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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Senior Centers, Seniors, Supportive Housing for Older Adults

Mission: Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a volunteer-based, non-profit organization committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly (seniors). We offer to people of good will the opportunity to join the elderly in friendship and the celebration of life. Our philosophy is flowers before bread. We believe that in addition to the basic necessities of life, each one of us, including seniors, has a strong need for the special pleasures that make life worth living.

Results: In fiscal year 2011 we served 1,303 elders, with the indispensable help of 1,459 volunteers giving more than 46,963 hours of their time. In 2012 - we will continue to grow the number of seniors served.

Target demographics: Chicago seniors age 70 and older who have two or fewer social visits in a month.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,300

Geographic areas served: Chicago, IL

Programs: Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly (LBFE) serves more than 1,300 seniors in the Chicago area. Volunteers give a minimum of 5 hours a year and help bring friendship to Chicago seniors who would otherwise be alone. A friendly visit, an outing, time together at a luncheon, or providing a direct service like food bag delivery means the world to a senior. Our Visiting Program matches a volunteer or staff member with one of our seniors to create a friendship that we hope will last a lifetime. They visit on a regular basis, provide the kind of companionship and assist with many of the small things that help their elderly friend remain independent. Our Nursing Home Program brings friendships to hundreds of lonely residents. Other programs include holiday celebrations, weekly luncheons, birthday parties, outings, summer vacation and monthly food bags.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

An unique organization, with caring people who are committed to the mission of enhancing the social lives and reducing isolation among elders in Chicago. Warm, loving, supportive, and open.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a physician volunteer for Little brothers,friends of the Elderly.I have been volunteering with Little brothers for several years .I started volunteering because I thought that the concept of helping elders fill their day with company was such a wonderful one. Money is easy to give but time is not as easy because we all have different commitments.We all have to work at our jobs,at home,spend time with kids, old parents,manage personal affairs.Making time for an non relaive elder who has time and even money but less and less company as they grow older and older is really precious.I have visited elders,delivered gifts at christmas time.worked at arranging parties,made nursing home visits.done educational talks.I have learnt so much from the elders,listening to their stories of ther youth ,achievements with their work and family.I have learnt stuff that you can never learn in a classroom or a workshop. By spending time with elders,I can relate to the patients,elders at home and around me.I enjoy any time I can spend at thsi institution and with my 88yr old darling friend that I visit in the nursing home.I love listening to her stories about how she used to dance:Belle,tap dance and just all the food likes and dislikes she has.....I just cannot have enough time with her.....

Comments ( 1 )

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hdudzinski 04/04/2012

Thank you for sharing your experiences and for the great review! LBFE is very lucky to have you as a volunteer and a volunteer leader! It is very important to LBFE to bring joy to isolated seniors and it is also important to have continuing education for volunteers, donors & the community. Thank you for being a great friend as a visiting volunteer!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Brothers is an amazing organization. The employees are warm and welcoming to all, and the elders are fascinating ladies and gentlemen. You can volunteer as little or as much as you want, with no pressure. I enjoy doing the "in home-celebrations" and seeing the faces of the elders light up when they see a gift bag especially for them.

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hdudzinski 04/04/2012

Thank you for the great review! In home celebrations are a great way to visit with elders; bringing a special treat with a personal visit!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Little Bros. for many years and while I also volunteer with other agencies, Little Bros. has always been my most positive and fulfilling experience. Not only are the elders very grateful, they are fun, exciting, informative and grateful. The agency, Little Bros. is fun to work with, always concerned with their volunteers and committed to making the volunteer experience the most positive it can be. Little Bros. offers volunteers many opportunities to volunteer in whatever area they choose. They listen to the volunteers and are always open and receptive to doing things to improve, what is already a most positive experience. I love volunteering with Little Bros. and encourage others to check the agency out as a potential agency to donate your time and attention to.

