Lori’s Hands launches student organization at Eastern Michigan University

A student with the EMU student organization Lori's Hands smiles while doing a hands-on activity with an elderly adult.

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University students will learn intergenerational relationship skills and gain experience working with adults with chronic conditions through a new student organization, an extension of the nonprofit Lori’s Hands. The organization allows students to help with day-to-day activities made difficult by disease for clients and to educate students on the human experience of chronic illness.

Founded in 2009, Lori’s Hands serves three communities: Newark, Delaware; Baltimore, Maryland; and metro Detroit. Launched earlier last year, the metro Detroit chapter has significantly helped hundreds of adults with chronic illness in Washtenaw and Wayne counties. 

“Becoming a registered student organization at EMU, in our third chapter, is truly a full-circle moment for our organization,” said the elected president of Lori’s Hands student organization, Antonia Gitau. “The student-led organization provides students with increased leadership opportunities and strengthened community relationships.” Gitau, a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in human biology at Eastern, has volunteered for Lori’s Hands and believes students will benefit greatly from this service learning opportunity. 

The student organization will connect EMU students with residents, fostering a positive cross-generational relationship between the campus and the surrounding community. Students in the organization will visit adults with chronic conditions weekly and assist in daily activities that are made difficult due to illness or treatment. Providing companionship and assisting with grocery shopping, organizing, light cleaning, and other tasks will be part of the student's participation in the organization. Overall, the student organization members learn from their clients about the real-life experience of chronic disease. Students in the organization will have opportunities for internships and scholarships that Lori’s Hands provides.

“Students benefit from joining the Lori’s Hands student organization in many ways,” said Maddi Gale-Laman, chapter manager of Lori’s Hands in metro Detroit. “Being part of Lori’s Hands is a fantastic way for students to understand the complexities of the health care system, gain patient contact hours, and connect with the metro Detroit community.”

Lori’s Hands is holding a Fall Service Clean-Up event in Ypsilanti on Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. Anyone is welcome to join, regardless of if they are a current Lori’s Hands volunteer.

For more information about volunteering for Lori’s Hands, visit the webpage. For more information, contact Maddi Gale-Laman at maddi@lorishands.org or Antonia Gitau at agitau@emich.edu.


About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.

September 27, 2023

Written by:
Nina Scarpelli

Media Contact:
Melissa Thrasher