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.
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.