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hdudzinski 04/04/2012

Thank you for the great review! LBFE is very lucky to have you as a volunteer - you give with your heart & soul. It is great to have volunteers who bring joy to the elders and also contribute by making the organization a great place for volunteers too!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It will be almost a year that I started volunteering with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. It has been a great one of a kind experience. The atmosphere created by the staff and volunteers is very welcoming. Through the organizations various programs and opportunities, I have met many Old Friends who have have each taught me something new, for example, how to play dominoes like an expert and even how to be fabulous at any age. I have had nothing but positive experiences with them. Interacting with the elders via parties and outings has truly changed my outlook on aging. Their events are always very well-planned and the food they provide for the elders and volunteers is nothing if not plentiful and delicious. The elders always leave full and happy, filled with both food and joy. I am glad to say that I have made a few of my closet friends through this organization and look forward to continuing working with them in the future.

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hdudzinski 04/04/2012

Thank you very much for the great review! LBFE is like a family - not just for the elders but for volunteers too. Thanks so much for sharing your time & talent with the elders.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Little Brothers for almost one year now and have had the time of my life being a part of such an amazing organization! This organization provides the opportunity for life-changing experiences for both the volunteer and the seniors, which I think is a rare treat in the non-profit world. I have been visiting one particular senior for quite some time and when we celebrated our birthdays together (as they are only one day apart) she wrote in my card that he life has changed so much for the better since Little Brothers and myself had entered her life that she felt like an entirely new person. She has become more than just a visit for me, but a truly great friend and even a mentor in my writing. We seem to have everything in the world in common that I wonder how Little Brothers does such a wonderful job putting the matches together. Keep up the great work!!!

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hdudzinski 04/04/2012

Thank you for the amazing story & great review! LBFE works to connect volunteers and elders based on their interests, geographic location and personalities. Thank you for being a true friend as a visiting volunteer!

Brian26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Besides the great work that Little Brothers does for its elders, the organization also shows great love and appreciation for its volunteers. Little Brothers has given me many opportunities to learn during my time volunteering.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review! Beyond friendly visits you definitely have had some challenging and rewarding projects as a volunteer! You've been a great friend to your elders and a fantastic volunteer to work with!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Little Brother's is a life changing experience. This Organization has gifted me with the opportunity to bring joy to the lives of many who are often forgotten and neglected by society. Words fall way short of expressing the total experience I'm having. Everyone should try to volunteer at this organization or one like it at some point in their lives. It is beyond worth it because you will never see life the same.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the positive review! To connect with another individual is truly a great experience. Thank you for being a friend and sharing your talents with LBFE.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a full time volunteer with Little Brothers for the past year, and during this time I have seen just how great of an impact this organization makes on the lives of the elders it serves. The caring and generous spirit of the organization makes it one that I am proud to serve, and it is with this sincere commitment of the organization that the elders experience the joys of holiday parties, birthday celebrations, and friendship.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review. The elders at LBFE are so lucky to have you as their friend - your visits bring them great joy. We're very fortunate to have great full time Program Assistants like you to form genuine friendships that truly fulfill the mission of LBFE.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer and member of the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly Chicago Chapter for almost 3 years now. My engagement with LBFE has been an extremely positive and rewarding experience. LBFE's mission is quite unique, as they seek to provide companionship and social interaction to Chicago Area elders that would otherwise be isolated. Through a variety of individual services and group events, LBFE provides a social network and "friendship" to aging individuals who can not rely on immediate family for the same support. The opportunities to participate and volunteer with the organization are quite varied, which I found helpful while balancing a busy schedule.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for your positive review! LBFE truly appreciates your time and talent - you're a fantastic volunteer and we can always count on you!

Jess M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Brothers is a great organization to connect with others and bring hope to the elderly in Chicago. Not only are there many group gatherings, hosted throughout Chicago and at the LBFE headquarters, there are so many other ways to connect with the seniors on your own time. It is awesome because LBFE finds a way to take your talents and use them to the fullest and it is very rewarding and fun to meet some very interesting older citizens that call Chicago home.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review! You bring amazing energy to your volunteer roles! Thank you for sharing your time & talents with LBFE!

