About Helping Hands UP

Helping Hands UP (HHUP) is a Town of University Park committee formed in 2017.

HHUP is part of a national movement of grassroots, volunteer-driven community organizations. The movement began in 2001 with the founding of Beacon Hill Village in Boston: a group of seniors met and developed strategies and services to enable their neighbors to remain in their homes. The number of villages is large and growing. As of today, the national Village-to-Village Network counts over 200 open Villages and more than 150 in development in 45 states and the District of Columbia. The Washington Area Village Network (WAVE) includes more than 30 established Villages and more than 10 in development.

A core group of UP residents has been meeting off and on for several years to plan for a University Park Village. In spring 2017, we voted to become an official Town Committee reporting to the Mayor and Town Council, seeing many benefits in this option. We were officially accepted as a Town Committee in July 2017, effectively functioning as a Village governed by a volunteer committee that includes a Town Council Member who serves as liaison to the Council. We are members of the Aging in Place Prince George’s County Working Group, Dementia Friendly Prince George’s and the JCA VillageRides Advisory Committee.

HHUP’s mission is to help disabled and aging University Park residents remain in their homes. We do this through volunteer services, educational programs and social activities, and partnerships with other individuals and organizations that complement our mission. By engaging a wide range of residents, we enhance the quality of life for our entire community.

HHUP Volunteers: Roles & Responsibilities 

Volunteers are the backbone of HHUP. The dedication, skills and experiences you bring to HHUP and the quality of services you provide will fulfill the needs of Members and will benefit our entire University Park community. Whether you have a lot of time or a little, we appreciate your volunteering for those opportunities that fit your schedule, interests and abilities. We have no doubt that you will learn much, complete rewarding work, and have fun. 

Services our Members may request will generally fall into one of the following categories:

  • Errands:  Shopping for the Member; Picking up prescriptions, etc.
  • Warm Weather Outdoor Chores:  leaf removal, etc.
  • Cold Weather Outdoor Chores:  Snow removal, etc. 
  • Indoor Light Chores:  Changing light bulbs, smoke detector batteries, or simple repairs;  Watering plants, etc.
  • Small House-Sitting Tasks:  Watering plants; Collecting mail; Picking up newspapers, etc. 
  • Personal Contacts & Friendly Visits:  Friendly visits to Members; Telephone check-in or visiting by phone; Help with exercise, going for walks, etc.
  • Technology Assistance:  Help with computer or internet use; Help with household electronics (TV, DVD player, remote, etc.)
  • Respite Services for Caregivers:  Sitting with a loved one for a few hours while the caregiver runs an errand, goes to a meeting, etc.
  • Social/Educational a Activities:   Social gatherings; Walking groups; Classes, lectures; Inter-generational programs; Performances, concerts
  • Transportation:  Medical appointments; Shopping or other errands; Religious services, community events, etc. 

In addition, like any organization we need help:

  • Committee Support: Recruitment and community outreach; Help with events and mailings; Coordinating volunteers, etc.
  • Social/Educational:  Assist with or lead social activities (dinners, teas, excursions); Assist with/lead educational programs (lectures or seminars); Assist with/lead fitness and wellness programs