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

Partner with families to address the unique physical, social and emotional needs of children with upper limb differences through fun, success-oriented camp experiences for the entire family.

Our Vision

The vision of Hands to Love is to Creating a world where limb difference does not mean limits!

Core Values

Family: We are connected in care and compassion for one another. All are welcome to be a part of our H2L family.

Embrace: We embrace our individual differences and are respectful of those who are like and different from us. We are all God’s children.

Celebrate: We celebrate the uniqueness and resilience of those with upper limb  differences.

Innovate: We seek to offer novel experiences and activity adaptions based on the needs of our constituents.

Empower: We strive to create success oriented experiences that nurture tenacity as well as strength of mind and body.

Our Mission

Partner with families to address the unique physical, social and emotional needs of children with upper limb differences through fun, success-oriented camp experiences for the entire family.

Our Vision

The vision of Hands to Love is to

create a world where limb difference does not mean limits!

Core Values

Family: We are connected in care and compassion for one another. All are welcome to be a part of our H2L family.

Embrace: We embrace our individual differences and are respectful of those who are like and different from us. We are all God’s children.

Celebrate: We celebrate the uniqueness and resilience of those with upper limb  differences.

Innovate: We seek to offer novel experiences and activity adaptions based on the needs of our constituents.

Empower: We strive to create success oriented experiences that nurture tenacity as well as strength of mind and body.

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