"God Bless the Little Brothers and all of your good work. I am a volunteer in Ontonagon County and was matched up with my elderly friend, Mary this summer. Mary has no family and lives alone on a farm in rural Ontonagon. I now visit her on a regular basis and have built a relationship that has been just amazing. I want to thank Little Brothers for this opportunity and have received so much more out of this relationship than I have given. I am looking forward to the holiday season. Please let me know how I can help. Keep up the good work." Love, Tina- Volunteer
Dear Friend of the Elderly:
Life especially during the Holidays will be a little less lonely for elderly friends like John in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. In 2011 Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly expanded programs and services to our neighboring counties in Ontonagon and Baraga. As in Houghton and Keweenaw Counties we are making life commitments to elderly friends like John who lives alone, isolated and have little social contact. We are his extended family and will make sure that he will not spend another holiday alone for the rest of his life. We continue to search out elderly people like John in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who are in need of our services. We believe that no one should spend a holiday alone.
In the Upper Peninsula there are a high percentage of elderly people who are alone and isolated. With your help Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly will ensure that Mary and many elderly people like him will not be without friends this holiday on what can be the loneliest day of the year.
30 Years of Service
We are making a difference. For 30 years we have been celebrating holidays with elderly friends making sure that they are not alone and their holidays are filled with companionship, great food, and celebrations. In the last 30 years with the help of our communities we have served over 50,000 holiday meals to elderly friends throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Volunteers and staff have provided over 71,000 visits to our elderly friends since 1982,cut, split and delivered over 25,000 truck loads of firewood, provided over 1700 trips to medical facilities and volunteers have logged in more than 600,000 hours since 1982. With your help we hope to double these services in the next 30 years.
Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly is an independent, non-profit organization founded in France in 1946. Established in the Copper Country in 1982, it is dedicated to the idea that all people, especially the elderly, deserve a life rich in love, friendship, and dignity. The special little things, a bouquet of flowers or a special holiday dinner, enable all of us to live richer, more meaningful lives.
Hundreds of elderly friends like Mary will be inviting them to join Little Brothers in celebration of the holidays. We give them a choice of attending a big party or receiving a home visit with a hot meal on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Each old friend who chooses to attend a party gets door-to-door pick up and escort service from a volunteer that joins the festivities. Our guests arrive to find an elaborately decorated party hall. The tables are set with tablecloths, decorated napkins, silverware and china. The abundance of flowers and the glow of candles create a feeling of holiday spirit and belonging.
I want to emphasize that our parties and visits with hot meals are on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. We believe that the holidays can be the loneliest time of the year for many elderly people whose families are gone. So we celebrate life on the holiday with our elderly friends.
A traditional holiday dinner is prepared with turkey, gravy, ham, fresh yams, and potatoes, vegetables, salad, cranberry sauce, homemade desserts, and cookies. Each party, nine in all, also provides entertainment that really involves our old friends – sing-a-longs, band concerts, dancing, and caroling. The halls often rock with song and laughter. Flowers and human contact like a hug or handshake are a small expression of our love, concern, and friendship.
Year Long Caring...
For the last 30 Years Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly strives to meet the special needs of the rural elderly all year long. With the conscientiousness of caring staff and volunteers we provide basic needs such as medical transportation, wood cutting, and grocery shopping. These same staff and volunteers contribute their time providing companionship, and friendship through our visiting program and special activities such as picnics, birthday parties, theater outings and much more.
How you can help…
I am asking that you "Give the Gift of Love" this holiday season. Your gift of $15, $35, $50, $75, $100 or whatever you can manage will allow us to transform a lonely holiday without family and friends to a wonderful holiday celebration for hundreds of our elderly friends. On behalf of all the elderly in our community, thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Michael J. Aten
P.S. Your donation of $50 will provide a special Christmas dinner for four elderly.
P.S. You could choose to purchase a brick for $150 to honor or memorialize a loved one. The brick would be installed on our "Wall of Honor" in our building.
Nonprofit organization contributions tax deductible