Los Angeles, Feb. 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Everest Foundation, a Los Angeles based non-profit dedicated to advancing cutting edge medical research across the national and international stages, recently announced it would join forces with Project Angel Food.
This brand new initiative, dubbed "The Everest Foundation Telephone Angels Program," will provide tailored meals and companionship to those suffering from various critical illnesses. The announcement also arrives on the heels of an impressive $55,000 donation by The Everest Foundation.
The Everest Foundation was born following the unfortunate 2008 passing of Doctor Edwin A.D. Everest. Today, the organization carries on Edwin's vision and passion of helping the less-fortunate -- which, in part, fueled the organization's excitement to team up with Project Angel Food.
Project Angel Food, also based in Los Angeles, is a well-known and highly praised non-profit that provides free meals to people too ill to cook or shop for themselves. Driven by pandemic-spurred loneliness and increases in mental health illness, Project Angel Food began piloting a new Telephone Angels delivery program in April of last year while looking to bridge the gap.
On top of Project Angel Food's typical meal and food deliveries, this newer program is unique as it pairs volunteers with clients who have specifically reported feeling alone or isolated. Volunteers then connect with sick clients through a series of phone calls as well as regular social check-ins. (The telephone 'catch-ups' typically take place once a week, but more often in some cases).
While volunteers cannot offer medical counseling or psychological advice, they provide many sick individuals with an uplifting weekly highlight and companionship, friendship, and warm camaraderie.
Since the program's April 2020 launch, a whopping 90 percent of participants report a steep elevation in their mood thanks to these weekly or bi-weekly calls.
The Everest Foundation's generous financial sponsorship helps ensure the new program will continue recruiting and training volunteers. This donation will also fund a much-needed expansion of technical support, ultimately aimed at pairing more volunteers with additional Project Angel clients.
"We're beyond thrilled to work with Project Angel Food on such a necessary and important endeavor," said Agata Everest, the Everest Foundation's chair. Agata is also the spouse of Dr. Michael Everest, the Chairman Emeritus and non-profit's founder. Dr. Everest explained, "The Foundation's Telephone Angels program seeks to provide a 360-degree, holistic method to health, concentrating on our client's mental well-being coupled with their physical health. Struggling with a critical illness is difficult as it is, without added depression or isolation. We're so proud to be a pivotal part of the solution."
The Everest Foundation works to transform medicine's future by rolling out lifesaving research and worldwide initiatives, including venture philanthropy as well as graduate medical education. The foundation has committed and will continue to donate millions to funding patient needs, boosting new research initiatives, ensuring resident placement, and assisting historically underserved communities.
"Many volunteers can spend just 10 minutes on a phone call with a client and cheer them up or turn their mood around," said Executive Director of Project Angel Food Richard Ayoub. "But many volunteers spend hours on the phone and forge a lasting and trusting relationship. Often our clients just need somebody to listen. It's exactly why the Telephone Angels Program is so very important."