Shown by honored by Newark Mayor Vance Funk are (from left) Lisa Centrone, Alexa Rivadeneira and Kearstin Raby, all officers with Lori's Hands.

Youth Service Award

Lori's Hands recognized for excellence in youth service

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10:49 a.m., May 16, 2013--Lori’s Hands, a registered student organization at the University of Delaware, was recognized for outstanding service to the Newark community at the Youth Service Challenge Awards Ceremony held on May 13.

Their project, a service learning course recently launched in UD’s College of Health Sciences, was chosen as one of the top three service projects in Newark by the Jefferson Awards for Public Service and the city of Newark.

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Lori’s Hands was founded in 2009 in memory of Lori LaFave by her daughter, Sarah. Lori LaFave is remembered as an extraordinary mother whose active commitment to her community and to the elderly in particular impacted and inspired those around her. She passed away in 2003 following an eight-year battle with breast cancer. 

Lori’s Hands was inspired by Sarah LaFave’s memory of her parents vacuuming in tandem following a surgery that had left her mother too weak to perform the task alone.

The organization serves families affected by chronic illness and assists them in overcoming the challenges of day-to-day chores such as cleaning, yard work, grocery shopping and other activities.

According to co-president Alexa Rivadeneira, Lori’s Hands connects energetic college students with local residents and promotes positive cross-generational relationships between the UD campus and the surrounding community. Participants gain firsthand knowledge of how diseases, health care policy changes and family culture combine to affect a patient’s daily life, and develop compassionate professional competence that transcends the basic classroom experience.

Lori’s Hands recently became a nonprofit organization. Founder Sarah LaFave along with presidents Rivadeneira and Lisa Centrone hope to soon expand the new service learning course beyond UD to other college campuses.

To connect with Lori’s Hands, check out the page on StUDent Central or connect with the organization on Facebook.

Article by Alexa Rivadeneira and Casey Impagliazzo

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