Who We Are

Hands to Love is an organization that supports children with upper limb differences and their families. We provide  a casual, caring environment where families are supported by healthcare professionals and many other volunteers at our annual Hand Camp to offer campers adaptive solutions for routine and recreational activities.. The Hands to Love camp “family” also acts as a support alliance for the unique needs of children with upper limb differences and their parents, guardians and siblings. In addition, we advocate for the health, safety and happiness of children with upper limb differences. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization we are passionate about helping children with upper limb differences and their families across the country.

Our Mission

The mission of Hands to Love is to demonstrate that difference does not equal disability. Under the guidance of volunteer healthcare professionals, Hands to Love empowers the entire family through a valuable connection of informational and emotional support, while providing adaptive concepts for everyday activities and uncommon adventures.

Our Vision

The vision of Hands to Love is to provide sustainable support for children with upper limb differences. Our hope is to create perpetual funding for Hands to Love and its signature Hand Camp. Our dream is to continually refine and expand our efforts through innovative thinking and programming that meets the needs of the population we serve. 

 

Our Mission

The mission of Hands to Love is to demonstrate that difference does not equal disability. Under the guidance of volunteer healthcare professionals, Hands to Love empowers the entire family through a valuable connection of informational and emotional support, while providing adaptive concepts for everyday activities and uncommon adventures.

Our Vision

The vision of Hands to Love is to provide sustainable support for children with upper limb differences. Our hope is to create perpetual funding for Hands to Love and its signature Hand Camp. Our dream is to continually refine and expand our efforts through innovative thinking and programming that meets the needs of the population we serve. 

 

Our History

As a hand surgeon at the University of Florida, Dr. Paul Dell has always had a special place in his heart for children with congenital upper limb differences. In 2000, Dr. Dell learned of Hands Down Camp for children with congenital upper limb differences in Dallas, Texas from his colleagues Dr. Mary Beth Izaki and Dr. Peter Carter of Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Dallas. 

Ruthie Dell and Ginger Stirna McFadden, Occupational Therapists at U.F.Health visited Hands Down Camp and immediately knew that this was something that they wanted to do back home and in 2001 the first “Hand Camp” was held in Florida!

The first Hand Camp was initially open only to families that had been served in the U.F. clinic. Within 3 years, Hand Camp was open to any family that wanted to participate, and the organization was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit under the name Congenital Hand Camp, Inc. When a vote was taken amongst the charter parents on a name for a website they decided on “Hands to Love,” and it’s stuck ever since! 

Hand Camp was created to address the unique physical, social and emotional needs of children with upper limb differences, and provide a fun, success-oriented camp experience for the entire family. The organization continued to grow as an annual camp event and formal support network, and was officially renamed Hands to Love in 2005. 

What began as a group of 17 families now serves more than 80 families (and growing) each year! Hands to Love is the only organization of its kind in the southeastern United States and serves families and children from across the USA.

 

Board of Directors

John Hosman (President)

Sean Branch, M.D. (Vice President)

Brian Caslow (Treasurer)

Beth Keene (Secretary)

Ruthie Dell (Executive Director)

Correll Bilbrew

Paul Dell M.D.

Dawn Dukes

Shari Gorman

Robert Matthias M.D.

Amy McClelland

Rita Peters

Paula Vann

Teresa Wilde