Krissy T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have loved working with Little Brothers! It is like a family. From staff to the elders and other volunteers I have met, everyone brings positivity and energy to the organization. I have met great friends (young and elder alike) and plan to be involved with Little Brothers indefinitely! They serve a cause most don't think about-social isolation in the elder population. This is a very worthy cause and the actions of those involved with Little Brothers bring food, shelter, support, and friendship to many elders who would otherwise go without.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for a great review! I know you balance a lot and the fact that you make LBFE a priority is greatly appreciated

1 Regina I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I like the many levels of volunteering you can do with LBFE. If you have weekend time, monthly time or every-once-in-a-while time, there are activities that you can fit right into. It really fits any schedule because their calendar is so full. It's perfect for those who don't feel up to a big commitment.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review! You have jumped in and tried many different volunteer opportunities here at LBFE! We appreciate your time, joyful personality and willingness to help!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

On a trip to visit my daughter, Kristen, in Chicago during Christmas, 2011, I was informed that she had something special scheduled for us to do. I was pleasantly surprised to participate in a giftwrapping fundraiser at Barnes & Noble for Friends of the Elderly. Being from a small town in Western Kentucky, we are not fortunate to have a Friends of the Elderly organization. The residents of Chicago are so truly blessed to have so many loving and caring individuals who give of themselves freely! What an awesome experience I had for such a worthy cause! I quite frankly would have stayed all day had it not been for other volunteers waiting to take my spot at the giftwrapping table! I commend the Friends of the Elderly organization for all they do to make other's lives better!!

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

I am so glad you enjoyed volunteering with us! I am glad you were able to see first hand the amazing work your daughter does as a volunteer! Thank you for spending some of your vacation helping LBFE & for raising an amazing daughter!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer of LBFE since 1992. It began with my children and I volunteering at the parties given for the Seniors. I have taken part in birthday parties and holiday parties as a driver and on site volunteer. We have enjoyed every part of LBFE. I have become friends with some wonderful people. It has been a blessing to me to be a part of this organization. LBFE provides Seniors with a chance to leave their homes and socialize with others without fear. I have received as much from the Seniors as they have from me. Everyone I have introduced to LBFE has expressed how much they have enjoyed being a part of it.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for sharing! LBFE is a great way for youth to learn about service and volunteering as a family has become a tradition for quite a few of our volunteers. Many thanks for being part of the LBFE family!

quieromom

Donor

Rating: 5

40 years ago, Little Brothers connected me with an old man named John who lived in a SLO on Belmont Avenue. I would once a week bring him his groceries until it became clear that he could no longer get by on his own. At that point, Little Brothers found a place for him with the Little Sisters, who at that time had a nursing home on Fullerton Avenue. We no longer live in that area but having seen first hand the impact the intervention of Little Brothers has on the truly needy seniors in Chicago, we have supported them ever since. Flowers before Bread.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for sharing your LBFE story! It is amazing how the elders and their stories stay with us - it keeps them alive and honors their time here. Many, many thanks!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The basic mission of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is to bring friendship to lonely and isolated elders. This is done through parties, vacations and most regularly through one on one visits. It is a place that brings joy to everyone involved with it. As a volunteer, you get just as much (if not more) out of the experiences as the elders that are served.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thanks for the great review! LBFE is lucky to have you as a volunteer - you are a wonderful friend to your elders!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly helps to promote emotional well-being among Chicago's senior community. Little Brothers fosters the spirit of community through inter-generational activities, monthly birthday parties, holiday celebrations and more. The dedicated staff and volunteers provide friendship and support to those with few social connections. My most heart warming experiences have been volunteering during Christmas and Easter celebrations. The joy on the faces of the seniors made my holiday.

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review! LBFE is so thankful that you are a volunteer. Truly appreciate all of your time & dedication - especially now with the engAge event!!!

Kristen8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is a wonderful non-profit offering friendship and assistance to lonely or isolated seniors in the Chicagoland area. I've been volunteering for 4 years and the thing I love most about Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly is the fact that you can donate your time, energy or money and still feel as if you've made a difference. Whether it's driving an elder to a birthday function, visiting elders in the nursing home, bringing groceries and much needed friendship to an elder, or wrapping presents during the holidays to raise money for the organization, I truly feel that Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly makes a positive impact on our community. I also serve as President of the Young Professionals Advisory Board of Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly. -Kristen Reeves

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hdudzinski 04/02/2012

Thank you for the great review! LBFE is so fortunate to have you as a volunteer. You bring great leadership & energy to the Young Professionals Advisory Board!