Free, safe, virtual


Nurturing one-to-one relationships between university students and children in need of support.

Free of Cost

We are entirely volunteer-run, and our service is free.

Easy to Use

From your own home, on your schedule.


Founded and operated by Columbia University undergraduate students.

High Quality

Our volunteers are top-notch: compassionate, friendly and reliable.

"There are no words to express my gratitude to HOH, Ryan has opened a window of learning, exploring and expression in my son, that I'm over-whelmed with appreciation. My only analogy is that Ryan has gotten water from a rock. This program is amazing. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."

- Tanya, Hearts over Hands Parent

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Our Mission

With the spread of the novel coronavirus, many families are facing a set of unfamiliar and difficult circumstances. As schools, after-school programs, tutoring centers, and babysitting services become vastly restricted, parents must single-handedly take on their children's care and educational needs while also minimizing contact with the outside world. We recognize the strain this places on families, especially on those with parents on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic (doctors, medics, grocery store workers, etc.), parents dealing with illness, and single parents.

​We created Hearts over Hands in hopes of alleviating some of the pressure that these parents are under.​

The aim is simple: To pair currently-enrolled university students with children from families who are adversely impacted, in order to form lasting, stable child-mentor relationships.​

Our volunteers (also called "Big Sibs") meet with their Little Sibs weekly via virtual video sessions. Video sessions are intended to break the sense of social isolation that children may be experiencing, provide homework help, tutoring, and general mentorship and guidance.

Step 1

You fill out our "Sign Up" form, in order to provide us with some basic information about your family and help us match you with a volunteer.

Step 2

We get to work pairing your family with one of our volunteers!

Step 3

You receive an email from us, putting you in contact with your volunteer.

Step 4

You meet your volunteer (virtually, of course!), get to know each other, and work out the details for your sessions.

Step 5

Sessions begin between your child(ren) and your volunteer!

How it works

Meet our Team

Anna Beloborodova


Diane Huang


Amei Shank

Senior Director & Head of Recruitment

Shirley Tan

Director of Volunteer Operations

Ann Teng

Parent Outreach Coordinator

Katrina Liou

Creative Director

Jessica Markman

Programs Director


Chief Barketing Officer

Our University Representatives

Ines Cheng

UC Davis

Jessica Hua

UC Berkeley

Sean Bai


Morgan Gilfond


Taylor Lee


Read what parents have to Say!

"Mae is WONDERFUL!! My daughter was shy at first but Mae got her to come out of her shell. They work on math, spelling and reading. They play games and I hear both of them giggling from the other room. It is really amazing seeing how happy my child is after their meetings. We are so grateful!"
“I have referred this program to multiple friends. I think it's brilliant and as a working parent, it's provides such a reprieve from kids playing video games or watching mindless shows. I am thrilled that someone thought of this. Can't thank you enough.”
"Becca has been the biggest blessing to our little family. She assists with math time and helping with story building skills. I’m able to get so much more studying and work done just because of her. I’ve already recommended you guys to every parent I know!"
"My son looks forward to his sessions with Maxwell. The feedback from my son is positive even after the sessions are over.  I am greatful for the assistance especially during this pandemic. As a parent, Knowing that my son has IEP Hearts over Hands is definitely helping me provide education in our home."
"My daughter is an only child so she really appreciates the interaction. I described this as a kind of “Big Sister” program so whenever our sessions start I call out “your Big Sister is on!” and she comes running to the computer with a big smile."
"After two sessions- I am very grateful. It has been a productive time for my daughter. And I have felt that I could work and accomplish and not feel guilty that I was not working with Remi. Marsha is soft spoken, polite, patient and smart!"hat someone thought of this. Can't thank you enough.”
"Amber is amazing! We love her. She's so sweet and I saw an improvement in Gavin right away! I'm very grateful to Hearts over Hands."
"Thank you for this wonderful service. My kids love Jasneet. She is very nice and patient. My oldest is teaching her how to play chess. My oldest has been telling everyone (mainly family members) that she has a big sister from a big sister program. I am very grateful for this program and everyone volunteering.
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