Three real-life Friendship stories express how in helping others, we help ourselves. You may discover on your path to giving, that the one most touched might well be you.
The Gift of Friendship: A Lifesaver
Consider the lady who arrived at the Friendship Centers on recommendation of her physician. Diagnosed with just six weeks to live, the need to find meaning and purpose in her life was strong.
She found a place among the "silverware ladies," wrapping knives and forks and spoons in preparation for the noon meal. She also found new friends, new opportunities and a place that came to mean the world to her.
The cancer retreated, as her spirit took fire. It was not until several years later that the disease took her life. In the interlude she found Friendship, hope, and a life that sparkled with positive energy. For her, Friendship was a lifesaver, as it has been for many.
The Gift of Giving Back
A retired Exxon executive who lost his wife of 51 years was in his own words "lost." Not knowing where to turn to fill the void, he opened the door he Friendship Centers, and found a world full of opportunity.
He found opportunities to -- take the French class he'd always wanted to pursue, help others by carrying trays in the Friendship Café, share laughter and "dance" with a wheel-chair bound great grandmother, take his new-found friends out on his boat for a sailing lesson, teach soft shoe dancing, and perform with the Senior Theatre group.
"Senior Friendship Centers gave me back my life," he says gratefully. When he learned his company would match his charitable gift to this organization, he embraced the opportunity to express his appreciation.
A caregiver, exhausted and broken hearted, unable to keep up with 24/7 demands of a loved one, felt the weight of a thousand new responsibilities. The challenge was overwhelming.
When a friendly hand and supportive smile was extended through the Caregiver Resource Center and the compassionate staff at The Living Rooms, life became a little more manageable. The Caregiver Friendship connection means sharing and learning from others who are on the same journey in support groups, and accessing programs and services that ease the way.
Life becomes a circle, and giving back becomes a source of healing: It may be a gift of time, volunteering to help others caregivers; a memorial gift to ensure the name of a loved one lives on; a gift of talent by teaching or entertaining at The Living Rooms.