Who is LessAlone.org?

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LessAlone.org is the online operation of Less Alone Endeavor, LLC, a USA-registered limited-liability 501c3 non-profit organization, whose goal is to locate a contact companion for our members. Membership accounts are free-of-charge to anyone living alone who could benefit from regular on-going contact with another member, enhancing both members' safety and well-being.

What is the purpose of your organization?

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Our website is focused on 'bringing together', or MATCHING, those individuals who live alone across the USA with the intent of creating a symbiotic relationship between two people of similar circumstance with similar needs. These individuals living alone are LESS ALONE when they have their 'contact companion' to check on them and make sure they are okay. In some cases, this can also provide needed conversational contact. We utilize all the member's information given at registration, when creating their membership account, to locate and match the member with another member to formulate a contact-companion relationship you both can enjoy.

What is a 'contact companion'?

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Contact companion is the term we use to describe the individual that you, as a registrant member, choose to be your match. When you, as a person living alone, registers an account on our website, you become searchable among other members in our database. The information and personal desires you specify at registration assist our database to locate and match you with another person similar to you. Once matched, you each receive the other's first name and phone number [the number you specify for contact]. 

How does a contact companion assist me?

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At the time of registration for membership, you and your contact companion agree to be in daily contact by phone with each other - whether to simply "check in", or maybe you both have time for a chat!  Either way, you each will know that the other is okay. On the other hand, if you could not reach your contact companion, this is an alert to you that something may be wrong. You are each other's FIRST ALERT!

How does your site differ from date-matching services and websites?

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Our membership is made up of people with the same goal - they want to find a 'contact companion', and not a long-term relationship or mate. This means the pressure is "off" to find that 'right person'.  While we at LAO feel that your contact should be someone you can enjoy [and you will be someone they can enjoy], you will not be searching among hundreds of potential matches to find that particular one who is right for you!

If you and your match choose "time for conversation", rather than "just check in", you choose the gender you want to converse with, not the gender you want to date. Or, how about choosing someone not local to you?  Our members have flexibility in their choice of a match.

Our database has automated the matching process by utilizing your input information and choices to locate FOR YOU the best possible matches and present them to you in your membership account. There will never be more than 12 other members at any one time from which you choose - presented prioritized from BEST to GOOD to AVERAGE last.

And, best of all, your membership registration, and the matching services your membership provides, are free of charge to you.

How long will it take to find my match?

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Since we are a new start-up organization, our database as yet needs filled with potential matches all over the country.  We here at LAO are working every day to 'get the word out' and draw in those members who will benefit from our services.  At this point in time, we say: "Give it 90 days."  We are optimistic, though - we do not believe it will take that long! 

And remember - cell phones have made long-distance phone calls a worry of the past. If you register your contact phone as your cell phone, your 'contact companion' need not be local to you. Placing the call daily is the same, whether local or long-distance. Therefore, your 'best' match need not be local to you, unless you desire that option. This can potentially shorten the time it takes to find another member for your match, by widening the area searched.

Will I be contacted, when I have matches to choose from?

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Unless you were registered by LAO from your paper registration form, because you were not able to do this online, we do not as yet contact you directly regarding your possible matches. Perhaps in time this will be automated and enhanced in the site. At this time, you simply login to your membership account and check for matches in place for you.  

Your matches will potentially change daily, as more and more registrants enter the system.  Our database is designed to "drop" the more AVERAGE or GOOD matches, in favor of BEST matches located for you.  Watch for these BEST matches to begin to show up 
in your membership account page [the bottom section] - these are the matches from which you will want to choose your contact companion.  Don't get in a hurry - review their profiles and choose one you like best to invite to be your contact companion.

Will I need to email potential matches?

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No. LAO has automated the member-matching process as much as possible, so that all members do not receive constant contact from other members.  You [and they] are looking for ONE match. Because all members have registered with us for the same reason, and with the same goal -- to find a contact companion -- LAO's process is designed to accomplish this in the easiest way possible for you, the member. Until such time as you choose to send another an email invitation to connect, or another member sends YOU an invitation, you need do nothing but review your matches in your account.

What if I send another member an invitation to connect, and they decline?

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Emailed invitations that you initiate to another member suspend your ability [and theirs] to send email invitation contact for 72 hours.  This gives the member you have invited a reasonable amount of time to respond to your invitation.  If they decline or do not respond within 72 hours, the "invite" expires and you both are again free to choose a match you wish to contact.

What are my responsibilities, once I am matched and become a contact companion?

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Daily contact [at the time of day of your choosing] is the best way that you and your contact companion can insure each other's well being. And sometime you might be needed - you both should be willing to receive an emergency call from the other.

If you must be out-of-town, or otherwise out-of-touch by phone for a period of time, you can let each other know this. Just remember:  your contact companion has only your phone number for contact with you. But there should be no reason that any situation is not workable between you.

