Usage and Grammar

Q. I’ve been coming across this construction using the verb help: helping our patients be home for the holidays; knowing that we have helped so many people be home for the holidays. I recognize the usage; it’s common in my region. But I’ve been recommending to be home as the grammatically unimpeachable (and to my ear better) choice. I haven’t found a discussion of the matter anywhere. I would appreciate a recommendation.

A. The omission of to in constructions with help is also unimpeachable. In fact, often the addition of to would impart an unreasonably stilted or formal tone: Let me help you to reach that. Please take a look at CMOS 5.104.