No elder alone in Christmas
Every year all the members of the International Federation Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, prepare different activities to celebrate Christmas in more than forty cities. The most important is to celebrate together these special days of the year when loneliness and social isolation is a reality for many older people.
At a time when friends and family are treasured and remembered, for those who have lost loved ones or whose family live far away, getting through the Christmas period can be especially difficult.
This is the reason why the different associations and fondations Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly prepare big Christmas parties where music, food, smiles and fun abound. Also for seniors who are not able to come out, visiting activities are prepared to deliver meals with the full feast and trimmings, complete with a lovely plant.
Our volunteers on Christmas day log hundreds of miles to make sure that everyone has a good meal and spends time talking with a friendly visitor.
Because we all believe that, unless they want, no elderly person should be alone on Christmas.
Washington D.C. first fundraising Gala
* For this support program, this is an opportunity to experience the practical development of a national fundraising by mailing and sharing expertise with the American Chapters.
On December 12th, under the support program to the US Little Brothers –Friends of Elderly chapters*, les petits frères des Pauvres organize a « Wine and food tasting benefit » in the French Embassy at Washington DC. 250 people are expected, as well as Michel and Lilo Salmon, the founders of Little Brothers of the Poor in the United States and Zabou Breitman, French actress and director as a special guest. The event will be held under the high patronage and in the presence of François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States.
This Gala has a double objective:
- Global awareness of Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, especially in the French Washington networks;
- Raise funds to consolidate and develop actions in the United States.
During the dinner, 7 Chefs and Sommeliers of D.C. will propose to the participants a tasting menu wine and food. Many surprises and references to Little Brothers history will take place in this open event for all bienfaiteurs that will support our cause this night:
- An auction of objects that France collected thank to the testators.
- A photo exhibition on the work of Little Brothers of the Poor in France and in the United States;
- The music which will be played during the cocktail are interpretations of pieces written by Armand Marquiset.
The Ambassador and all the French network in Washington has prepared a warm and enthusiastic welcome to the event: they have shown very sensitive to the cause of little brother of the Poor and praised the fact that the money collected will be used for actions in the United States. Invitations were sent by the Embassy, the Alliance Française, the French-American Chamber of Commerce, the association " Mamans autour de DC ", etc., and diffused on different blogs and websites.
This event is a great opportunity to help the consolidation of Little Brothers / Friends of the Elderly structures with economical problems, to increase the notoriety of the association and enhance the know how exchanges between Americans and French.
More information : www.littlebrothersofthepoor.org
Maisie celebrates her 100th anniversary in Dublin
Maisie Flood celebrates her 100th anniversary with Friends of the Elderly in Dublin (Ireland) and on the radio!
Maisie is sitting in the thrift shop, waiting. You might think she is tired of waiting Maisie. But no. She is a hell of a woman. She calls everyone by their first name, asks about children, she has her opinion on everything and everyone listens to her.
Today is her birthday and we decided to celebrate it properly here at Friends of The Elderly. In the room, 90 people are waiting for Maisie to make her entrance: Wednesday Club regulars who know her for 29 years that she is part of the association, supporters of the Liverpool football team, which she is the oldest fan, and the team of the famous “Derek Mooney show” from RTE radio. Everyone has played the game to dress in red and white, the colours of Liverpool. For once, the room seems too small to fit all these people. The Liverpool’s supporters are dancing with the elderly; people are fighting for the microphone to sing: today there is an audience to impress!
Finally, Brenda, the radio host, asks everyone to sit. Our program is about to begin! Everyone is silent. The tension grows with the minutes passing. Maisie enters and the show begins. They ask questions about everything and she remembers and reminiscences... A surprise awaits at the other end of the waves: John Aldridge (ex-player of the Republic of Ireland and Liverpool) wants to wish her a happy birthday! She speaks to him as a lifelong friend. She opens her cheque of € 2,540 and the letter of the President: this is a hell of a gift! Finally, it's time to blow out the candles on her giant birthday cake "Special Liverpool”. Everyone sings the Liverpool anthem; “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and Maisie blows out all her candles. She shared the cake for everyone to taste. Maisie is the oldest and happiest person in the room.
Today, she is 100 years old.
Gaëlle Le Gouguec European Volunteer, Dublin
"Older persons and crisis" : a seminar in Barcelona
Amics de la Gent Gran organizes next Wednesday, 13th of November, the Seminar « Older persons and crisis: pensions, housing, dependency and loneliness. Impacts and reactions ». It is the first event organised in Spain on this topic.