Above all,  RESPECT each other!

I am ready to find my contact companion. What do I do now?

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You must register an active membership account to enroll into our database, and become searchable among other members like you who wish to find their contact companion. Go to LAO's SERVICES webpage. There you will find two methods you can choose from: sign up for an LAO membership using our fully-automated online registration [just type it in], or print out a paper registration form for mailing or fax in.  Links are available on the SERVICES webpage for BOTH of these options.

For those without any computer or internet access, you [or a friend or relative] can call us on our toll-free number. Our toll-free phone number is listed on our ABOUT US page. We will be happy to mail you a paper registration for completion. When we receive this form back from you, we will register your account and send you information regarding your new account.

What information is necessary to register my member account?

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  To complete registration for membership, required information you will supply includes:

your location by address, to find matches as locally as possible
     *  your phone number, which assist locating matches by area code
     *  your birth date, to find matches of your similar age
     *  your gender, and the gender you wish to be matched with
     *  your email address, to receive notices regarding your matches

Additionally, you will be asked to make several choices in order for our database to narrow down matches you might prefer.  Online registration takes about 10 minutes.

HINT:  You can, at any time, print out our registration form prior to creating your online account.  Also, you will be able to edit your profile and personal information at any time following initial registration.
NOTE: Our organization collects information from you for contact purposes only, should we need to send you member notices, updates on services, etc. This is also for verification purposes in case any improprieties are reported to us by other members.  And, of course, any information you supply is kept secure on our encrypted servers.  Read our PRIVACY POLICY.

What if I do not use a computer or have an email address?

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No problem!

Call us on our toll-free phone number, and request a form be mailed to you. Fill out and then mail the form [or fax it toll-free] back to us. We will input your information, create your online account, and you are then entered as a registrant member into our database. We will then contact you, by phone or mail, regarding your new account and possible matches for you.

     *  OR, do you have a friend, neighbor or relative with a computer? Ask them to print our paper registration form for you (3 pages).  Fill in your information, then mail or fax this to us.

I have created my membership account. What do I do now?

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You should review your information that you have input for your member account, and make sure it is correct.  

Then, login to your account regularly to view matches to you that we've located for a possible contact companion.  You can review their profile data and read their comments about themselves, if they have posted comments. We strive to locate your GOOD to BEST matches as quickly as possible.  However, it may take a bit of time as new people continually register an account during our start-up process.

I want to change something on my profile. Can I do this?

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Yes. Login to your member account and choose the "EDIT" links shown at the top left, directly under your personal information.  If you want to edit any portion of your profile or your personal information, you may do so at any time.  As with most websites, the only items you input at registration that cannot be changed are your assigned LAO account number, your chosen username, your real name and birth date.

Be aware that, in editing your profile choices, you may see a "shift" in member matches displayed for you soon after you save these changes.  This has occurred because the database is now matching TO the changes you've made.

I want to send an invitation to a 'BEST' match that is displayed in my account. How do I do this?

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Once you have decided on a match for your contact companion that you wish to connect with, you simply click on the INVITE TO CONNECT button. We will then send the member your message that you would like to connect with them for a contact-companion relationship.  That person then has 3 days to ACCEPT or DECLINE your invitation, during which time neither of you will be able to send a message using the INVITE TO CONNECT button.

If they accept your invitation, our system will proceed with supplying you both with an exchange of first names and phone number which was chosen for contact.  We release minimal information needed to begin your companionship, and leave the rest to you as you build on your contact with each other.

If they decline your invitation, or have not responded in three days [or 72 hours], we will then send you a message to let you know that you are free to choose another person for a match.

I am moving in with family this month. How do I dissolve my connection with my contact companion?

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Login to your member account and choose DISSOLVE MY CONNECTION WITH REASON.  You will then be asked to submit your reason for this action.  Once you complete this notice, your contact companion will be also be notified, and thus released by our system to again make a choice for contact companion.

My contact companion can no longer keep contact with me. What should I do?

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There will be instances when a contact companion becomes unable to continue their contact-companion relationship with you.  This may be due to their becoming seriously ill or seriously disabled, or even their death.

In these cases, login to your member account and 
choose DISSOLVE MY CONNECTION WITH REASON.  Include here a message that your current companion cannot continue in the relationship for one of these reasons mentioned. You will then be released from the relationship [it is dissolved].  Your contact companion will be removed from our database, and we will send you a message that you are released by our system to again make a choice for contact companion.

NOTE: By reporting this incident, your contact companion's account will be removed from our database.  We take this action, in case they are not able to do so.

My contact companion has shown that they are not reliable. What can I do, in this case?

