Hope Loves Company
- New Jersey
Hope Loves Company (HLC) is the only non-profit in the U.S. with the mission of providing educational and emotional support to children and young adults who had or have a loved one battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease.
Hope Loves Company® is the result of raising three children who had to learn about ALS
(or Lou Gehrig's Disease) as young children.
Hope Loves Company's founder, Jodi O'Donnell-Ames, lost her husband Kevin Gerard O'Donnell to ALS in 2001. Kevin was funny, handsome, loving and brave. Their daughter, Alina, was almost three when Kevin was diagnosed. She did not understand why her daddy was different. Kevin and Jodi watched painfully as Alina noticed and adjusted to the many changes brought on by ALS.
In 2003, Jodi married Warren Benton Ames and became the mother of his two children, Nora and Adam, who were then 11 and 8 years old. Nora and Adam lost their biological mother, Tina, to ALS in 2000. Tina was a school counselor and a loving mother who wrote a book, What Did You Learn Today?, for her children. Hope Loves Company proudly sendsWhat Did You Learn Today? to children all over the U.S. and beyond.
As a trained teacher, child care provider and mother of three, Hope Loves Company's president, Jodi O'Donnell-Ames, knows that many children today lead hectic lives. For the most part, both parents are working, there are many complicated family dynamics (divorce, blended families) and children are extremely busy with school, organized sports and social clubs. If you add a terminal illness, such as ALS, to the mix, then life is chaotic to say the least. So many changes take place in a home based on the changing needs of an ALS patient. It take a village of love and support to battle ALS.