Lifting Hearts With the Arts

Mission

Our mission is to use the arts to connect with residents of assisted living homes and others who feel isolated from their family or friends. Uplifting spirits by fostering empathetic relationships between compassionate students and isolated residents can help us all bridge social gaps brought on by quarantines and other circumstances. The pleasant sound of a musical instrument, a ray of color from vibrant paint, a chuckle from a well played game or a simple chat may be enough to shake away the loneliness many feel in difficult times.

Ruling year info

2020

Founder/President

Maya Joshi

Main address

405 N Wabash Ave Unit 4903

Chicago, IL 60611 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

85-1137431

NTEE code info

Group Home, Residential Treatment Facility - Mental Health Related (F33)

Arts Service Activities/Organizations (A90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in senior care facilities, residents are restricted from seeing friends, family and even each other. They eat alone, and they can no longer receive visitors or visit with their neighbors. Unfortunately, this well-reasoned attempt to protect a particularly vulnerable population has also significantly increased risk of isolation and loneliness. This population was already twice as likely to experience severe loneliness compared to their community-housed peers. This loneliness has an impact on their mental and physical health, such as increased risk for stroke, depression, and suicide, as well as more rapid decline due to Alzheimer’s and other memory conditions. COVID-19 restrictions have only increased this risk. (Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine – Issue 21, 2020).  Many residents have gone almost a year without seeing an unmasked smile meant for them.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Virtual One-on-One or Group Meetings

We work with assisted/independent living facilities to pair residents with members of our team based on mutual interests. Youth volunteers from our organization then reach out via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to connect with residents to have chats, play musical instruments, do art together, conduct cooking lessons, play trivia games, and more!

Population(s) Served
Seniors
People with vision impairments

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Multiplying Good - One in a Million Award 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Short term:
- increase intergenerational connections
- donate resources (devices, art supplies) to seniors care facilities in need

Intermediate:
- improve understanding and relationship between generations
- decrease loneliness in both senior and youth populations

Long term:
- improve mental/emotional health in senior and youth populations
- improve cognitive ability among senior populations through enriching activities

Our model of connecting seniors and youth is backed by evidence from Stanford University that intergenerational relationships benefit both parties. Seniors benefit from a decreased sense of loneliness and connections to the “outside” world, as well as building efficacy in using technology they can use to connect to their own loved ones. In addition, students build meaningful relationships with positive role models, gain a broadened world view, and build empathy.

LHA connects students with residents of long-term care facilities through technology. In our one-on-ones, we pair student volunteers with individual senior residents based on shared interests for weekly video calls. The goal of these activities is to build connections through shared interests and conversation. During one-on-one calls, students listen to seniors as they share their passions and life stories. They also share their own passions through art projects, individual concerts, and other activities.

In our group activities, we host virtual mini-concerts, trivia games, game nights and other activities that build connections with our volunteers as well as fellow residents. During one recent event at a Springfield facility, we hosted a “Name that Tune” trivia night featuring 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s music. Residents were able to join from a socially-distanced group location or their own rooms. We also host seasonal virtual concerts for all of the facilities we work with.

Collaboration: Our board and chapter leadership teams are each built of at least three to four volunteers who work together to ensure the organization runs smoothly. By sharing ideas with one another, we are able to introduce new programs, such as seasonal concerts.

Learning: We regularly work on generating new ideas to improve our impact. Through experimentation, we're able to test out new programs and methods of outreach.

Leadership: All of our chapter leaders and board members have a shared understanding of goals for LHA. Each leader brings their unique perspective to the table and as a result, each chapter is slightly different in activities offered.

Efficiency: We are good at managing donations, costs and other funds. Our scheduling programs and methods are streamlined across chapters to ensure smooth operations.

As of February 2021, we have hosted over 2,500 one on one activities and over 50 group activities. We've raised and donated about $8,000 worth of technology and art supplies to senior care facilities we work with and have partnered with just over 30 care facilities around the US and in Canada. We have established LHA chapters in Illinois, Nevada, Texas, California, Michigan and Washington. We've put together two recorded seasonal concerts. Additionally, we became a certifying organization for the Presidential Volunteering Service award and received the One in A Million Award by Multiplying Good.

Moving forward, our goal is to continue broadening our reach by establishing new chapters and growing existing ones. Additionally, because we have grown so quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic, LHA has not had the capacity to build our fundraising program until recently. Donations thus far have come to us as a result of exposure on local media. Our organization is fully run by student volunteers. Even so, there are overhead costs involved in building chapters and partnerships in our communities. Because all our services and donation initiatives are offered at no charge to seniors and residents of long-term care facilities, we rely on donations for these expenses. This limits our ability to recruit, train, and manage our volunteer force.

We are currently building an income strategy that includes grants and other large gifts so we can continue to meet the need in our community and maximize our impact through donations to care facilities. This strategy includes a financial contingency plan that will address growth and sustainability in both spending and income.

Financials

Lifting Hearts With the Arts
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Lifting Hearts With the Arts

Board of directors
as of 2/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Maya Joshi