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If you are in a contact-companion relationship, and your companion does not fulfill their responsibility as a contact companion by being in daily contact with you, you may 'dissolve' the relationship.  Login to your account and choose DISSOLVE MY CONNECTION WITH REASON.  Then send us a message that your current companion does not keep regular contact with you.  LAO Member Services would also appreciate your reporting to us any improprieties you may have noted.

You will be released from the relationship [it is dissolved].  We will send you a message that you are 
released by our system to again make a choice for contact companion.

WARNING:  By reporting this incident, the other member is at risk of losing their account with us.  Please be sure that your contact companion is WILLFULLY NOT fulfilling their responsibility as a contact companion prior to your reporting this person to us.

I think I could find a better match for my contact companion. How do I search for a replacement?

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Login to your member account and choose DISSOLVE MY CONNECTION WITHOUT REASON.  We will send you a message that you are released by our system to again make a choice for contact companion.

BE AWARE: In order to prevent members from "companion-hopping" and excessive use of the database for matching purposes by any one member, at the time you choose to send an invitation to a replacement member match, you will be asked to submit a $35.00 donation to LessAlone.org. This is only necessary in cases where you have dissolved your previous contact-companion relationship WITHOUT REASON. Once completed, your email invitation will be sent.

Once I have a member account, may I close my account and remove my information from your site?

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Yes. If you are not yet matched with a contact companion, login to your member account and choose CLOSE ACCOUNT on your account page.  

If you are currently matched with a contact companion, choose 
DISSOLVE MY CONNECTION WITH REASON.  Choose option 3.  We will send you a message that you are released by our system to again make a choice for contact companion.  At this point, you are not matched with a companion - you may click the CLOSE ACCOUNT link on your member account page.

What is my "storage vault"?

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Your STORAGE VAULT link allows you access to an area for storage and maintenance of more sensitive information. For instance, if you wish to change your password on your account, you do that here. If you make donations to LAO, you have the option to store your card or PayPal account information here. And, for members, we have included record storage for your doctor, your lawyer, and your ICE (In Case of Emergency) contacts information.

You will be required to re-enter your password to gain access to your storage vault.

Why would I store my contacts & emergency information in my storage vault?

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In case of emergency, these contacts are not always readily available to emergency personnel or family members. Many times it is difficult for these people to locate one's contacts during an already-stressful situation. As soon as you input and save these contacts in our database, LAO staff receives an automated message that this information is stored.  Upon receiving this notice, we will mail you a laminated wallet card.  This card will contain your LAO member account number and informs authorities and/or family that LAO can be contacted 24/7 for this information.

If you are in an accident or suddenly taken ill, and you are unable to respond, your wallet and drivers license are usually the first thing checked. By keeping the LAO wallet card with your drivers license, others will be able to obtain your emergency information quickly through our toll-free phone number. We offer this service because, in some instances, it could be a life-saving service.

Why would I store charge-card information in my storage vault?

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Although your registration and membership is free, as a new organization - LAO relies heavily on donations. For our members who are willing and able to donate, we offer the convenience of storing card information [or PayPal account info] that you wish to use for your donation.  By storing, you can also:

     *  choose to make regular monthly donations without needing to re-enter the payment choice each time

     *  receive a year-end statement of your total donation amount from LAO, for your tax-return records

We here at LessAlone.org do our best to match our members with a contact companion within 90 days. Please consider a tax-deductible donation to LessAlone.org, in order to aid our efforts, and help us reach more people!

What are LessAlone.org's blog page and articles all about?

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LessAlone.org is interested in our website's value as a social media conduit for people living alone. Our members are people, and those visitors to our site are people. We do not want to simply connect members and that's it!  By providing a central location for posting blogs and displaying relative information, we create a place where our members and others can relate stories or discuss their ideas, suggestions, situations, problems and concerns.

Can anyone post to the blog?

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Yes. LessAlone.org staff reviews and approves blog posts prior to their public display on our blog page. Once posted, LAO members then have a chance to comment on that posting.

However, we make sure that our blog postings are 'on subject' - that they are NOT spam-ads or otherwise offensive content. Our preferred subjects are: people living alone, their issues & circumstances, things they would like to see happen, comments on their experience with our matching process, or comments on our website content.

I cannot find how to post a blog comment. Can you tell me how I do this?

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At this time, only our members and donors with registered accounts have the ability to post comments on the blogs. And then, account holders must be logged into their accounts in order to do this. Comments are posted under the username for the user's account.

Hopefully, this will be amended at a later date. While LAO monitors blog postings, we do not have the manpower during our start-up to monitor all user comments. By allowing only registered account holders to comment, we can more easily track who posts a comment, in case of impropriety or maliciousness in comments.

I would like to submit an article to post on your site. How do I do this?

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Go to our ARTICLES webpage, and click on POST AN ARTICLE button. For us to publish your article, you must include your full name, city, state and email address with your submission. Once we have reviewed the content and approved the article for publication on our site, we will notify you via email that the article is now visible.