Society is suffering one of the most important socioeconomic changes of the last years and Amics of the Gent Gran wants to give a realistic vision on the current situation and to show the active role that some of these older persons are taking.
In the seminar the topics that will be discussed are:
- Current situation of older persons in the context of crisis : how pensions, loneliness, poverty and housing affect living conditions of the elderly.
- Contributions of older persons nowadays : their role as support for families, direct economic help to children, hosting them at their house, voluntary work, etc.
Flowers distribution in Spain
Amics de la Gent Major is part of the Spanish Federation « Amigos de los mayores », with foundations also in Barcelona and Madrid.
On October 1st, the Spanish television "TV Levante" showed a report on the International Day of Older Persons, celebrated by the Foundation Amics de la Gent Major.
The day started with a public lecture of a Manifest in a public center of social services, and it was followed by an action where volunteers distributed flowers to more than 60 elderly at home. Two schools participated in the event by making and offering 250 paper flowers. Watch the video !
Montreal: Little Brothers on the public place on October, 1st
* In 1993, Jean Doré, mayor of Montreal, had the idea to donate the flower of seringat to the Little Brothers of the Poor as a flower of friendship. So called Jasmine of the poets, the emblem of the organism also symbolizes the memory.
On October 1st, Little Borthers of the Poor distributed “seringat*” flowers, a symbol of memory, in every Canadian city where the organization is present.
Early in the afternoon, citizens were invited to meet 150 "Old Friends" and volunteers in Montreal, in the Complexe Desjardins. Béatrice Picard, national godmother of Little Brothers of the Poor in Canada was there to support the campaign. The pianist Georges Tremblay and the singer Christine Chartrand, offered a show to guests.
The exhibition “VisÂges and TémoignÂges” (Complexe Desjardins from 1st toOctober 10th) was inaugurated in this special day: 48 men and women among whom Jean Coutu, Jeannine Sutto, Marguerite Lescop and Claude Béland agreed to offer their vibrating testimonies and to be photographed for the cause. This exhibition comes back just from Quebec where it was shown at the 2nd International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities and will go on travelling through Quebec during the next months.
Throughout the day, the volunteers visited elderly at home, at the hospital and in residences, to share friendship and tenderness with them. Everywhere in Quebec, friendly meetings took place, like dinners, dancing parties, concerts and brunch.
Finally, the Quebec National Assembly and its members underlined this day as an opportunity to be solidary towards the elderly.
Inspired by the article appeared on CNW Telbec| Newswire.Ca | 26 sept. 2013
Flowers of fellowship: the 5th edition!
Figures of a succesful campaing:
- More than 1 300 volunteers
- 65 000 flowers distributed
- 178 points of distribution
- 111 cities involved
On October 1st, to celebrate United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons, Little Brothers of the Poor have celebrated the 5th edition of the campaign " Flowers of fellowship ".
This campaign is a success in France but also in all the countries where members of the International Federation of the little brothers of the Poors are present. Specially this year, that the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has testified his support to this action with a letter.
Many volunteers of Little Brothers of the Poor, strengthened by public and private partners, have distruted flowers to the passers-by in markets, stations, streets, squares, hospitals or residences in more than 100 french cities. Volunteers gave a flower to citizens who had in their turn to offer this one to an old person suffering from solitude or poverty.
A symbolic and free action and an additional opportunity to share with the most isolated!
Main news from San Francisco
Regarding activities. Two main things are happening at this time in San Francisco...
- We are planning an Open House at the Office in San Francisco for October, 1st from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. We have invited our main donors (Foundations, Corporations and individual donors), some key volunteers, some elders as well as three key City of San Francisco Supervisors. Additionally, we have asked the city to declare October, 1st "Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly Day" in San Francisco.
- We are in the middle of the Razoo Crowd-Funding campaign "NO One Should Be Alone" that will end on October, 15th. It is the first time we try something like that and it has been a great experience with us.
And we also…
- just had last Saturday an Autumn Party for our elders and it was great success. For October, 26th, we are planning our Halloween In-Home Visits event.
Rose Lapel Pins for International Day of Older Persons in Minneapolis/St. Paul
The Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly will celebrate International Day of Older Persons on Tuesday, Oct. 1 by distributing free rose lapel pins in several locations throughout the Twin Cities. The lapel pins are intended to serve as a reminder for people of all ages to appreciate elders in our families and in our communities.
