I want you to meet one of my favorite elderly friends. We first met in the early 1990s when she was still residing on the family farm with her newly widowed mother. Her name is Marie and I've had the pleasure of visiting her and driving her to our events for the last six years. Marie was born in rural Keweenaw County on her parents' farm in 1928.
The land had been cleared for hayfields and the dairy cows were already producing milk for sale. By the time Marie was five she was cleaning the chicken coop and sorting and boxing eggs for sale in town. Later on potatoes and rutabagas were being grown. In between, Marie found time for piano and violin lessons. It was a busy life. When Marie finished high school, she left the farm for Detroit. A farm girl, she could fix anything and organize and manage any activity. She had sold eggs and milk all through grade and high school, her sales skills were already well honed. Marie was a valuable and treasured employee.
When her father died in 1992 Marie moved back to the farm to take care of her mother. At 64, she wanted to leave Detroit anyway. This is the first time I met Marie. The farm was heated only with wood, they needed help turning their logpile into firewood. Little Brothers' recruited a Michigan Tech fraternity to cut, split and stack their firewood. We cut their firewood for a number of years, until Marie's mother died.
We also delivered meals to them on the holidays, including Easter. At this point Marie sold the farm and moved into town. To stave off boredom she did light housekeeping. She came to our holiday parties and enjoyed them tremendously. When I helped her move into a senior apartment we renewed our acquaintance. Her first words were to thank me for the Holiday Meals we sent her and her mom. This act of friendship meant so much to them. Marie especially liked going to our Holiday Meals on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. She had no idea so many of her contemporaries were still alive, and better yet, remembered her!
But Marie had a big worry, now that she had given up her car, would she be stuck in her building, alone? I explained our other programs: Friendly Visiting, Summer Outings, Birthday Parties, Medical Transportation. This was a big relief. Your giving allows Little Brothers to make sure our elders are not forgotten. Every time I visit Marie, she meets me in the lobby with a smile and a sparkle in her eye. Even though she has outlived all her aunts, uncles and cousins and as an only child has no nieces or nephews, Marie knows she is not forgotten, she has Little Brothers.
Too many elderly in Marie's position have to live their life alone. They've outlived their spouse, children, relatives and friends. They have no one to share a holiday with, no one to call to chat with. In Michigan's Copper Country, your generosity helps bridge these gaps in our elders' lives. On Easter Sunday, hundreds of Little Brothers' volunteers will prepare a homemade ham dinner with sweet and white potatoes, vegetables, desserts and a toast of champagne. Hundreds of elderly guests will be treated to this meal, and we will send out the meals, carefully packaged, to hundreds of homebound elderly. We will do this just like you would want it for your family. Combine our volunteers' gift of their time on this holiday, along with your financial gift, and we will make sure our elderly are remembered.
Remember Copper Country seniors this Easter; please send your gift today. $20, $50, $100, or the amount of your choosing to provide our festive meals to seniors on Easter Sunday, so they can celebrate with the company of friends.
One thing I've learned being part of Little Brothers is to be grateful for the little things - a visit, a meal with friends on the holiday. We all want to age with grace and dignity, with the peace of mind knowing we'll have a friend to call on. We are very grateful to you, whose generosity we at Little Brothers relies on.
President, Board of Directors
P.S. Marie knows how important it is to have friendship. Please help Little Brothers spread the gift of friendship. Again, thank you.
Nonprofit organization,contributions tax deductible