Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, founder of Hope Loves Company based in Pennington, NJ, has been recognized as one of the one hundred TIAA Difference Maker Honorees for her tireless work to support children and young adults whose lives have been affected by ALS.
For their one hundredth anniversary, TIAA is awarding one million dollars to one hundred individuals that are “devoting their lives to improving the world and and shaping a brighter future for us all.” Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, Founder of Hope Loves Company, has been recognized as a difference maker and TIAA will be making a $10,000 donation to Hope Loves Company in her name and honor.
Hope Loves Company (HLC) is the only 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to providing emotional and educational support to children and young adults who have or have had a loved one battling ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It has provided 18 free Camp HLCs across the nation to date.
O’Donnell-Ames has three children – now all young adults – who have lost a parent to ALS before turning 12, so she knew from personal experience how ALS affects a family, especially children.
“When my children began college and I had more time to focus, I established Hope Loves Company to support the children of ALS families the way I wished my children had been supported,” she said. “It’s been a challenging, yet extremely rewarding journey and I am so honored to be recognized by TIAA.”
HLC offers various programs and resources, all at no cost, to children, young adults, and families affected by ALS. Some of these programs include Camp HLC, a 3-day weekend retreat where campers enjoy recreational activities while learning coping skills and receiving much-needed support; Hugs of Hope care packages, which include a Camp HLC t-shirt, stuffed animal, children’s book, and signed card from the HLC team; educational materials and children’s books; Family Fun Days; and more.
If you’d like to learn more about Hope Loves Company and their free programs and resources for children and families affected by ALS, call the HLC office at (609)-730-1144 or visit the HLC website, www.hopelovescompany.org. Find O’Donnell-Ames and other TIAA Difference Makers on TIAA’s interactive map.
Caption: (From left to right) Mackenzie Anderson, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames, and Nancy North. Photo taken at the first ALS Chocolate Meltdown Party on Sept. 27, 2018. Both Mackenzie and Nancy are HLC Young Ambassadors. Mackenzie and Jodi presented Nancy with the Susan Anderson Scholarship award at the Chocolate Meltdown, which is in memory of Mackenzie’s mother, Susan. The scholarship is awarded to an HLC Young Ambassador who has followed Susan’s example of courage.