Meeting the needs of Cochrane and Western Rocky View since 2007

The Helping Hands Society of Cochrane and Area is a volunteer linking organization and registered charity in Cochrane, Alberta.

We link people who help with people who need help. Our volunteers fill unmet human needs and strengthen community.

Helping Hands volunteers are here to assist low income seniors, chronically ill residents, single parents and newcomers with practical needs. Our clients are those who do not have a support network or financial resources to help themselves.

Our volunteers generously give of their time to help with rides to medical appointments, food drives, mentorship, snow removal, lawn care, handyman services, companionship, moving assistance, downsizing, errands, food rescue, Free Food Shed maintenance and so much more!

Get involved TODAY!

Our work would not be possible without volunteers like you.  We’d love to have you join us!

Meet our team:

April Baird
April BairdFood Security Programs Manager

Being from Cochrane, I am passionate about this community and feel tethered to its energy. Cochrane is not just home for me and my family—it’s a feeling. A feeling you can only get when you enter this valley from any hilltop; the expansive views of Rocky Mountains, rolling foothills, wandering rivers and big blue skies that remind you this is one of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve seen this town grow from a meagre 4,500 people and a stop sign to the 30,000+ people with daily traffic congestion it is today. Although it’s not as simple as it once was, it’s still just as wondrous. My employment background stems largely in various types of customer service and I’ve always volunteered within the community so joining the team at Helping Hands in August 2020 felt like a natural fit. I’m lucky to actually enjoy my job and my service to our community. Food security and food waste issues have quickly become a passion of mine and I strive everyday to make food readily available to all Cochrane and area residents.

Melia Hayes
Melia HayesPrograms Manager

I have had the privilege of serving as the Programs Manager with Helping Hands since September 2020. I come from a background of non-profit and humanitarian work, as I was formally with Samaritan’s Purse Canada. My passion has always been about helping people; from disaster response in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, to working in the hospitals and healthcare system and even in the education system supporting children with special needs. Connecting with people who are in need and being able to help them is what brings me joy! Cochrane is such a beautiful & amazing community. I have lived here for over 20 years. It has been the place where I have raised my girls, gone to church, volunteered my time and developed amazing and lasting relationships. I am so thankful that through Helping Hands, I have the ability to do what I love in the community I adore.

Laura McDonald
Laura McDonaldExecutive Director

Laura joins Helping Hands Cochrane after many years as a corporate, non-profit, and charitable sector administrator. With education in non-profit management, business administration, and accounting, and a love of local volunteerism, Laura is so excited to tie it all together and join the Helping Hands team. Laura was a founder and former President of the Friends of Fireside School Society, and is one of many proud volunteers who built the inclusive playground in Fireside. Laura is currently the Board Secretary for Sport4Life Cochrane, supporting sport groups in Cochrane and working to increase inclusive and accessible recreation opportunities for children and youth with disabilities.

Laura is inspired daily by her two incredible daughters, and works every day to show them that enormous local impact is truly possible.

Board Members:

 Board Chair – Ray Goodship

Vice Chair – Ann Beatty

 Treasurer – Laurie Hauck

 Secretary – Adam Braun

Director – Graham Torrie

Director – Lynda Cooke

Director – Allison Graham

Director – Nadine Maillot

 Director – Sheila Beaudry

 Ambassador – Terrence Haxton (founding member)