NOTE: Only one photo file can be uploaded at this time. Use the submission form for the body of your text. If you have numerous photos included as part of your article body, send it as one file in .PDF format. If you have the article written into a document (.RTF or .DOC formats) and additional photo files (.JPG or .GIF formats) for our review, save all the files into a .ZIP format file, and upload.

Who can volunteer?

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Maybe you know, or have known, someone who lived alone and who was far more isolated than they needed to be - more isolated than was good for them and their well-being. But what option was there for them?  If you have an interest in making the lives of people living alone just a little bit safer, and seeing that they are just a little more social than they might now be, you (anyone) can be a volunteer for us.  You only need to care!

What does a volunteer do?

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Volunteers make it possible for LessAlone.org to reach more people in the USA who live alone and may benefit from our services.  They live among us, far and wide - from the center of large cities to rural areas on a farm.  It is not easy to locate and inform all these people about our services.  We need YOU (or you and your group) to assist us.

Our SUPPORT webpage contains idea samples for volunteers' activities - just some of the things you can do, without much effort, to get the word out to these people who live alone.  And on the page, you will find a Contact Form for signing up as a volunteer.

How do I become a volunteer for LessAlone.org?

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Go to our SUPPORT webpage and, using the Contact Form on that page, submit your name (and if a joint effort, the name of your group or organization) and your email address for contact. In the text of your message, include your phone number [if we may contact you by phone] and your city and state [as the location of the area you want to cover]. We will then contact you at the best time of day of your choosing.

If I donate to LessAlone.org, how do you utilize my donation?

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LessAlone.org estimates 20% of all donations go toward funding staff salaries and paying operating expenses of our organization.  Our staff is responsible for input of mailed-in member registration forms into our database, contacting members, answering inquiries, manning phone contact, and directing and expanding our advertising efforts, which include postal mailings, Internet exposure, email advertising and email responses, newspaper ads, and radio/TV announcements.

Approximately 80% of all donations is used for these advertising efforts, so that we may reach and inform persons who live alone about our services. Their registration into our database is the life-blood of our goal - to match our members with the best possible contact-companion member for them. This goal is attainable by continually registering eligible people.

Is there a dollar limit on the amount I can donate?

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Yes. If you input your donation online, on our DONATIONS webpage or from within your account, your donation is limited by: (1) your available balance on your card or in your PayPal account, or (2) $3,000 maximum charge, whichever is smaller.

If you mail in your donation to LAO directly, there is no limit on the amount of the donation.

NOTE: To donate by mail, please send a cashiers check made payable to: LESS ALONE ENDEAVOR, LLC. Mailing information can be found on our ABOUT US webpage.

What are my responsibilities as a user of your website when I set up my online member account?

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At the time you register an account with us [either a member or donor account], you will be directed to review our USER AGREEMENT prior to completion of your account setup.  In accepting the terms of our User Agreement, you are "signing off" on its content, and attesting to the fact that you have read and understood the agreement.

If you do not wish to comply with any or all of the requirements in the User Agreement, you simply decline at that time and you will exit the account setup page.

The User Agreement exists to protect both you, the user, and us, as an Organiz
ation, from fraud, ill-intent or abuse.

When I set up my account online, how do you use my information?

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Your requested information at the time of registration for your account is used primarily, first and foremost, for our database matching process.  We ask you information that will assist us in locating for you, the registrant member, the best possible matches we can achieve.  

We never solicit you for any information considered to be outside the scope of our purpose, nor do we give out your information to other persons, organizations or businesses.

Please read our PRIVACY POLICY for more details regarding use and protection of your information.

Do you insure that my account information cannot be accessed by others?

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Our website utilizes the latest technology in SSL encryption (secured servers). And, as an organization, LessAlone.org, its staff and employees can access only a minimal amount of information in your account in order to provide member and/or donor service, when needed.

If you need to contact us regarding questions or an issue you may have, we ask for your membership account number.  With that, we can access enough information to help you in any inquiries you may have.

Do you oversee the conduct and propriety of users when they access LessAlone.org's website?

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Yes. When users access our website, whether to search their area for registrant members, make a donation, post on the blog or volunteer their services, the staff of LessAlone.org is constantly monitoring content and actions of those users.

We also encourage direct reporting to us by a user, member or donor of anything they notice on the site that is distasteful, disrespectful or otherwise offensive to other users.  This includes misrepresentation, obviously incorrect member information registered, or user comments regarding themselves posted in their accounts.

If you question that an issue IS a violation of the use of, or access to, our website, please review our USER AGREEMENT.

Can you relate to me any other information?

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Yes. We want you to know that LAO, its staff and employees, hope that you enjoy the time you spend with us, and for us. We appreciate you, and are HERE FOR YOU!