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Lending a Hand

Caring for the young and young at heart

We all have people who, perhaps unknowingly, change the course of our lives. For UT alumnus Darnell Reid, it was his two grandmothers, Lucille Reid and Ethel Johnson.

Both caregivers, they were the biggest influences in the Reid’s early life in Memphis. For much of his youth, he and his mom stayed with his Grandmother Johnson, and one of his earliest memories is seeing her put on the white shoes that went with the meticulously pressed uniform of her third-shift job at a nursing home.

It was his grandmothers’ selfless dedication to others that started Reid down a path that culminated in the 2010 opening of Good Hands, an in-home care agency based in Memphis.

After earning a degree in finance from UT and an MBA from Purdue University, Reid took a conventional path, working for various companies in Texas before returning to Memphis in 2004. It was during this time that his Grandmother Lucille became dependent on others.

Reid says, “My aunt became her main caregiver, but we needed a service to help with my grandma and to relieve my aunt.” Like many family members, Reid’s aunt took some convincing before she would consider allowing an outsider into the home.

Reid had the solution: rather than rely on the judgment and skills of strangers, he would start his own care company. It was the perfect blend of altruism and good business. Good Hands does for others what Reid wanted for his own grandmother. At the same time, the universal need for quality trustworthy care has made Good Hands a good investment.

“I’ve been on both sides of the issue, from a business and personal perspective,” says Reid. “I tell our personal care associates to always imagine they are serving their own grandparents.”

Good Hands provides a variety of services, including companionship, personal care, and housekeeping. With 60 employees having now served more than 100 clients, the company’s success has allowed Reid to extend his generosity to a different kind of senior––those graduating from high school. For the past three years, Good Hands has granted 11 college scholarships to deserving students.

A Volunteer’s good hands—together with a good heart and good mind—will always make a difference.

Volunteer Stories