Friends of the Elderly staff members and volunteers will give out the silk rose lapel pins from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations:
- The Nicollet Ave. and 6th St. intersection in Minneapolis
- The Hennepin Ave. and Lake St. intersection in Minneapolis
- The Victoria St. and Grand Ave. intersection in St. Paul
- The 5th St. W. and Market St. intersection in St. Paul
"International Day of Older Persons is the one day we have set aside to honor the contributions that elders have made - and are making - in our lives", said Greg Voss, Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly's Executive Director. "Too often, we take older persons for granted and they become invisible to us. By appreciating the elders around us, we celebrate and benefit from the many gifts they possess - wisdom, humor, experience, energy and friendship".
In 1990, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared that, around the world, each October 1 would be known as International Day of Older Persons. It was a recognition of the "need for innovative and effective international co-operating in the field of aging" so that all countries can respond to the needs of an aging population.
Those needs are becoming even more pronounced as the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age. Minnesota ranks second in the nation for longevity, and is home to a higher proportion of elders than many other states.
"In Hennepin and Ramsey counties, 49%-50% of elders live alone, and many are isolated and lonely. We hope that, by wearing a rose, or seeing the rose on someone else, people will be inspired to take that extra step to befriend and show appreciation to an elder", said Voss.
Sara, summer volunteer at the little Brothers of the Poor, talks about her engagement...
Sara was a summer volunteer at the Little Brothers of the Poor, in the South of France... She talks about it.
"Besides motherhood, my experience with les petits frères des Pauvres was the most refining in my life. Initially, I wanted to work with "les petits frères" to improve my french. I'd always dreamed of living in France, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. But my experience was much different than I planned.
A few days after arriving in Marseille, I became homesick. I left behind a boyfriend, cupcakes (I couldn't find any in France!), and the comfort of my college town. My French was patchy, and I kept getting lost on the metro. And that was when I realized that I wasn't in Marseille for myself. I was there to volunteer.
I stopped worrying about my broken French. I stopped missing my boyfriend, and I started focusing on the sweet elderly people who truly needed me. Really though, I needed them. I spent hours each week visiting these kind people who were more lonely than I was. They told me about their lives, WWII, and their lost hopes and dreams. I realized that the harder I listened and the more I became involved, the less I worried about my problems. My problems seemed menial in comparison to theirs. And it changed my heart, refining me in a way that can only happen by serving others.
I was brokenhearted when I had to leave these sweet people who had given me their hearts. I wrote them for months and months after I left, sending them lots of pictures, trinkets, and even my wedding announcement. Until a couple years later, I no longer got responses to my letters, and I was left to assume that these sweet elderly people who wrote me so faithfully had finally moved on to a new life free of pain and full of joy.
I will never forget the precious experiences I had with les petits frères des Pauvres because they prepared me for a more selfless life in marriage and with my sweet baby girl."
La Casa de dia San Agustín souffle ses 2 bougies !
Le 28 juin, la Casa de dia San Agustín, au Mexique, fêtait son deuxième anniversaire.
Deux ans de joie, de sourires, d’attentions spéciales mais aussi de tristesse suite à la perte de quelques Vieux amis et à qui hommage a été rendu...
"Nous sommes heureux et fiers de leur avoir donné une fin de vie heureuse et digne, remplie de gaieté et de bonne humeur", témoigne Cathel.
Dans une entrevue filmée, le Père Abel évoque notamment son engagement auprès de la Casa de dia San Agustin. La vidéo est en espagnol mais les images parlent d’elles-mêmes :
Et si vous mettiez plus de solidarité dans votre ISF ?
Depuis 1946, les petits frères des Pauvres accompagnent les personnes, en priorité de plus de 50 ans- souffrant de solitude, de pauvreté, d’exclusion, de maladies graves. Implantés dans 8 pays en Europe (Allemagne, Espagne, France, Irlande, Pologne et Suisse) et en Amérique du Nord (Etats-Unis et Canada). En France, l’association représente plus de 130 équipes d’action dont 9 700 bénévoles engagés et 38 700 personnes aidées dont plus de 10 000 accompagnées régulièrement. Les petits frères des Pauvres en France et dans d’autres pays agissent essentiellement grâce à des bénévoles et sont quasi exclusivement financés par des fonds privés (dons individuels ou d’entreprises, subvention de fondations, legs…).
Les petits frères des Pauvres France souhaiteraient consolider et appuyer leur réseau international en apportant un soutien financier et leur expertise mais également renforcer les liens entre les membres du réseau et créer de nouvelles implantations dans d’autres pays où ils sont sollicités pour répondre aux besoins des personnes âgées.
