Hugs of Hope

There are many families affected by ALS and many of those families have children. In addition to our camps, we can provide a Hug of Hope from afar. A Hug of Hope is a care package that includes an age appropriate gift (stuffed animal or gift card), HLC t-shirt, card, snack, HLC wristband, literature, and a Camp HLC brochure. You can receive a Hug of Hope free of charge with the completion of this application.


Jodi O'Donnell-Ames likes to share her journey of living a life with purpose with people all around the U.S and beyond.  Her journey began in 1995, when her late husband Kevin O'Donnell (then 30 years old) received his ALS diagnosis. Life for Kevin, Jodi and their toddler daughter Alina changed drastically on that day. Jodi shares how Kevin's life and his enormous courage and strength made her a better person. She is now uses that experience of love and determination to help children and young adults around the country.

Jodi has three presentations to share with your community or school: Living With Purpose, Founding a Nonprofit, and The Joy of Volunteerism. Click here to learn more about having Jodi speak at your event and for her contact information.


What Did You Learn Today? by Tina Singer Ames

Written by a person with ALS, WDYLT? gently explains ALS to younger children by following the progression of the disease, as it affects an elementary school teacher, Mrs. Meyer. You can purchase the book here.

The Stars that Shine by Jodi O'Donnell-Ames 

Sarah has a problem. Every year, she and her father march in the Fourth of July Parade. But, this year is different. Sarah's daddy is sick and can no longer walk. To make matters worse, he relies on a wheelchair, an UGLY wheelchair. Sarah has to decide whether she will listen to her pride and break a father-daughter tradition or listen to her heart and embrace a new one. You can purchase the book here

Someone I Love Has ALS by Jodi O'Donnell-Ames and contributing authors

After more than 20 years of working with ALS families, Jodi realized that more information and better resources could be available to help families who are coming to grips with the challenges of the disease and the caregiving responsibilities that are involved. "This guide was created by a variety of caregivers and professionals who have years of experience with various aspects of ALS. It was written by volunteers and experts who care about ALS and your journey," she writes. You can purchase the book here.

Real Kids Talk About ALS: Feeling Normal, Sad, and Different: Delivered in a graphic novel format, this book uses direct quotes from youth in the ALS research projects. These quotes help situate the learning style and experiences of children in ALS. You can get the book here.

Smile With Me Forever and Ever: Even with ALS: Mrs. Panda has a warm and affectionate relationship with her little cub friends. The cubs are concerned one day when they see Mrs. Panda lose her balance and tumble down. As the precious little cubs rush to help, Mrs. Panda has an important role of explaining she has ALS. Mrs. Panda carefully uses simple terms so the little cubs can understand as she describes the loss of the body’s nerves and power to the muscles. As the cubs express their fears, Mrs. Panda finds a unique way to offer encouragement through her five senses, which are not affected by ALS. Most importantly, Mrs. Panda reaffirms her loving bond with the cubs, who will share a smile forever and ever.

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 ALS Pathways Podcast Series. Educational series for those who have been newly diagnosed with ALS. Provided by ALS Pathways, each 10-minute episode delves into the world of ALS—the science behind it, how to prepare for and manage symptoms, and how best to help as a caregiver. You can subscribe to the series through iTunes or Google Play.

  1. ALS: The Basics This episode offers an introduction to the disease and the history and science behind it. It also covers the different groups of ALS symptoms and explains the tests used to track and monitor the disease's progression.

  2. Managing ALS Covers important strategies that ALS sufferers can use to help navigate the disease, including the importance of working with a multidisciplinary care team and tips for managing common symptoms.

  3. Life as a Caregiver Talks about about caring for a loved one throughout their ALS journey and, just as importantly, caregivers learning to care for themselves.

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The Hope Loves Company Documentary: The documentary, directed by award-winning documentarian Steve Besserman, begins with the founding of HLC and follows some of the families we’ve supported. The film is available to stream on our HLC YouTube Channel

 Hope For Steve Documentary: This young couple's triumphant love story while battling the husband's devastating diagnosis of ALS is growing across the nation. 

Hope on the Horizon: The 48 highest peaks in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, also known as the “4,000 footers”, cover over 250 miles of various terrain and over 70,000 feet of elevation. Four hikers, including the filmmaker, set out to summit all 48 in a single trip on foot. Two completed the journey and reached the 48th summit in 24 days to raise awareness and funding for ALS patients and their families. See more here.

I am Breathing: Knowing he only has a few months left to live, and while he still has the ability to speak, Neil Platt puts together a letter and memory box for his baby son, Oscar, and communicates his experience and thoughts about life in a blog – and in this film, which he was determined to make.


The Theory of Everything: In the 1960s, Cambridge University student and future physicist Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) falls in love with fellow collegian Jane Wilde (Felicity Jones). At 21, Hawking learns that he has motor neuron disease (MND). Despite this, and with Jane at his side, he begins an ambitious study of time, of which he has very little left. 

Too Much So Fast: A documentary written and directed by Academy Award nominees, Steven Ascher and Jeanne Jordan. This film premiered in competition at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and won the Audience Award at the Boston Independent Film Festival.

