There are so many times during our daily lives when we wish we had an extra pair of hands. Maybe it’s to help clean out a storage room, run errands, take an elderly parent to an appointment, or stop by the house to let out the dog. No one can do it all alone, and there’s no reason you have to. Especially when trusted, reliable help is only a phone call, text, or email away.
Jill Schreck, owner of Hometown Help personal assistant and concierge services, knows first-hand the positive impact that helping others has. The youngest of a farming family in Cedar Rapids, NE, with 10 children, her father suffered a heart attack and passed away at an early age. Her mother decided to keep all three family farms, and it was through the help of her surviving older siblings, relatives, friends, and neighbors that they were able to keep the farms going. It was that notion of small, hometown help that inspired Jill to eventually focus on her passion for helping others.
In fact, her mother was a life-long role model in compassion. While Jill and her husband Randy lived in Arlington, NE, they both worked full time and also earned their college degrees. Jill’s mother was the one who often helped out with Jill’s two children, Katy and Nicholas, when there was a day off from school or they both had other commitments. Then as her children entered high school and her mother grew older and needed help herself, Jill and Randy didn’t hesitate to be there. “We’d mow her yard, help with things around the house, or take her to the doctor,” Jill said. If they got a call from her in the middle of the night, Jill would rush over to her mom’s home in Fremont. “I was too young to help out on the farm very much growing up, so this was my way of being able to help,” she added.
After Jill’s mom passed away, she missed the close conversation and companionship that accompanied helping her. With her own children grown and her and her husband having moved to Omaha, Jill knew she wanted to continue helping people and felt people would want to have the conveniences she could offer. “If I hadn’t had the help and support of my husband, my mom and other family and friends, I would have had to quit my job years ago,” Jill said. “So I want to be that for people who don’t have a lot of support available to them, or who have some but need a break every now and then.”
The range of services Jill offers through Hometown Help includes caring for your home and taking care of pets, transporting family members, including children, to and from appointments or school, helping with day of wedding duties, short term needs such as if you’re sick or injured, helping coordinate moves—anything that involves some extra help. Jill is also CPR and AED certified, and volunteers for Heartland Equine Theraputic Riding Academy (HETRA’s) wounded warrior veteran program, the Alzheimer’s Association, and is a mentor with Girls Inc.
But what she offers is much more than just transportation. If she takes someone to a doctor’s appointment, for example, she goes with them into the office and waits, and when she takes them home she makes sure they’re resettled and relaxed. “I love talking to people and hearing their stories,” Jill said. “I miss that in my own life and want to do that for others. What I do is so personal for me and very rewarding.”
Trust is the most important element in what she does, and Jill takes that trust very seriously and values it. “Jill is so reliable and trustworthy, but most of all she is responsible and careful with our dogs,” said Jill Sideris. “I’m so thankful to have found her. My husband and I can truly relax, knowing that Jill understands their individual needs, and they truly adore her.”
Ann Crouse originally called Jill to help during her parent’s move and since then has had her take care of her dog, Bella, help prep for a party, and pick up her 13-year-old son, Kade, from school when she’s unable to. “Jill is so accommodating and reliable,” Ann said. “And Kade really likes talking to her.”
Establishing relationships with people is what Jill enjoys the most, and said she truly treats every person and pet like a family member. “I feel this is my calling and am grateful to make a difference in people’s lives. Helping people brings up good memories for me.” And once you’ve experienced that personal, caring, trustworthy help, it will create your own good memories.