Comme le souligne Jean-François Serres, secrétaire général des petits frères des Pauvres « Le vaste mouvement initié en France par les petits frères des Pauvres doit être relayé par une nouvelle génération de philanthropes dans le monde prêts à investir leur générosité autour d’un vrai projet de société ». Afin de lutter contre ce fléau, frappant les plus exclus de la société, la Fondation des petits frères des Pauvres lance un appel aux résidents étrangers assujettis à l’ISF en France afin qu’ils soutiennent son action au service du développement des petits frères des Pauvres. Vous êtes imposés en France à l’ISF au titre du patrimoine que vous y détenez ? Les dons faits aux organismes éligibles en France sont déductibles dans les mêmes conditions que pour les donateurs français. Si vous faites un don à la Fondation des petits frères des Pauvres (France), 75 % de son montant seront déductibles de l’ISF dans la limite de 50 000 €. Attention toutefois, les dons doivent être faits avant la date de déclaration, c'est-à-dire au plus tard le 15 juillet pour les résidents en Europe. Daniel Bruneau, Directeur de la recherche de fonds pour les petits frères des Pauvres décrit la façon dont les dons issus de l’ISF ont été utilisés en 2010. L’argent collecté a permis notamment la construction et la rénovation de plusieurs maisons-relais à Paris et à Marseille. Il rappelle les différents modes de don possibles pour soutenir les actions des petits frères des Pauvres.
En savoir plus : www.investirlagenerosite.petitsfreres.asso.fr
Faire un don : https://faireundon.petitsfreres.asso.fr/b/mon-don
Contact : Christine Lutran, firstname.lastname@example.org, 00 33 1 49 23 13 74.
Article paru sur le site de London Macadam (juin 2013) : http://www.londonmacadam.com/french-best-kept-secrets/les-petits-freres-des-pauvres-lance-un-appel-aux-residents-etrangers-6548.html
The foundation Amigos de los Mayores celebrates its 10th anniversary
The foundation Amigosde los Mayores, member of the International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor, whose aim is to assist the elderly who feel lonely, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2013.
In 2012, the Foundation has helped more than 300 people and mobilized as many volunteers in Madrid.
The Little Brothers in Spain accompany more than 1,500 people in Valencia and Barcelona.
On the occasion of the celebration of its 10th anniversary, the Foundation organizes on Friday, May 31st, a conference designed specifically for professionals, volunteers and people aware of the elderly. The purpose of this day is to talk about the reality of the elderly who live alone and have few resources, and the importance of appropriate support that will help them to continue to exercise their rights of citizenship and participation, as where they are able to stay active.
On Sunday, June 1st, a big lunch will be held for all seniors and volunteers.
Enjoy a volunteer experience in Catalonia!
Amics de la Gent Gran (Catalonia) is willing to receive international volunteers to bring quality company to elder people on holidays.
Every shift is designed to accommodate between 10 and 20 elders, from a total of 4 shifts. All our elder friends must have their needs covered by volunteers and professional staff. This way they will have the chance to enjoy a unique and unforgettable moment of their life.
Dates and venues:
Our current volunteers participating in these summer holidays are mostly young and eager to promote exchanges between generations. It is an unforgettable experience which requires:
- Ability and sense to take care of the elders.
- Involvement in the organization and active participation in the activities.
- Support the overall organization (daily evaluation, night shifts, and roles within the team).
If you wish to participate, please contact us at: email@example.com
IMPORTANT NOTE: Amics de la Gent Gran takes care of all fees for accommodation and transport from Barcelona to final destination. Transport costs from your country to Barcelona will be on your behalf.
Looking forward seeing you here!
The Barcelona team
Participation of the Director of Cincinnati to a radio program on the Isolation
Mary "Yogi" Wess, the executive director of Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly in Cincinnati was the guest of "Talk of the Nation", National Public Radio.
That was a very interesting program regarding the University College, London, study on elder isolation: indeed, researchers from University College London followed thousands of people over the age of 52 for seven to eight years to assess the effect of loneliness and isolation. Isolation, not loneliness, may actually shorten people's lives regardless of health or income.
Little Brothers were invited to talk about connection between social isolation, loneliness and mortality. To help with isolation of the elderly, in Cincinnati, 350 volunteers provide friendship and a lot of direct service that they may have difficulty in getting on their own. « Our slogan « Flowers before bread » means that we believe in honoring the elderly with dignity and respect, and it also means that we believe in providing the nice things in life », commented Yogi.