What can you do to #ChallengeALS




We understand living with ALS makes daily tasks more challenging.  In order to make life a little easier we created the family assistance program.  Through this program we match trained volunteers with families affected by ALS to assist with tasks or to be a friendly visitor.

Family Assistance Brochure

The best way to learn about the program is seeing it in action.  This short video features a family who used the family assistance program and some of the program’s volunteers.

What can volunteers help with?

  • Cleaning
  • Meal Preparation
  • Home Maintenance
  • Writing Letters
  • Household Chores
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Yard Work
  • Sending Emails
  • Laundry
  • Errands
  • Gardening
  • Hobbies
  • Organizing 
  • Pet Care
  • Snow Removal
  • Visiting

This list is not all inclusive.  If there is something else you would like help with, please ask and we will see if we can accommodate your request.

Is there anything a volunteer can’t do? 
We will send you a list of the program guidelines before connecting you with a volunteer. If you are considering the program, please know volunteers cannot provide personal or medical care.  Also, if the person living with ALS cannot be home alone then a caregiver must be present while a volunteer is in the home.

How can I request assistance? 
You can request assistance by filling out the volunteer assistance request form or by contacting Laura Winterstein, volunteer coordinator, at 888-672-0484.

How do you fulfill a request?
Depending on the amount of help being requested, one or more volunteers are sought.  We check our pool of trained volunteers to see if someone is an appropriate match.  These volunteers are then contacted and told about the family and the request.  If we cannot find an already trained volunteer, we advertise the request on volunteer recruitment websites and in our newsletter.

Once a volunteer is found, we contact the family and share information about the volunteer.  At that time, the family can accept or decline the volunteer’s offer of help.  Identifying information is only revealed when the family and the volunteer have both agreed to the match. 

Who volunteers?
Most of the volunteers joined the program because of a loved one with ALS.  Some volunteers even used the program themselves and, knowing how helpful it was, want to help another family.  There is a small group of volunteers without a connection to ALS.  Regardless of what brought the volunteer to the program, everyone who volunteers is interested in making a direct difference in people’s lives.

How are volunteers screened, trained, and supervised?
The screening process includes an application, an interview, reference checks, and a background check.  Before being connected with a family, volunteers go through a thorough training about ALS, The ALS Association, and the family assistance program.  Volunteers are contacted two weeks after being connected with a family and then on a monthly basis.

How can I volunteer?
If you would like to volunteer, please visit the volunteer opportunities page for information on how to apply to be a family assistance volunteer.

If you have any questions about the family assistance program please contact Laura Winterstein, volunteer coordinator, at 888-672-0484 orvolunteercoordinator@alsmn.org