In both the “Labor of Love” group, and the “Yedei Ahavah” (Hands of Love) group, referred program seniors meet and engage in a community volunteer activity together.
Using fruit that is donated, they construct small cups of fruit salad for the family caregivers’ lounge of a local hospital. Many of these seniors have years of community work behind them, having volunteered with schools and hospitals throughout adult life. Our groups allow the elders to continue to identify as “community builders” and to maintain the camaraderie that comes of working in a social environment together with friends – who become like family over time!
Twice-monthly meetings of each group allow our social worker and group coordinator to keep an eye on the participants, to address any needs that may arise.
“When my husband died, I felt guilty going out to have a nice time, so I avoided the senior center and Café Europa parties because it just didn’t feel right. My two children live far away, and my apartment was so quiet and sad. One day my social worker asked me if I’d come to volunteer by cutting up fruit for the hospital’s Bikur Cholim room. How could I say no, when Bikur Cholim needed me? I come whenever they send me an invitation, and I even brought my friend when she was going through a hard time, and needed to get out. Coming to the group feels like coming home to my family – a family of friends who care.” – Mrs. H.