound beseeching;

lifts off, flap-flapping away

to the west out of sight. The breeze stills.

A neighbor starts hammering—

hammering at something.

Whap whap whap whap. Stops.

“O.K.” he says. “O.K.”

Youth and Elder Program Feature Page July/August 2020

Evergreen Middle School student, Orlagh Laking, participated in our Youth and Elder Program with her classmates, but the experience didn’t include the physical interaction with the elders.  While the Evergreen Middle School students’ visits to The Garden Care Homes had to be cancelled due to Covid-19, we appreciate their cards, letters, drawings to still connect with the elders.

Orlagh painted stunning cards and wrote her heartfelt messages inside to send to send to our elder care partners.  Her efforts to be involved tapped into her artistic abilities to brighten the day and bring nature inside for the elders!  Pictured is one of her  hand-painted cards.

The students received the Bessie’s Hope education and training, so they were filled with compassion and respect for the elders.  Next school year will bring another opportunity to experience the beautiful interaction and cultivate relationships with the elders.

Family and Elder Program Feature Page July/August 2020

Family and Elder Program volunteer, Robin Arnett, has been participating in biweekly zoom meetings with her grand friend, Marge.  She also has consistently been sending letters to Marge and other residents in need of knowing that someone outside the elder care home is thinking of them and sending them love.  We deeply appreciate Robin’s commitment to our elders during this time, and we know that Marge loves staying connected even if it is virtually, for the time being.