TransFatty Lives: A film by and about Patrick Sean O'Brien, who lives with ALS which debuted at Tribeca Film Festival 2015. See more here.


You’re Not You: An American drama, starring Hilary Swank, centered on a classical pianist who has been diagnosed with ALS and the brash college student who becomes her caregiver.

Gleason: The hit documentary from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival goes inside the life of Steve Gleason, the former New Orleans Saints defensive back who, at the age of 34, was diagnosed with ALS and given a life expectancy of two to five years. Weeks later, Gleason found out his wife, Michel, was expecting their first child.


 The ALS Association: The ALS Association is the only national ALS non-profit organization. They are a leader in research, care services, public education, and public policy. See more here

A.L.S. Family Charitable Foundation: The ALS Family Charitable Foundation of Bourne, MA helps ALS Patients and their families with in-house grants. Their services are open to New England area families and include support for respite, college scholarships, summer camp, back to school shopping, utility bills, vacations and much more. See more here

The ALS Hope Foundation: The ALS Hope Foundation provides funding for the MDA/ALS Center of Hope, the first multidisciplinary ALS clinic in the country, and the Neuromuscular Research Laboratory at Drexel University College of Medicine. The Foundation also provides educational events to inform people living with ALS and the public about ALS. See more here.

ALS Therapy Development Institute: The ALS Therapy Development Institute and it's scientists actively discover and develop treatments for ALS. See more here.


Brigance Brigade: The Brigance Brigade Foundation’s mission is to equip, encourage, and empower people living with ALS. We strive to improve the quality of life for patients and their families by providing access to needed equipment, resource guidance and support services. See more here.


Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Resource Foundation: The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. See more here.

Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS): A non-profit organization with a mission to support people diagnosed with ALS, their families and communities as they navigate the complexities, both physical and emotional, associated with the disease. The organization provides resources including equipment, educational workshops, Medicare/Medicaid assistance, guidance and awareness in living with ALS, caregiving, and end-of-life issues. See more here.

Elizabeth Dole Foundation: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation was founded with the mission to strengthen and empower America’s military caregivers and their families by raising public awareness, driving research, championing policy, and leading collaborations that make a significant impact on their lives. See more here.

Eluna: The mission of Eluna is to support children and families impacted by grief and addiction. See more here.


HARK: HARK is an active ALS charity organization that was founded by Donna Dourney York in memory of her father, Charles W. Dourney, who was affectionately known as “Hark” by his wife Ann. See more here.

Help Hope Live: The mission of Help Hope Live is to support community-based fundraising for people with unmet medical and related expenses due to cell and organ transplants or catastrophic injuries or illnesses. Help Hope Live supports many families affected by ALS. See more here.

International Alliance of ALS/MND: The International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations was founded in 1992 to provide an international community for individual ALS/MND associations from around the world. See more here.

Kevin Turner Foundation: The Kevin Turner Foundation (KTF) was created to bring attention to ALS and sports-related traumatic brain injuries. See more here.


Les Turner ALS Foundation: Since 1977, the Les Turner ALS Foundation has been Chicago's leader in patient services, research, and education for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. See more here.

MAC Angels Foundation: The mission of MA is to enhance the quality of life of patients, family members and caregivers impacted by ALS. See more here.

MDA: The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). See more here.

OPTION B: HLC is an independent member of the Option  B Group Directory, and we abide by these community guidelines. See more here.


Team Gleason: Steve and his friends and family started Team Gleason to generate public awareness for ALS, raise funding to empower those with ALS to live a rewarding life, and ultimately find a cure. See more here.

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Hope Loves Company Susan Anderson Scholarship Award: The Susan Anderson Scholarship of $1,000 is given to a HLC Young Ambassador, graduating senior, who plans to further his or her education. Please click here to download the Susan Anderson Scholarship application.

The Paula Kovarick Segalman Family Scholarship Fund for ALS: A scholarship from the ALS Association's DC/MD/VA chapter, it is open to people who have a parent or legal guardian currently battling ALS or who has passed away from the disease. You must be a resident of Washington D.C., Maryland, or Virginia. See more here.

The Rick and Sherry Murray Medical Futures Scholarship: A scholarship from the ALS Association's Florida chapter, it is for students who have or have had a spouse, parent or grandparent diagnosed with ALS, and who want to pursue a degree in the medical profession as a result of their experience. You must be a legal resident of Florida. To learn more about eligibility, see here.

The ALS Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. Scholarship: In order to be eligible for this scholarship, the applicant must be a child (biological, adopted, step) of an ALS patient (either living or deceased), a recent high school graduate with a 3.0 average, and a matriculated student taking a full time college course load. Applicant must be a legal resident of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut or Rhode Island. See their website for more details.​ 

LIFE Lessons Essay Contest for Students: The Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education is sponsoring a scholarship for college-bound high school seniors and current college students, ages 17-24, who have suffered the death of a parent or guardian. Applicants must submit a written essay or a short video essay about how the loss affected them emotionally and financially. The contest will open in February 2019 with a deadline of early March 2019. To learn more visit their website.